In an interview with Salon, McMaster University professor Henry Giroux claims that President Donald Trump's election and subsequent governing style has made his white nationalist leanings and racism the 'center of power" in the U.S. and the damage he has caused may last generations.
According to the author of "American Nightmare: The Challenge of U.S. Authoritarianism," matters "are much worse than when Trump first started.”
"Trump is putting in place a new type of political formation that is really a form of unabashed nationalist right-wing populism and racism, which has changed the trajectory of history," He explained. "These people are not like [race-baiting Depression-era's] Father Coughlin. They're not on the sidelines. They’ve occupied the center of power, and they’ve been emboldened."
"I think in that sense they're going to be around for a long time. We no longer can simply suggest that we're somewhere at the end of history and that the forces of liberal democracy have won out. That is a delusion, and a very dangerous one," he added.
Giroux also added that it may be comforting to retreat from reality and ignore Trump, it's not an option for the sake of society.
"I think it’s easy to say 'I would rather just watch TV or escape into celebrity culture or the undemanding idiocy of reality TV in order to distract myself and turn inward away from the world,'" he cautioned. "We live in a culture that has been conditioned to retreat from social issues, define citizenship as an act of individualized consumption, and embrace the worst forms of anti-intellectualism and ignorance."
"The result is a society that embraces civic illiteracy and the most egregious forms of ignorance, and for the most part is quite happy to immerse itself in orbits of private pleasure while ignoring the larger issues regarding justice, ethics, social responsibility, power and politics," Giroux explained. "We are in a very dangerous cultural and political moment in the United States right now -- one that basically makes me very depressed, though far from paralyzed intellectually and politically."
You can read the whole interview here.