When Donald Trump launched his campaign, he made it clear that he was the Republican who would build the wall that would keep the Mexicans out of the US for good. The rhetoric he used should’ve been a sign that he wasn’t a serious candidate worth considering. He essentially called the Mexicans coming to the US “rapists” and added to that by saying, “some I’m sure are good people.”
Donald Trump’s rhetoric since he announced his run and to this day is pure pathos that appeals to his base’s prejudices about anyone who is different than them. I’ve stressed many times in the past the importance of Stoicism’s notion of cosmopolitanism, and it appears that Donald Trump is the anti-cosmopolitan President. The President of fear and hatred of the other, the xenophobic President, the anti-Stoic President.
For Republicans who only care about tax cuts and the 2nd Amendment. Well, you’ve gotten what you wanted. You got a Supreme Court Justice that will defend the 2nd Amendment, and you’ve got one of the largest tax cuts you’ve ever wanted from President Trump. I guess, I just have to ask, is there any reason to continue to support this man? Maybe there was a good reason to support him up to the tax cut and up to the Supreme Court pick but what are you left with now?
Not only has Trump appealed to racists and xenophobes, which is as anti-cosmopolitan as you can get, he’s made enemies with Europe and Canada by creating trade wars with them. Europe and Canada have liberal democracies built on the notion of tolerance of others. Liberal democracies that believe in the notions of justice and wisdom. While alienating our allies, he’s been making friends with enemies of justice and wisdom like Russia.
The United States was founded on the liberal concepts of justice, tolerance, cosmopolitanism, and freedom of thought. Trump is not trying to free people’s thinking. He’s just trying to shut down people’s thinking and appeal to our hate and fear.
Consider that as a Stoic. Would Zeno of Citium or even Diogenes of Sinope have ever said anything about other cultures as something to fear, hate, or condemn? Would Zeno of Citium have even believed in building a wall to keep certain people out? Logically, it makes no sense. Consider for example that Mexicans are very similar people to people in the United States. Mexicans are Christians, care about family values, believe in democracy, and love working just like most people in the United States. The only difference between a Mexican and the average American is that Mexicans are darker complected and speak Spanish. That’s about it. And Trump wants to drive a wedge over a small difference like language and melanin in people’s skin. It’s pretty ridiculous, and Zeno of Citium could see how much that bullshit stinks.
Stoics who consider themselves Republicans, you’re just as Stoic as anyone else. You believe in free markets and a right to bear arms and maybe you’re pro-life. But please stop supporting this man. He’s rhetoric is divisive, vicious, and most of all, anti-Stoic.
How did the Sophist get over his stage fright?
He imagined the crowd naked.
How did the Epicurean?
She imagined the crowd was just atoms and void. How can mere atoms and void be scary?
How did the Platonist?
He imagined that the crowd was just shadows on the wall of the cave. The crowd is just a less real version of the World of Forms.
How did the Stoic?
She just imagined the crowd as mean, judgmental, coarse in language, and throwing fruit at her while she imagined herself indifferent to this. After the brief visualization, the crowd before her seemed much more tame and manageable.
How did the Cyrenaic?
He just drank from his bottle of wine between lines he had to recite.
How did the Cynic?
She imagined herself naked and then proceeded to get naked. The crowd yelled, “you have no shame!” and began throwing fruit. She then responded by peeing on the stage floor. She took a quick bow and threw her menstrual rag into the crowd and exited stage right.