I’M JUST GOING TO GO AHEAD AND CALL THIS CHILD ABUSE

I thought the video above was a fake at first. I thought that it was a satire made by green-screening the kids’ performance onto a backdrop of a Trump Rally. But it’s legitimate and just proves Trump can make our worst nightmares come true.

I can explain the headline by saying that today is Martin Luther King Day and I cannot think that this type of glitzy performance was the type of civic engagement for future generations that King had in mind when he urged a more equitable, caring and empowering society. The girls, an entertainment group named USA Freedom Kids, have been trotted out here by conniving, cynical adults. No-one should deny youngsters their wishes to dance, sing and move their bodies, but no adult should be filling children’s minds, lyrics and identity with partisan and jingoistic rah-rah. Shame on those adults.

Guy Debord is turning in his grave because even he, the infamous contrarian and vitriol-fueled leftie, has a heart. He’d see that the kids are victims here. He’d also identify this performance as the example par excellence of the Spectacle–human existence fully mediated by the image and diffuse within it. Ugh, such young lives crushed by the small-minded political fears of the parents’ generation. Identity squished into a For-Cable-TV skit. Self-esteem pulverized into the shape of a faux-patriotic act that exists for the entertainment of adults and at the expense of the children’s curiosity and development.

Johnson, Reagan and Eisenhower are turning in their graves because they are the presidents that did the most for education in the United States and they, from all sides of the political spectrum, would agree that children being primed for the stage of a racist, misogynist, xenophobic billionaire is child abuse at another order of magnitude. Shame on those adults.

I don’t think I’m getting old or jaded and I don’t think I have less optimism than I did than, say, when I was in my twenties. As best as I can evaluate, though, I think America is losing the plot more and more. Even after Bush Jr., Sarah Palin and the Tea-Partiers, the political intelligence of America continues to plummet. Along with it curiosity. And along with it, often, a sense of decency. Trump is a loathsome package. I take no pleasure from seeing the Republican establishment disrupted when the disruption comes from an arrogant, smarmy, full-of-hate loudmouth. Trump’s reckless disregard is no better summed up by this illustration and this politician’s reason.

Trump is disgusting. His rallies reflect that.

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