Some people are full of fear. They fear anything or anyone who thinks or looks differently. They fear uncertainty and change. They fear progress, since progress often coincides with uncertainty and change. They fear science and education, since those are the foundations of change and progress.
Some fear dilution of their power and privileges as others rise to join prosperity, so they try to limit the chance that anyone else might have that opportunity.
That is why I think Trump fits the bill for them. He feeds on their fear by presenting falsehoods that fit into their narrative. He lies about statistics and ignores facts and evidence to make a case for how terrible the world and our nation are. He attacks "the other" - anyone and anything that the particular group he is addressing fears the most. He incites people in his crowds to assault and beat up anyone who disagrees with him.
Many of us are concerned about the conspiracy of fear that has arisen in the USA. Violent crime is nearly the lowest it has been in over a century. Cop killings are at a much lower average over the past 8 years than any similar period. Our economy is prospering, our taxes are at historic lows, our nation is nowhere near the highest taxed nation, jobs are being created. Yet Trump makes people believe his myths that counter all of these known facts, and on which he then uses to base the fear he is selling.
Could we do better, certainly. But the message Trump gives is not one of doing better, it is "going back". Back to what? He never says.
This fear breeds hate. Those people who believe his hyped up propaganda and allow themselves to wallow in fear attack us, those who use facts instead of myth to make decisions. They don't use facts, just name calling. They use conspiracy theories, like the lies that we constantly hear about Benghazi. They develop lynch mobs who want to execute Hillary Clinton after the charges against her about Benghazi were found to be unsubstantiated by several Republican-led committees. But these facts don't matter, lynch her anyway. Execute her for doing the same thing the two Republican Secretaries of State before her did with e-mails. The chants of "guilty" rang through the halls of the convention, when she hasn't even been charged, because she hasn't even been alleged to have broken any laws except in the myths created by her political enemies. Yet some want to ignore any semblance of due process or Constitutional values. Is that what Trump means by being great again? Going back to lynch mobs and ignoring due process?
We need to be willing to take action to remove the sources that are creating this fear in our nation instead of wallowing in it. We need to continue to debunk the myths and propaganda and lies that Trump is selling with cold hard facts. We need to present the message that this country is great. It does not need to be "saved" by a person proclaiming he is the only one in the universe who can do so.
The Founders of our nation set up a system that does not need any one person to take over the government to "save" it. It does not need the purges of civil servants that Trump has said he would instigate. Purges of civil servants based on political affiliation is something done in totalitarian societies, not in the USA.
We also need to remove the sources of fear that some of our citizens feel. For example, the fear some blacks feel for police. We need to continue to debunk any myths and unfounded fears they may have with facts and examples of community policing that protects their communities. And the examples are many. But the facts also show that some of their fear is based on realty. Stoking the fears of either side just makes more divisions. Telling more lies and creating more myths, like calling Black Lives Matters a terrorist organization does no one any service except those who want to wallow in more fear.
The response should be to take similar action to that found successful by those who have tackled this issue and found remedies, like Dallas. Use their process for confronting and eliminating the corruption found previously in their police organization. Remove the few bad, racist and bullying cops, take away the "war" mentality where the cops see certain neighborhoods and groups as enemies, train cops on de-escalation and alternative responses rather than first using deadly force.
And we need to remove the root cause of petty and economic crime, which is almost always related to entrenched poverty and lack of ability to gain education, skills and other tools necessary to succeed.
We have the tools to fight this campaign of fear. Do we have the will, or do we really want to wallow in it and create more division and hatred to the point where we need a strong man government to "save" us from ourselves by taking from us the promises made by our Founders?
As one President stated so wisely "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" - FDR.