Donald Trump: The Reminiscent Politician

One of the several reasons why I believe Donald Trump is not fit for being President is that his urgent sense of nostalgia imposes a major threat towards American democracy. It is crucial to know that I am not trying to be partial towards the current political demographics in the United States. Instead, I strive to explain how dangerous nostalgia can be within the legislative setting as a whole. Coincidentally, many Republican politicians have adopted this mindset as a means of responding to the left’s progressive agenda.


There was a time when nostalgia was treated like a disease. Being first diagnosed in the 17th century by a Swiss doctor, he believed that the cure for this ongoing feeling of reminiscence was to take some opiums and have a mountain climbing trip to Europe. However, this emotion has now become political, and Trump is the chief exemplification of this. And the worst part is: we haven’t found a cure yet.

As author Gregory Rodriguez explains, “There is a specter haunting the Western world. It isn’t an ideology. It isn’t a well-defined social or political agenda. It is emotion.”

First of all, it is wise to analyze how the feeling of nostalgia is already ingrained in modern societies. For that to occur, one just needs to go outside. Nowadays, we have an increase in the production of expensive vintage clothes that resembles clothing from the past. Also, some films are made to provoke a keen sense of remembrance upon the audience, such as the Star Wars sequels. Also, games like Pokémon Go were created to remind people of their childhoods – which explains the amount of success the app had when it was first launched. Despite that, this sense of reminiscence is slowly creeping into the political world, which seems to never be good news, especially after one of the most controversial American elections to date.

One example of nostalgia being a political motivator is the UK’s measure to re-establish the Royal Yacht Britannia so that it can “rule the waves” and secure international trade deals post-Brexit, even though it was neglected and abolished by the British parliament in 1997. Another example is Marine Le Pen’s reminders implemented into her speeches of France’s “glorious history.” These are all indicative of the proliferation of this emotion and its manipulation of international politics.

“Many are longing for a past when the country was less diverse,” the Huffington Post explains. “Communities were more homogenous and self-contained and your immediate surroundings largely defined your experience of the world.” Consequently, many of these politicians are willing to sacrifice the idea of equality for the satisfaction of belonging to a time prior to the one we live now.

m1.jpg That being said, never before in the history of the United States has there been such a nostalgic president like the one of Donald Trump’s degree (taking into account the historical context in which he resides). Trump’s motto, “Make America Great Again,” emphasizes this sentimentality by urging the American populace to think of times when the economy prospered, and jobs flourished – almost like a utopic setting.

The current Republican administration many times base their argumentation on the premise that anyone who opposes their policies are reactionaries. Although it seems hypocritical for a Trump supporter to claim this – as social liberalization measures are usually inclined to a liberal viewpoint – it is wise to understand that the world we live in is, essentially, a reactionary one. While to the untrained eye the river of time seems to flow as it always has, the reactionary sees the debris of paradise drifting past his eyes. [1]

why hi.jpg

With that in mind, what Donald Trump offers to the American people is both a personality of “non-progressivism” and conservatism, which although by default is not necessarily a setback, it might just be during the remaining years of Trump-era political nostalgia.

Finally, what is there to do? Do we just forget about it and let people think about the past? A desire of the past within the world of politics can be disastrous, but how can we assure that it does not happen in the future? Should we re-educate our citizens? Should we all just stop watching Star Wars and remaking old memories? Would this wear off the “Make America Great Again” phrase to something along the lines of “Make America Even Greater?” In my opinion, no. Everyone feels like they want to go back to certain times in their lives.

I think that novelist Zadie Smith put it best when she wrote that “time travel is a discretionary art: a pleasure trip for some and a horror story for others.” And based on the current American political demographics, it seems like Donald Trump is the one experiencing the pleasurable path, while the bystanders go through the “horror” aspect of this inconclusive story.

Footnotes:

[1] Our Reactionary Age

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