We're seeing the fruit of the deepening divisions in American society, where corporate greed has been nurtured by GOP politicians currying financial support from the wealthy by offering them a deregulated economy, massive tax breaks, and even welfare via bail-outs and subsidies, while the nation's infrastructure crumbles, vast sums literally are going up in smoke in pointless foreign wars that only benefit the arms manufacturers, and American freedoms are being surrendered in an atmosphere of carefully cultivated paranoia. GOP politicians keep doubling down on their thoroughly discredited "trickle-down" economics and "free market capitalism" that is little more than welfare for the rich. The middle and lower classes are feeling the pinch but somehow keep voting into public office the very scoundrels responsible for their woes.
Discontent with government is everywhere, and populism is on the rise - Trump is a fascist populist figure, blaming the political "establishment" for not having the will to "make America great again". Is it a coincidence that Bernie Sanders is a democratic socialist populist? I think not. Our nation is driving itself outward to the ends of the political spectrum. Perhaps not yet the extreme ends, but surely outward from the center. Compromise and cooperation in the governance of the nation have all but vanished in a torrent of denunciation and polarization.
The fact that Trump's campaign is virtually all show without any real content - claims of things he will do unaccompanied by any notion of how he will do those things - matters little, if at all, to his followers. His lies, his self-contradictions, his obscene language, his bullying, his massive ignorance, his colossal arrogance, his actual incompetence - none of that deters his fans. Trump has even claimed he could commit murder without shaking the loyalty of his supporters and he could very well be right about that! These folks are of a mindset that seems to associate with Hitler's brownshirts and Mussolini's blackshirts - they are crypto-fascists that long have lurked beneath the American facade of freedom and equality for all, ready to burst forth to follow a fascist dictator and do his bidding. Trump is that demagogue and they are willing to be his shock troops. A strutting, blustering dictator has a great need for those ready to do his dirty work of intimidating with violence on behalf of his cause, after all.
Finally, the "rise" of Trump has masked the radicalization of the GOP by the Tea Party "revolution". Should Trump not succeed in grabbing the nomination, then the GOP candidates remaining viable in the race for the nomination are uniformly pathetic and seemingly committed to advancing the process of transforming the US into a christian theocracy, all in the name of "family values (from "God"), capitalism, and patriotism". While I'm not all that crazy about the Democratic candidates, either one is vastly preferable to me than any of the GOP clown car occupants. The moderate Republicans have been pushed aside in the march to drive the GOP car off a cliff. Trump is the catalyst for this but not the cause. We are doing it to ourselves.