The Madness of Crowds and What Lies Ahead

In his 1841 book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Scottish journalist Charles Mackay chronicled the history of the phenomena we now see gripping the Resistance movement to the Trump presidency.  Writing on national delusions, moral panics, economic bubbles, and herd behavior, Mackay observed, "We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first."

Mackay documents the manias that made traders turn tulips into the most expensive objects on earth in the mid-1600s, caused Christian communities in the American colonies to torture and execute "witches," and caused European nobles to sponsor alchemists to turn base metals into gold (and imprison them until they succeeded).  Of these and many other episodes of mass hysteria, Mackay wrote, "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."

In the present madness commonly known as "Trump Derangement Syndrome," the Resistance is led, in order of influence, by Hollywood entertainers, New York City journalists, and Washington Democrat politicians.  By any objective measure, all three groups have failed utterly at their primary jobs to entertain, inform, and lead – at least in any way that inspires, educates, or solves problems.  Instead, the most notable features of these groups is their desperate need for attention (in an age of unprecedented media saturation) and their obsession with being seen as morally superior to us commoners – the latter to justify the former. Two ingredients combined to create the alchemy of madness now consuming our national politics.

The first was the presidential candidacy and election of an outsider who promised to break the cultural and economic elite's grip on Washington that had inflicted such massive harm on the nation and middle America.  Donald Trump emerged as a blunt-spoken real-estate developer and reality TV star with a long history of skewering the social, economic, and foreign policies of the ruling classes.

The second ingredient was the work of fiction commissioned by the standard-bearer for the ruling elite known as the "dossier."  Hillary Clinton and her former president husband were consummate Washington insiders and master practitioners of the dark art of dirty politics.  The dossier deviously deployed a previous moral panic – the Red Scare of the 1950s – to accuse Trump of being a Manchurian candidate controlled by our formerly communist enemies in the Kremlin.  Never mind that Russia is no longer communist and is now a mere shadow of the former Soviet superpower.

That Trump proposed and pursued policies directly contrary to Russia's vital interests, most notably unleashing America's vast energy resources and rebuilding our depleted military, was irrelevant to the present-day witch-hunters.  Russia's economy is entirely dependent on petroleum, and it is in no position economically to engage in another arms race.  For her part, Hillary opposed fossil fuels and increased military spending.  Contrary to Trump, she wanted to keep Obama's agreement that would allow Russia's ally Iran to become a nuclear power.  But it was entirely lost on our betters that it was Clinton, not Trump, espousing policies more aligned with Russia's interests.  The madness of the elite crowd had been unleashed.

Since he announced for president, we've seen the Washington establishment corrupt and debase our intelligence and law enforcement agencies in its fevered pursuit of Trump.  Now that Democrats have retaken the House, they promise to use their committees to impeach him in a total absence of any evidence of high crimes or misdemeanors.  As the president works to keep his campaign promises to secure our borders, realign our trade relationships, create good jobs, and get us out of useless wars, the swamp, whose interests are cheap labor, globalism, and foreign conflict, vows to overturn the voters' will in 2016.

Gripped by the delusion they helped create, the mainstream media have abandoned all pretense of objectivity and professional ethics to become the fake news for the Resistance.  Few news cycles pass where they fail to break a story of Trump's traitorous exploits while arguing for and predicting his impending removal from office and criminal prosecution.  When the stories are promptly debunked by the emerging alternative media, the Resistance journos move shamelessly to the next cycle and repeat.  While Trump ridicules them and calls them to return to the higher ideals of their profession, they suffer no consequence for their incompetence and dishonesty.

From Tinseltown (once the domain of Bogart, Hepburn, Garland, and Gable) mentally unstable and narcissistic "celebrities" are going full-bore insane while flooding popular culture with vulgar insults and violent threats against Trump and his supporters.  They exhibit severed heads, produce assassination porn, and challenge Trump-supporters to fist fights, all the while dropping a steady stream of F-bombs. Not surprisingly, impressionable young, university-indoctrinated leftists react by donning black clothing and masks to assault normal, sane people in the streets.

Fueled by cultural, media and political elites, it seems likely that the madness of crowds Charles Mackay wrote of 1841 will continue gripping weaker minds as Trump skewers their sacred cows and upends their carefully constructed fantasies.  We can only hope enough voters maintain their sanity until November 3, 2020.

The author hosts Right Now with Jim Daws, a webcast on news, politics and culture from and American nationalist perspective.