August 17, 2020
TO THE EDITOR:
There is nothing wrong with idolizing a person in power nor is there anything wrong with appreciating the work and achievements that one makes. What is dangerous to the political game, both to the politician and to the voter, is the unjust deification of a political figure such as a U.S. President. I'm not singling out President Trump, because this does not only apply to him nor did it begin with him. I'm also not singling out one political party or another, because both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of exhibiting this behavior. For the sake of ease and staying current, I will be talking about President Donald Trump and the following he's amassed.
It is important to understand that many Trump supporters canonize the President without even realizing it. This is partly due to the President's way of branding and advertising himself. Here's what I mean by that: Donald Trump is a businessman and a negotiator. As such, and as has been his brand for the past several decades, he self-praises and builds himself up as a method of gaining and maintaining support. To compliment this narcissistic personality, the President also targets anybody who disagrees with him (and his ever-changing brand) as an enemy.
Firstly, those who deify President Trump are generally extreme right-wing Republican voters. Extremists of either political party are not healthy for the political game either, but that's a topic for another article. These extremists often use strong symbolism in their speech and expressions as a way of making President Trump appear to be of a higher power. The most common symbol of this is the President Trump flag. Flags are very important and meaningful to the American way of life. We as a nation are somewhat unique in that we value and in some ways worship our country's flag as one of our defining features, without which we are not America. The President Donald Trump flags are dangerously close to being viewed in a similar fashion. In some extreme cases I've actually seen the Donald Trump flag flown above the American flag.
This is dangerous because putting President Trump on the same level as the entire country causes him to appear as some sort of deity or higher power, and those lacking in satisfaction in their faith are quick to resort to viewing the President as less of a politician and more of a religious figure. As I stated, this is extremely unhealthy for a narcissistic businessman-turned politician as well as for the voter. It only boosts the President's already intense self-esteem, but worse than that it creates the belief that having an open mind to any political views other than President Trump's is the equivalent of being unfaithful or even treasonous.
It is important for all voters, Republican and Democratic alike, to remember that anti-Trump is not synonymous with anti-Republican or anti-America. While Trump is the current face of Republicans, he is only here for a short time, be it four years or eight. It's also important to know that just like President Trump should not be deified, he also should not be demonized. He is simply a more extreme example of a President and Presidential candidate. Just as his glorification is not great for the political game, the hate towards him also does not help. Rational and informed, open-minded dialogue is what is needed if we as a nation are going to get past the violent obscenity that is American Politics.