Here are some thoughts I had about the situation after the 2016 Presidential election (I don’t know what to make of some of these thoughts though). Keep in mind that these are looked at from a sociological point of view, not a political one. Here are those thoughts::
THE PROBLEM OF THE RESPONSE TO INSULTS
It doesn’t take a genius to see that a lot of the problems that surround the 2016 Presidential election and since all revolve around insults. These are primarily insults that were initiated by Trump but, to a lesser extent, Clinton as well. The whole election became a game of insulting each other, really. Looking at it from a distance it was actually somewhat comical. I always remarked that it would make a good comedy. But the comedy shouldn’t revolve around the candidates. In my opinion, they should take a “back seat” role. The real comedy was with the media and the people. They were the ones who made the real insults, and are still doing it. In fact, it was they who made it utterly hilarious (I’ve written aspects of it in this article: “Thoughts on a media-induced mass hysteria . . . the “Trump panic”“). I have been wanting to write a story reflecting this (a fictional story, not true history) but I can’t think of a plot that would portray the ridiculousness of the media and the people in a way that would be easy to read.
At any rate, it seems to me that, since this election, this country has become bogged down in the endless nonsense of insults. I should point out that it isn’t the insults that is nonsense but the response to the insults. I speak of this as the “insult issue”.
How people are responding was, at first, over reactive and hilarious but now its become ridiculous, and even seems worse after a year. In fact, after hearing of a number of responses the other day it prompted me to want to say something to these people. It goes something to this effect:
“I think that it has reached the point where you need to find a way to deal with these insults. I understand that you were offended by some of the things Trump has said but it has now reached the point that you need to find a way to deal with it. You need to do whatever it takes . . . go in the back room and cry, have a ‘group hug’, tattoo the American Constitution on your chest . . . you need to do whatever it takes to get over this. It isn’t Trump that is the problem . . . its you! Your response to the insults have gotten so bad that it is now impairing the functioning of this government. Its also creating unnecessary tension, hatred, and turmoil. You need to find a way to get over this. This country needs to get moving . . . your response is hindering that.”
In other words, I put the blame not on the insults but the response to the insults. The response is bogging this country down, or so it seems to me. In fact, the response to the insults have become, in my opinion, the “real insult” and I think it insults us all . . . the responses are worse than the original insults!
As I mentioned in the article referenced above, how you respond to a situation is more important than what happened. In other words, if someone, say, does an injury to you then how you respond to it is more important than what they did to you. An injury done to you does not give you the right to “get out of control”. This is because your response reflects you and how you think. But, in some cases, the response is far worse than the original injury done to them. When this happens it says that the person injured is worse than the person who did the original injury, so your response says a lot. Personally, that is what I think we’re looking at . . . the people “injured” are worse than the person who did the original injury!
** I should point out, and emphasize, that a lot of my stance in this election is based on the fact that I hold the media and people accountable for their actions and how they have behaved. I do not give them “free reign” to do and say what they want. It doesn’t matter how how much they have been insulted, injured, or offended, they are still accountable for their behavior. And, in my opinion, the behavior of the media and people have been appalling, far far worse than anything Trump has done. I’ve seen villainizing to no end, fabrication of stories, blowing things out of proportion, distortion of facts, etc. on an scale I have never seen before. And, even more appalling, is that the media and people think they are not accountable for it! **
In addition to “getting out of control” this ridiculous response has become an impairment . . . the government is practically crippled by it. Trump can’t do anything. Every time he tries to do something its hampered. If he moves the wrong way it becomes endless bickering and complaining about it. Its like people are doing everything in their power to prevent him from doing anything or in trying to debase him in some way. And this has been going on and on and on to the point of nausea.
So this is the great America, huh?
I tend to believe that this country needs to get moving. It needs to get out of the pit the media and the people have put us in and we need to do everything we can to get out of that pit. The way it looks now is that we’re going to be in it for another three years until Trump gets out of office . . . only then will the media and people stop moaning.
That’s how it appears to me anyways.
A number of groups are reflecting this ridiculous response:
- Some females
- Some minorities
- Media and news
- Many gullible people
- Much of the media
These people are keeping the ridiculous responses going on and on and on. Many of us are wondering when its going to end. Its like a shooting match of insults, primarily originating from the people described above. They all blame Trump but, if one looks closely, one can see that Trump is doing, and has actually done, very little. For every sentence Trump has said, which someone viewed as “insulting”, there has been a ton of ink spilled in ridiculous insults back! In actuality, Trump is a minor player here. From where I stand I’d say he isn’t even involved with this anymore. The ridiculous response to the insults have developed a life of their own, independent of him. This is now a matter of the media and the people and its there one should look. Its also there that one should find blame.
I find it interesting that all this has nothing to do with political theory, policies, issues, and such, which normally happens in government. It all revolves how some peoples feelings were “hurt”. Think of it . . . a government impaired because some peoples feelings were “hurt”. I can’t believe it. I’ve never heard of anything like that in history.
THE PROBLEM OF MASS HYSTERIA
This, to me, does not look like the “normal” drama, hype, and nonsense that one often sees in politics. This seems like something else. I tend to believe that it is. As I stated in the article referenced above, I consider it a “media-induced mass hysteria”.
The media has played a large role in this problem. I would even venture to say that the media is largely responsible for the hysteria. It did it a number of ways:
- The nature of media is that it has a large exposure allowing many people to see what it produces
- It tends to emphasize hype, and other things (whether its relevant or not), all in order to get the peoples attention
- It has played a major role by being a large contributor to the insults . . . in other words, instead of reporting the news they lashed out insults and treated the insults as news
Because of these, the “media-induced mass hysteria” took this out of the realm of politics into the realm of mass hysteria, fear, and apprehension of people, which is exactly what it has become. In actuality, this isn’t about politics. I would even go on to say that politics isn’t even involved anymore, though it can get “dragged” into it from time to time.
THE PROBLEM OF FEAR AND ALREADY EXISTING PROBLEMS
As with most mass hysteria’s this appears to be motivated by a fear, a blind fear. That is to say, a fear that has no real justification (I discussed this in the article referenced above). Much of this blind fear seems to, at least to me, originate not from the insults or the election, as is claimed, but the problems of the times. This more or less means that it has nothing to do with the President, Trump, and the election which is what everyone seems to say. These, it seems to me, are nothing but an “avenue” or “outlet” for these deep hidden fears. Its allowed them to come out, so to speak. That’s what it looks like to me.
Much of this fear are residues from the past, such as:
- The cold war and the idea of world annihilation
- The new horrifying weapons of war
- The Vietnam War protests and all the drama they created
- All the drama as a result of WWII (Nazi’s, Holocaust, weapons of war, etc.)
- The worry over the world (environment, war, overpopulation, etc.)
- The ‘male panic’ or, more properly, the ‘white male panic’ – there is a fear of the white male because he is associated with war, weapons, industrialization, the Holocaust, etc. that has caused a lot of problems recently . . . and Trump’s a white male! (see my article, “Thoughts on the “male panic”“)
The fear also reflects various problems with American society that remain unresolved such as:
- Problems between people (black and white, etc.)
- Questions of America’s “power”, meaning, and purpose in the world
The fear also reflects worry over the future and where the world is headed. There is basically a great worry over the future and what it will bring. Since Americans tend to think that the U.S. is the “head of the world” this worry is reflected in the image of the President, so any “problem” associated with the President(such as the problem of these insults) hits a special cord.
The fear also reflects problems, inadequacies, or qualities of the American character, such as:
- The fact that the American character is somewhat “weak” and can’t handle conflict as much as they think
- The fact that the American character believes everything the media tells them
- The fact that the American character is actually somewhat “lost in life”, has no real authority to look up to, and doesn’t know what to believe
- The fact that the American character tends to be superficial and look at things superficially
- The fact that the American character tends to reflect a mass mentality
- The fact that the American character tends to be over reactive and easily blows things out of proportion
- The fact that the American character is naive and simplistic in nature
The fear also reflects attitudes that originate from democracy, such as:
- A tendency to paranoia (remember that the American political theory is based in a fear of the government, that the people must “protect themselves” from the government)
- A tendency to be self-righteous, thinking they are always right
- A tendency to think that they are always fighting for their freedom, even when there’s no threat
I also tend to believe that this fear reflects another thing that no one will talk about, a “taboo” subject . . . do I dare mention it? I speak of the failed female identity and the insecure American female it has created (see my article “Thoughts on the ‘failed sex’ – how many female traits have failed – a hidden crisis of the American female“). Many American females are struggling with a failed identity and the problems its created. This issue was brought out with great force because a female was running for President. Many females seemed to think this was going to “solve their problem” (which it won’t . . . how could it?). In fact, I tend to believe that the female was a contributing factor to why this thing got out of control and went hysterical. I also tend to think the female contributed a lot to why we got “bogged down” in insults. In addition, it is primarily they whose feelings were “hurt” and are struggling with it. Much of this tendency is a result of the failed female identity and one of its effects, what I call the “female-as-victim”, which is a preoccupation, even to the point of obsession, of seeing the female as a victim, usually of the male (see my article “More thoughts on the “female-as-victim” – revealing aspects of the mother instinct). The “female-as-victim” has played a great role in this election and its response. In fact, its gotten so bad that I tend to say that some American females are “overplaying the victim role to the point of nausea”. Many females are so preoccupied with seeing the female as a victim that I wonder what new form of victimizing they will find or create during the rest of Trump’s presidency . . . they’ll find something! With the female-as-victim mentality they’ll see victimizing coming out of the woodwork and its generally the male who is responsible. Remember, according to this point of view the female is typically the victim of the male. There are even some females who think that there is a “male conspiracy” where males are plotting against females to oppress, enslave, or degrade them, believe it or not! Its almost unreal.
What we see, then, is that there is a multitude of fears flying about out there all of which contributed to this problem. Different people tended to reflect different fears. Regardless of the particular fear that was instigated, the insults prompted a blind fear which prompted a mass hysteria which prompted a defense, a counter-insult. Some ways this counter-insult appeared include:
- Attacks on already existing situations (such as the “Trump/Russian connection” . . . so are they implying that Trump is siding with the Russians?)
- Fabrications of stories and situations that don’t exist
- Attack on a persons character (such as questioning Trump’s mental health)
- Nitpicking things to death (such as if Trump mispronounces a word it shows he’s “mentally unstable”)
- Distorting things so they appear worse than they are
- Endless and pointless criticizing
- Seeing wrong in everything
- Not seeing the good and right in things
- Making something that appears “bad” worse than it is
- Accusations of abuse and victimizing
- Going “on and on” about something
Basically, the fear has prompted a counter-insult that is really more of an “attack” but in a roundabout way that makes it appear as if it isn’t an “attack”. When you sit and look at it all it all sounds convincing. The media, in particular, has done a great job doing this (I almost believed what they said a number of times). But when you stand back and take a look it appears different. From where I stand one can see that these are nothing but blunt and blind “attacks” motivated out of fear . . . people are frightened and this counter-insult is their “defense”. The problem is that they are attacking the wrong thing. First of all, they’re attacking a person and what they are frightened of is not a person but a condition, the condition of the times. The bulk of these fears predate Trump and will persist after Trump leaves office. They will then appear in other ways . . . maybe they’ll find someone else to blame? Maybe someone will say the wrong thing and start another mass hysteria . . . who knows?
Take a look at this: https://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/celebrity/ivanka-trump-slammed-for-tweet-about-oprah%E2%80%99s-golden-globes-speech/ar-BBI8ISj?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout . Here, Ivanka Trump actually compliments a speech by Oprah Winfrey . . . but looks at the response. She was criticized for it! Not only that, they accused Trump as a “predator” and such. But, we must remember, that nothing has been proven (at least, as far as I know) . . . they are only “allegations”. We see here a number of things:
- Making something out that was good into something bad
- Jumping to conclusions without justification
- A tendency to condemn too easily
- A willingness to condemn anything associated with the “threat” (it doesn’t take a genius to see that she was criticized because she is Trump’s daughter . . . this is actually an attack on Trump and how they were insulted by him) . . . this often causes a tendency to over-generalize (for example, that because a couple of guys do sexual harassment all males do)
These are some of the qualities we see in the counter-insult. Anyone can see that these are very “underhanded” and impulsive techniques of desperation. Its a reaction to a fear. But you tell me: who is worse, President or Ivanka Trump or the people who make statements such as these? The question becomes: who should you be criticizing?!!!
Interestingly, after all the commotion, hype, hysteria, nonsense, accusations, panic, and such none of the actual fears are being “resolved”. One things for sure: a “shooting match” of insults isn’t going to do anything. It seems, to me, that its only aggravating it and making it worse.
THE QUESTION OF CONTEMPT FOR “POLITICALLY CORRECT” SOCIETY
Here’s another side to things: I know that, for many males in particular, Trump’s blunt and open and condemning manner was inspiring (it was for me). A common statement I heard went to this effect: “he says it as it is”. Basically, the point being that if someone finds it insulting, then so be it, as long as its true. But we live in a society where too many people are so oversensitive and over reactive that its ridiculous and we now have to change our lives to deal with them. One of the ridiculous ideas they have created to deal with this is called “political correctness”. As a result, I often call this the “politically correct” society. This has created something like a sense of disgust and contempt in this society for many people. In fact, I think there is a “quiet rebellion” against it. I sometimes think, though, that one day this “quiet rebellion” will become a “loud rebellion”.
The fact is that for many of us males (and some females) we have become sickened by current American “politically correct” society because of things like these:
- Having to live in a phony, “proper”, and “politically correct” society.
- Where we must watch everything we say and do, where must walk on tip-toes, and handle people with kit gloves.
- Where we have to be continually be “on guard” against offending, insulting, or “hurting” someones feelings.
- Where we have to cater to uptight and insecure people.
- Where we have to make concessions for other people but no one makes concessions for us.
- Where we are accused and blamed for other peoples problems and issues.
- Where we have the American Constitution slammed in our face as “justification” for having to live this way.
This condition is something like a lie, a falsity, a big ridiculous illusion. Its like trying to force a false “harmony” between people that doesn’t exist. I’ve talked to many males and many of them mention this, in some way or another. I think there’s a lot of people who feel this way, but no one talks about it.
I should point out that much of the mentality doing the ridiculous responses, and blowing things out of proportion, originate from “politically correct” society and reflect its point of view. As a result, it reflects the ridiculousness of “politically correct” society, showing its uptightness and insecurity. This gives all this behavior a different quality. It makes the ridiculous responses, and blowing things out of proportion, an “avenue of contempt” for “politically correct” society. This, it seems to me, has create something like an underground “counter-movement” going on where many people (mostly males) look at all this commotion and laugh at it all as a sign of how ridiculous this “politically correct” society has become. Its hilarious: all Trump has to do is say something and people run around like chickens with their heads cut off . . . the media makes outrageous claims and the people go into a hysterical frenzy! You can’t help but chuckle at it all. I think that there is a great sense of contempt hidden here in the tendency to want to chuckle at it.
An interesting point to remember is that “politically correct” society is a society of people who are already insulted . . . that’s why everyone else has to be “politically correct”, so that this feeling of being insulted isn’t aggravated. This “already insulted” attitude is why they become offended by everything and why they get so uptight about things. Behind this “already insulted” attitude is a mentality of dislike of people, apprehension, and fear. But what they do is hide these feelings behind high political cause which makes it sound “legitimate”. This pattern of thought is not surprising as much of the attitude of “politically correct” society originates from the fear, apprehension, and ‘high political cause’ coming from the cold war (see my article “Thoughts on the ridiculousness of political correctness – another example of cold war paranoia“). I’ve been around these “politically correct” people and their “already insulted” attitude is something I’ve always felt uncomfortable with. I always felt like they are waiting for me to do something so they can be offended or insulted. In other words, I have always had a sense that they are looking to be offended or insulted. This is why all this commotion about Trump did not surprise me. I’ve already seen this coming! I first began to see this “already insulted” attitude in the late 1990’s and its grown and grown since. Interestingly, I once remarked, 5 or 10 years ago, that “one day someone is going to rub these uptight politically correct people the wrong way and they are going to freak out”. Apparently, that person is Trump.
One of the reasons why this contempt is “underground”, and seldom mentioned overtly (though its continually referred to in roundabout ways), is because “politically correct” society uses the American Constitution as authority. This creates a number of conditions:
- It gives “politically correct” society a “legitimacy”, whether its true or not. This makes it hard to refute.
- It makes it difficult for those who despise it to condemn it in a “legitimate” way. It even makes it hard to point out its failings and problems.
The net effect of these is that “politically correct” society use of the American Constitution as if “stifles” the display of contempt as well as any condemnation of this society and its mentality. I’ve often said that once the hurdle of the authority of the American Constitution is overcome there will probably be a great condemnation of “politically correct” society and mentality. At this time, no one knows how to “override” the authority of the American Constitution that “politically correct” society uses. As a result, contempt for “political correct” society is “underground” and somewhat silent.
Interpreting the American Constitution . . .
One of the ways I’ve begun to “override” the authority of the American Constitution is to point out that “politically correct” society is using a “cold war interpretation of the American Constitution”. (see my articles, “Thoughts on the cold war interpretation of the U.S. Constitution: distortion “in the name of the Constitution”“, “More thoughts on the cold war interpretation of the U.S. Constitution – the ‘frigid war’, ‘the re-enactment of the American Revolutionary War’, and the ‘historical shadow’“, and “Thoughts on my statement: “The cold war is over. We don’t have to see malicious intent in peoples actions anymore . . . ” – the cold war warpage of American ideals, law, and political views and other things“). “Politically correct” society is using an interpretation that primarily reflects the 1970’s and the themes of that era. In this way, “politically correct” society is using an outdated and outmoded point of view based on non-existent conditions. Therefore, I have stated that I do not acknowledge the cold war era interpretation and its themes nor do I accept its authority. This fact states that there are, in fact, different ways to interpret the American Constitution and that there is no “one way”. Just as the Bible has different ways to interpret it, so has the American Constitution.
Much of the “cold war interpretation of the American Constitution” are reflected in attitudes and assumptions more so than any overt definable “philosophy”. As a result, they tend to be “permeate” points of view and how things are interpreted. Examples of these includes things such as:
- An attitude of fear.
- An assumption that everyone hates everyone else.
- An idea that we must be “forced, by law, to love another”.
- Of using or, rather, misusing, the American Constitution as a way to “muscle” your way so you get what you want.
- An attitude of self-righteous cause, that you’re interpretation is right and that you represent the “people”.
- The “favoring” of specific people for special treatment and privilege (almost always its not the people “in authority” . . . so, in this point of view, you don’t want to be in a position of authority).
Much of these attitudes reflect the cold war era, the Vietnam War protests, and the Civil Rights Movement, which all have disappeared. In addition, they are rooted in Christian attitudes, a belief system that is not all that prevalent. The general result of this outdated style of interpretation, with its attitudes and assumptions, is that it causes things like:
- A distrust
- An apprehension
- False accusations
- False claims of abuse
- A bias and favoritism
- A horrible self-righteousness
These have all become prevalent in this society and in law. I truly believe that we need to move out of these attitudes and points of view.
THE QUESTION OF INSULT
What does all this show?
The question of “being insulted” is a matter of opinion and the question of what constitutes an “insult” is a matter of opinion. An insult to one person is a statement of truth to another.
Which, then, is right?
It brings up some questions:
- What constitutes an insult?
- What is the proper response to an insult?
To me, an insult is when someone “cuts you down” or “undermines your dignity”. This can be done a number of ways:
- Deliberately and intentionally
- A “perceived insult” . . . they see it as an insult but it wasn’t intended to be an insult
According to my observation most things that are considered insults, in the U.S., are “perceived insults”. In other words, the person “thinks” its an insult but it was not intentional (not very often do I see people deliberately insulting or putting down other people). To put it another way, people “find insults” in things. I tend to feel that this is the situation.
The problem of Trumps character . . . a cause for a “clash”
I am not of the impression that Trump deliberately insulted people but that he is one of those character types that tends to appear “rude-like” or “inappropriate” and says things rather harshly. A good example of this type of character is George Patton who sometimes had to be warned about what he said before a speech (as he’d swear and say rude things). He often got in trouble for what he said as well as his behavior (such as the famous “soldier slapping” incidence). With this type of character type its easy to interpret it as being a deliberate insult when it really wasn’t . . . its just their “harsh” manner, so to speak. I’ve been around character types like this. They would often do things such as:
- Say things that were rude
- Act in a rude way
- They “rub people the wrong way”
- Call people names
- To “cuss and swear”, often excessively
- They often have a big ego
- Be excessively critical
- Be demanding
- Be controlling
I tended to associate this character type with my grandparents generation or earlier. As a child, they scared me. As I grew older I grew to respect them. I began to see that a lot of their behavior was really “to do what it takes to get things done”. Unfortunately, because of this I tended to not want to do have to work with them, as they’d almost be like slave drivers and expected a lot out of you.
I also associate this character type as a very “American” character type created by the conditions of a “growing America” where a person had to “do what it takes to get things done”. A number of conditions, in America, seemed to create this character type:
- In big business, particularly in the northeast but also on the west coast
- As a result of pioneer life
- As a result of the work, stress, and effort required for western expansion
- The Depression
These conditions tend to create a male who is often “vulgar”, tends to “cuss and swear”, to call people names, and such, as described above. This is actually quite common. There’s a reason for it . . . they don’t do it to just to be malicious. My observation is that these things are often done as an “outlet” for things such as:
- Pressure and stress
- Having to exert themselves a lot
- Where they are in a position where they might get hurt or even killed
- When they are facing some form of an unknown
- Where they have great pressure on their shoulders
- Where they are in a position where they feel helpless
A persons occupation often promotes these conditions. This is why people like soldiers, lumberjacks, mechanics, etc. often cuss, swear, call people names, be vulgar, and such. Because of Trump’s behavior I’m inclined to think that he is suffering from similar conditions and is, accordingly, doing this common male response. Whats different about Trump is that he says it openly. Most guys only say these things with their “buddies” or privately with themselves. But there are certain personality types that are very vocal. They tend to be flamboyant extrovert type people.
Several things, it seems to me, tend to help create this unique character type and why it is “uniquely American”. These include:
- Democracy. With a society based on democratic ideas it means that authority tends to be limited and the social structure is weak. As a result, it takes more “effort” to get things done placing more pressure, and stress, upon the person. It also creates more “tension” between the people in charge and the workers.
- Individualism. The American ideal of individualism tends to make many of these guys have a large ego and think a lot of themselves. It also tends to make them look down on other people.
- Christianity. Being a Christian-based society its not uncommon that expressions of frustration would appear as a “rebelling against Christian ideals” as that’s almost like “rebelling against god”. As a result, it often creates a tendency to do more cussing, swearing, vulgarity, and so on in order to express this frustration. It can also lead to immoral behavior as well.
What all this shows is that not only the conditions of a growing America created this character type but also the ideals and beliefs of America. In this way, this “harsh” character type is truly an “American character” created by America.
In this way it becomes clear that these “harsh” character types, like Patton and Trump, are part of the people who built this country and made it what it is, believe it or not! But this character type has been largely ignored. Being too “harsh” their unique personalities are quickly “brushed under the carpet” . . . people would rather remember the glamorous hero types with perfect manners, perfect values, perfect behavior, and without a personality flaw. I have always felt that we need to acknowledge these people and, more importantly, these unique character types for what they have done for this country and to acknowledge that it was the traits of this character type that got things done. The way it looks that’s not going to ever happen, particularly in “politically correct” America. God help us all, we don’t want to offend anyone!
I tend to think that Trump is one of those people who displays this “harsh” character type. If this is the case then it would mean that this situation has caused is something like a “clash” between Trumps “harsh” character type and a number of other things such as:
- “Easily insulted” people (see below)
- “Politically correct” society
- A lack of general understanding of this character type
The result of this “clash” is what has become the problem of this presidency!
In addition, what it also shows is that the “harsh” character type is not very “public friendly”. In many ways, the “harsh” character type is not someone who should be in the public view . . . its just too hard and difficult for the public to take. It seems, to me, that this is what we are dealing with. In other words, the problem is not really Trump but a clash of his character type with the public. This means that all this villainizing, moaning, and groaning of the media and people are an expression, really, of how the public has a hard time with this character type. What I find ironic is that this “clash” is with a character type that is uniquely “American” and which America created, as I explained above.
But the reaction to the “harsh” character type, it seems to me, has revealed some other interesting aspects . . .
The problem of “easily insulted” people
It appears, to me, that people who tend to feel “perceived insults” tend to be insecure and uptight people. Oddly enough, Americans tend to be insecure and uptight people (for example, see my article, “Thoughts on the ‘uptight American’ – the price of individualism“). Is it any wonder that people are insulted by “this and that” in this country? Over the years I have talked to a number of people who have referred to this. Basically, many of us are “stunned” by how easily people are insulted in this country. There are people who get insulted by a look or a wrong word. I actually believe that there are people who “look for insults” and seek to be insulted.
The issue of insecure and uptight people (“easily insulted” people) shows something interesting: that there is a close association between feeling insulted and a “mental stability”. Basically, the more stable you are as a person the less likely you will feel insulted. That sounds sort of funny but that’s what my observation has shown. If this is true then it would mean that the American way of life tends to create a person that is not “stable as a person”. Sadly, this is what my observation has shown.
It seems, to me, that the proper response to an insult varies with the situation. My experience is that the best thing to do is to walk away and not make a big deal about it. Look at it this way: why should I care what they think? Whats it to me? The only time to be concerned is if it has some bearing on me where the insult may have some ramifications later on (such as some situations at work). Otherwise, insults are “just words”. From my experience, there are “insults around every corner”. There’s always something that is insulting, or can be construed as insulting, no matter where you go. This is particularly true in this “mass society” with all the varied people and such. In all the times I’ve been insulted, or felt insulted, its never come to anything . . . it “comes and goes like the wind”. Its generally best to treat it like the wind, in my experience anyways.
An insecure and uptight person, though, can’t do this and they tend to take insults too seriously. As a result, they tend to blow things out of proportion. What actually ends up happening is that, with an insecure and uptight person, insults become an “avenue” for personal dilemma’s. In this way, their reaction to an insult is more a reaction to these dilemma’s than to the insult itself. Its because of this that, oftentimes, the insult tends to be “transformed” into their personal dilemma. For example, issues start to all-of-a-sudden appear that have nothing to do with the insult. Its because of this that you can tell a lot about a person, and their personal dilemma, by how they react to insults. Looking at things from this angle its clear that the reaction to Trumps supposed “insults” reveals a lot about the mentality of much of the U.S. In fact, its because of this that I learned a lot about the current American mentality for some of the population of the U.S. Some of the things it taught me include:
- That Americans are a frightened people.
- That the U.S. is struggling with who it is, where its going, and its place in the world.
- That many Americans need someone or something to look up to but can’t find anything.
- That many Americans “blindly follow” things such as media, public opinion, etc.
- That many Americans “hide” behind political theory and use it as a defense.
- That many Americans “hide” behind a self-righteousness.
- That there is no sense of unity in America.
- That American females have serious “issues” and are looking in the wrong area for solutions (for example, “playing the victim”, having a job, or being a man isn’t going to save them).
- That American society has become rather ridiculous.
- That there are many Americans who are tired of this “politically correct” society and having to cater to insecure and uptight people.
In short, many Americans feel “empty”, so to speak. They have nothing to believe in, to hope for, or look up to, nor do they know where they are going. They have no god, no religion, no way of life, no social structure, no morality. I tend to believe that a big cause for this is the shallow and superficial lifestyle that is rooted in money, materialism, and hedonism (the seeking of pleasure). In other words, many Americans are suffering from the effects of an inadequate and shallow lifestyle. Whats interesting is that they think this inadequate and shallow lifestyle is great. This is the irony of America: the U.S. has all this money and material items and things that cause pleasure, which appears so good and idealistic, but it doesn’t satisfy the “inner need” at all. Instead, this inadequate and shallow lifestyle causes an “inner emptiness”.
I also see a lot of this as a sign of being in the post cold war world. In other words, since the end of the cold war the U.S. has lost the meaning, purpose, and unity that was prevalent during the cold war and which made the U.S. so “great”. In many ways it shows how much the U.S. was impacted by the cold war. During the cold war we were “great” . . . after the cold war we’re “unraveling”. There’s no longer a war to rally behind, a reason to glorify our political theory, a reason to think we’re great. Its as if the U.S. is lost, in a way. To complicate it further, the fears that developed as a result of the cold war (such as the threat of world destruction or government control) are still unresolved and still felt. During the cold war we had “fear and a cause” . . . now we have “fear and no cause”. This, I think, came out in this election. The cold war still hangs over us . . .
In my opinion, this election has brought out the insecure and uptight American who, being unable to handle what they consider an insult, have over-reacted and blown things out of proportion. In so doing, they have revealed much of their insecurity and uncertainty about themselves.
SOME LAST THOUGHTS ON THE “INSULT ISSUE”
Looking at the situation, overall, it appears that the “insult issue” has placed something like a “stress” on American society which has, it seems to me, brought out many “issues”, character traits, dilemma’s, and qualities of the American character. In this way, the “insult issue” has become a great revealing of the American character. Because it is a “stress”, based on a dilemma, it has revealed aspects of how the American character perceives and deals with stress. Some of these qualities include:
- An insecurity
- A self-righteousness
- A quick tendency to blowing things out of proportion and making things worse than they are
- A tendency to hysteria
- A tendency to be gullible
- A tendency to blame and accuse
To make it even more interesting, this whole this is a response to Trump’s character which is a very “American” character, reflecting conditions of the growth of America and so on (as described above). In this way, its almost like America is “struggling with itself”, from an overall holistic viewpoint. Its struggling with its own mentality, its own history, its own dilemma’s, and its own character. I tend to believe that what the “insult issue”, and this presidency, has brought out is a basic dilemma of America, of a country that has lost its unity, its vision, its belief, and its purpose.
This dilemma, it seems to me, has been a quality that has been largely “unconscious” in the American mind hidden behind images of “American greatness”, commercialism, cell phones, graphics, and all the other stuff that has appeared recently. Its like this stuff has almost covered this dilemma, keeping it from view. Despite this, it lay there, unseen, smoldering. Some of us noticed it, though, and it was referred to from time to time by various people including myself.
It also seems like these “unconscious” themes are dividing the U.S. and tearing it apart, at least on some levels of this society. In this way, the themes brought out in the “insult issue” have a somewhat destructive and undermining quality to it.
It seems, to me, that there is probably some truth in these thoughts.
Copyright by Mike Michelsen