Newspaper editors confess to be bewildered by the sudden rise of Mr. Trump. The politically incorrect tycoon gets closer to power as US presidential Election Day approaches. Political experts and Nobel Prices such as Vargas Llosa blame the shallowness of our time. In fact, there is more than that. I will briefly enumerate 7 reasons why Mr. Trump may win this election. They are part of my longer essay “The End of Hypocrisy”. I should warn readers, though, that I do not endorse the candidacy of Mr. Trump. My belief is that once elected, Mr. Trump’s boldness will be checked by the American People, a hard-working nation that values freedom and independence over partisanship.
Hypocrisy is no longer valid.
In an era of communications and social networks no politician can endure a secret. The plots of “House of Cards” of which so many politicians are so fond, can’t be unfolded in an era of secret cams and microphones. A tweet with a pic or a compromising video is enough to show the hypocrisy of a minister, and a web link is able to defeat an adulterer’s most stubborn plea of innocence. The world knows that the more charming a politician is, the more suspicious of guilt s/he is.
The world has learnt that no man or woman is free from sin.
For more than two centuries the world forgot the biblical proverb “who is free from sin, throw the first stone”. In recent weeks, social media displayed a secretly recorded conversation in which Mr. Trump referred to women in sexual argot. People understood immediately that all was part of a conspiracy against Mr. Trump, a plot that was supposed to be the last nail in the coffin of Mr. Trump’s candidacy. Since we’ve been educated in a world very much under the yoke of puritanism, journalists, political analysts and moralists expected Mr. Trump’s due resignation. But Mr. Trump is a citizen that has grown in the circles of power, and he knows very well the sins and double-talk of such journalists, political analysts and moralists. According to his plain-talk agenda, he quickly dismissed the incident as a male bragging.
Direct talk has gained ground over diplomacy.
The bluntness of Mr. Trump has surprised a world of journalists trained in diplomacy—that’s to say, in hypocrisy. Most journalists, in fact, are careful to address in public in a halo of neutrality. Hence, several TV journalists of Fox News are presented as epitomes of bias by humorists and serious commentators. But in the digital era, public opinion has come to adulthood. For decades journalists and politicians in power refer to them as stupid, easily manipulated and driven by passions. We can read in twitter, for instance, that in the current election campaign for the Presidency of the US, most journalists have taken side against Mr. Trump because of his contradictions. In the argot of the Realpolitik we say that Mr. Trump lacks talent to behave as a hypocrite.
Perfection is suspicious.
Max Weber prescribed that the rise of the Protestant Church was also the rise of Puritanism. The Catholic Church followed the hint in the counter reform. As a result the world lives the era of the Pharisee, the Tartuffe and the Malvolio. Many powerful leaders are, in fact, elected by their ability to dissemble their emotions, their talent for secrecy and their skill for intrigue. The digital era, however, has proved to be fatal to the masters of hypocrisy. All secrets remain written in the Internet, and the well-intended politician knows that while he or she is speaking of honesty, his or her followers are reading his or her previous agenda in the World Wide Web. Tales of sin and repentance have been played so many times before the public eye that people no longer believe in perfection. “Yeah”, people say. “He may be a perfect politician, a Nobel Prize with a wonderful humanitarian track, but he has received bribes under the cover of “gifts” from several multinationals”.
People are fed up of correctness.
The world was dazzled when Clint Eastwood announced his support for Mr. Trump. Then they realized Mr. Trump’s character is not very distant from Dirty Harry’s. A nasty fellow, indeed, who, nonetheless, is eager to fight society’s scum. A hero who defends justice, regardless of law and manners. Our main tragedy is that we live, indeed, in an era where you can hardly speak against injustice–films and theatre being the happy illusory exception. Penalties are high for the real-life hero who raises his voice against powerful and corrupt leaders; moreover they suffer if later on they are unable to prove their accusations before a jury. Every man or woman has prejudices, philosophers tell us. Hence, if you are not a philosopher or a person who were rightly educated by them, you may get prosecuted for your words. Such political correctness excludes the uneducated. Instead of excluding, the world should accept a diversity of characters and discourses, just as medieval Europe did with Arcipreste de la Hita, Chaucer, Bocaccio and Rabelais.
The world is weary of “philosophers”.
For decades the role of the philosopher has been usurped by politicians and bureaucrats. The story line of “Being There” is perfectly possible because there are no parameters of acknowledgement that can be applied to the roles Peter Sellers personifies along the book. Day after day we hear of impostors usurping the seat of knowledge, very much to de advantage of bureaucrats. In an era of hypocrisy, philosophers, genuine artists and academics have been vanished from the spotlight. Knowledge has been replaced by celebrity. At the peak of his career Einstein confessed that people were asking him such existential questions, that he had to start reading philosophers such as Kant in order to answer them. The world has also taken notice of the disregard of politicians towards arts and social sciences. Tragically, as in the darkest volumes of Issac Asimov’s “Foundation”, people have become weary of wisdom. The fame of the latest singer erases the ascendancy of centuries of philosophical inquiry.
The world is eager for warriors
There is a growing uneasiness in the world against taxes. We are ready to pay for the administration and management of our country, yes, but, ¿should be pay for the luxury demanded by diplomacy? The general outcry is the same that moved Spartans to demand from their King an existence as frugal as Pepe Mujica’s. As in any mainstream film, we live in a universe of diverse characters: The Hero, The Villain, The Girl, The Hypocrite, the Helper, The Fool and so on.
After the French Revolution diplomacy has tailored education, to the point that we prepare our youth for hypocrisy. After the honorable battles of “The Iliad,“ ancient Greeks became fond of Ulysses for his ability to make a living out of slyness. Today people have endured to many an Ulysses. They have identified the liars and their victims are about to demand a toll. As in the Scandinavian sagas, they also yearn for heroes able to unsheathe their swords when danger approaches. The world reproves the moral decadence of consummated hypocrites, and prompted by remorse they express their amour fou for a citizen that challenges the Status quo—just as François Villon or Napoleon did years before.