Public Policy Bits: Social Constructivism and Trump
Trump’s presidency proves one point – that social constructivism explains the world much better than realism, positivism or whatever. Propaganda, framing of messages, providing false hopes, marketing messages to a desperate constituency — these all proved to be more important than reasons and facts. With this regard, I want to make 2 smaller points clear, as follows:
1) Political myths are of huge importance to study, understand, and if one is in politics, to unravel. USA is based on many political myths, one of them, a “hero” culture. One man against the world, crashing all and saving it from the demons. Just watch Hollywood movies to see how deeply it is entrenched. A hero is not a good guy, a hero is “heroic” — loud, decisive, confrontational, polarizing and determined. And necessarily an outcast or outsider. Have you read the “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand? This is a hero in an “American sense”. Obama was seen as such — a “super star” president, and now you have another one, who managed to a) understand that myth, and b) capitalise on it. If you are an IR student – read the recent book on myths in International Relations here.
Trump’s presidency proves one point – that social constructivism explains the world much better than realism, positivism or whatever.
2) Second point, the marginalised groups are going to be worse off, because it is now the government’s mandate from population to stigmatise and punish this already worse off part of population. Think of low paid immigrants, people of different faith, or even just non-whites. Again, if you want to understand this — read Helen Ingram’s and Anne Schneider’s work on social construction of target populations.
Be careful, we live in a dangerous world.