Americanism Essay 2009

In an unimpeded and sweeping horizontality, “from California to New York island,” everywhere is replete with bright colors and fresh air, celebrating this land and singing the symphony of American voices. Clearly, he envisions a paradisiacal land where the most impossible dream can come true.Time and again, the status quo of the vertical power structure has been questioned, challenged, and destabilized by the horizontal America.Since the beginning of the nation’s history, the paradox of the horizontal and the vertical has programed Americanism with inherent duality, conflict, interplay, peaceful or not-so-peaceful confrontations and negotiations.It is argued that disfigurement of Americanism comes from a disruptive and destructive interplay of the vertical and the horizontal in Trump’s America.This land is your land, this land is my land From the California to the New York island From the Redwood Forest, to the gulf stream waters This land was made for you and me As I went walking that ribbon of highway I saw above me that endless skyway And saw below me that golden valley This land was made for you and me … When the American “Troubadour” Woody Guthrie composed the lyrics of “This Land Is Your Land” in 1940, he had just completed one of his major migrations, the trans-continental journey from California to New York, in search of job and shelter.Trump has now personified Trumpism undisguised with cheers of the alt-right, the white nationalist, and the KKK as well as with false hopes of those less-than-equipped with a 21st century mindset.All this, coupled with his showman’s stage performance, enables Trump to create a tribalism to divide the country and build a wall to verticalize America.A signature of acting-on-your-behalf is scintillated in a magnified Trump: Trump appeals to his voters and supporters with a remarkable ego performance, as he sees American society and the world as the stage of his “Reality Show.” He projects himself as an invincible winner and an untouchable tycoon in the business of real estate, a strong macho man of bravado talking tough, the protector, and the savior of a nation from the incursion and infiltration of immigrants and Muslims (Yang, 2017, p.4).Trump magnifies his individual persona into a larger-than-life and collective representation of an exclusive and vertical culture as well as of a divisive and turbulent era. This article asserts that Trumpism has its ideological root in nativism, a cultural tradition perpetuated by John Higham.The color line (in Dubois’ term) thus becomes a converging and diverging boundary between the two Americas; it harbors and delineates Trumpism.


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