He cannot bring high paying manufacturing jobs back to the rust belt states that gave him his win: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. We are certain that his policy against Mexican and Muslim immigrants will be ruinous. We dread the changes his party will make to the Supreme Court and reverse progress in individual rights, including the right to health care and education. We think we are right and he is wrong. We think given enough time, the American public will come to its senses and through the rascal out, along with the others in his party who kowtowed to him in to further their own ambitions.
There have been other swindlers who sweet talked their way to power. We have three huge examples in my lifetime. In 1933, FDR was elected in the depths of the Great Depression, when the country was on the verge of revolution because of bank failures, 30%+ unemployment.
There were calls for a military coup, dictatorship, a communist uprising. So, FDR, the crippled son of privilege, who was considered a second rate intellect and superficial glad-hander by professors and columnists, made his first speech on the Capitol steps. What is remembered from the speech is the phrase, “We have nothing to fear . . . but fear itself.” Huh?
Now the rest of the nation would yield to him. Opponents pointed out that he was a failed artist, architect; a rabble rousing race baiting lunatic, who wasn’t even German. None of that meant anything to those who were willing and anxious to believe his promises, even though to a rational mind, they seemed far fetched.
By the summer of 1940, Hitler’s army had conquered Poland and France, and threatened to invade England. The smart money bet on victory within a few months. American public opinion bet that way, as did the American ambassador, Joseph Kennedy, and America’s hero flyer, Charles Lindbergh.
We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old
They can go further—creating images that make bad people seem good, and dumb ideas seem brilliant. People can be made to buy things that aren’t good for them. They can be led to enthusiastically support policies that are, in fact, contrary to their own best interests.
Celebrities have always existed in every culture: royalty, religious prophets, warriors, athletes, beautiful women, talented artists of all kinds. With the invention of pervasive media, promoters have been able to create the illusion of celebrity that makes it really happen. Barnum did it with his attractions; Ziegfeld did it with his discoveries just as the century began. For instance, he posed the singer, Anna Held, in a bath filled with milk and called in the photographers, scandalizing society but intriguing the public, who had to pay to see her perform.
In the 21st Century, we have come further, first creating celebrities who are famous merely for being famous, and making millionaires out of them. With the worldwide scope of social media, international celebrities emerge overnight from obscurity to marketability for no greater talent than performing a stunt on a bicycle or getting hit in the face with a bag of feces.
Linclon supposedly said, “you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” To which another wit might add, But if you work it right, fooling some all the time and all some of the time can make you a hero, a star, wealthy, . . . and / or a president.