Donald Trump is straight out of science fiction. And I don't mean because his popularity is so bizarre, or because of the old "truth is stranger than fiction" trope.
True science fiction, when done well, serves as a reflection of the world; when we begin to deconstruct and analyze the future dystopias, the totalitarian alien governments, the sparse future wastelands, what we usually end up with is a mirror reflecting back the fears, evils and hypocrisies of real life. It's allegory at its best.
And it's as if Donald Trump has somehow leapt out of the plot line of a particularly depressing Twilight Zone episode to shine a glaring light on the blind spots of contemporary American culture.
So many of us claim we just "can't believe" Trump is still doing so well in the polls; we wonder how anyone could be so ignorant as to support him. We then might go on to claim that "half this country is an embarrassment!"
And yet, what did we really expect? The Trump phenomenon is the monster we have slowly but surely created through decades of allowing our public schools to crumble, of tacitly accepting that 19 percent of high school graduates can't read, and of sitting back as the wealth and opportunity gap between poor and privileged Americans becomes virtually unbridgeable.
Are we really all that surprised that so many Americans have been taken in by a glorified snake oil salesman? That a number of our citizens -- as products of our own wildly inconsistent educational system -- are perhaps not the best-equipped to deconstruct exactly why his plans and promises fall so glaringly short?
Every relatively educated person I know -- Democrat and Republican alike -- loathes Donald Trump. And I would wager a bet that it's generally because these are the people with the foundations to understand that things like foreign policy, the economy, and national defense are extremely complicated and nuanced issues that cannot be adequately handled with blustering generalizations like, "I'm going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it."
They're the people who at least know enough to know that international diplomacy simply doesn't work like that, and any man or woman standing behind a podium telling us it can and it will are either lying or horrendously ill-equipped to handle the job at hand.
So given that we've allowed ourselves to become a country with such tremendous educational disparities, can we really sit back and pretend to be shocked by this turn of events? To act like it's not decades of poor social policy finally catching up to us?
Anyone who is genuinely surprised that a not-so-insignificant portion of our population is comprised of people who are easily tricked and susceptible to fear-mongering and bigotry have not, in my opinion, been paying much attention.
Basically, if you think Trump supporters are monsters, I guess that collectively makes us Dr. Frankenstein.