Donald Trump is merely a symptom of a mental illness that has enveloped America.

When the president of United States suggests that worshippers in a synagogue need firearms to defend themselves against a murderous, race-hating gunman, there is something seriously wrong with the country.

OPINION

In the nation I grew up in, no one would have ever suggested that people come armed to church, or have men equipped with shotguns sitting outside their doors.

Now the leader of the free world says teachers need guns to protect school children from deranged killers and, instead of mocking the man or the idea, public school districts vote on whether they should follow his advice.

That is crazy.

No one seems to notice.

This is a nation whose people have more wealth and freedom than any civilization in the history of the world. Unemployment levels are near historic lows. The stock market has been hitting all-time highs.

Ordinary people carry computers in their pockets; cars talk to them and robots vacuum their floors.

We are protected by the most powerful army in the world.

Yet, everyone is scared.

They are frightened that thousands of people with no weapons and few clothes may be marching from South America in the hope of finding safety and a job in the United States.

Most of these foreigners will never make it across the border. But the thought that some might swim across a river, climb a fence or crawl on their bellies to pick grapes or cut lawns in our homeland frightens the heck out people.

Not everyone is frightened of immigrants.

There are millions of Americans who don’t care. They don’t even think about it.

They have drugged themselves into oblivion.

We have more people using illegal narcotics than any other nation. We are the leading consumer of these drugs and our money has financed criminal organizations, the butchery of innocent civilians and the corruption of governments throughout the world.

But that was not enough. Our people are now killing themselves by the thousands using prescription drugs designed to relieve pain. We can’t stop ourselves. This is the definition of insanity.

It is the new normal in America.

We have more people in our prisons than any other country in the world. Our people have more guns in their homes than any other people in the history of the world.

Respected people, people who are elected leaders, say we need these guns to protect ourselves against the criminal element, the mentally ill and the government. We are surrounded by enemies. We must be ready to defend our loved ones because evil individuals are planning to rape, loot and murder them.

This is the sort of talk you used to hear from odd-looking characters shouting at invisible enemies as they walked down State Street, punching the air for emphasis. Now normal people talk like this and get elected to office.

Trump is not responsible.

Race hatred, religious intolerance, sex discrimination and an irrational fear of people from other countries has been part of our nation since its founding.

But in the history of the world there has never been less reason for such fear.

Ignorance and intolerance are usually fueled by famine, pestilence, epidemics, religious persecution and economic deprivation. These are the historic justifications for indefensible human cruelty.

We have everything. But we fear everything and everyone. A healthy United States would not have viewed Donald Trump as its savior but dismissed him as a brutish buffoon.

Unless we acknowledge our sickness, history will dismiss us as a people who inherited the accumulated wealth and wisdom of humanity and like a spoiled child deranged by inbreeding thoughtlessly flushed it down the toilet.

It is a madness unequaled in the annals of mankind.

Email: philkadner@gmail.com

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