Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Donald Trump - my take on his message

I've been reluctant to join the chorus of those decrying the march of Donald Trump to his possible nomination as the 2016 GOP Presidential candidate.  I probably don't have much new to add to the rising tide of denunciations, as the bizarre sideshow that is Trump threatens to destroy the GOP.  We have seen some GOP politicians beginning to endorse Trump, even as other GOP politicians say they will oppose the candidacy of their own party's nominee if it's Trump!  I feel for those moderate Republicans who have been pushed aside by the Tea Party religious reich clowns and grotesque "pro wrestling" style of the Trump campaign.  It must have the feel of an approaching runaway train to them.

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.

Populism:  any of various, often anti-establishment or anti-intellectual political movements or philosophies that offer unorthodox solutions or policies and appeal to the common person rather than according with traditional party or partisan ideologies.

To me, Trump is the voice of the ignorant, bigoted underclass of Americans who have heretofore felt muzzled by the imposition of what they see as "political correctness".  Trump appeals to many of them because his candidacy legitimizes what they feel, saying for them what they thought they weren't being allowed to say.  His act is one that resembles the papier-mâché faux morality play that is pro wrestling, where blustering villains try to intimidate strong-willed heroes, standing nose-to-nose in shouting matches, blowing spittle into each other's faces, and bashing their opposition with folding chairs.  And of course, it's all a fake drama with no real content.  I suspect the demographic supporting Trump probably has considerable overlap with the fan base for pro wrestling, albeit not a perfect match, of course.  Bluster and bullying without any substantive content.  And somehow, some people find that hogwash appealing.

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.


Jerry Prsha said...

I was quite amused this morning when i saw a TV Ad blasting Trump and the small print claimed that it was funded by a "Conservative PAC."

While it's quite funny to think that the Republican Party is eating itself alive, the fact that there are THAT MANY bigoted, ignorant people that really want that clown to be POTUS! And then I remember that Dubya won re/election twice. This is quite a scary situation. Both W. and Trump are so mentally limited that they don't know how how mentally limited that they are.

How did we get to this point? Are we going to get to the same place where we imprison people because of their heritage? Are we going to become a NAZI Germany where the entire world has to unite to defeat our ideology?

Is this really happening?

Lisa M. Neily said...

Thanks Chuck!

I'm not as articulate as you but well said.

Debby Gray said...

Absolutely spot on Chuck and with solid reasoning.

The current trends to me are very worrisome. If we keep drifting towards the political abyss, how much will our NATO allies or others tolerate? At what point do they finally determine we've devolved into political madness and this time a country with nuclear weapons?

Anyone with a solid grasp of 19th and 20th century history has to be both fascinated and horrified (the rise of authoritarianism).

Thanks for breaking silence.

Vickie Doswell said...

Did you see the George Takei post on the dictionary definition of trumpery...WOW!
Couldn't get it to paste here but essentially this is the same

trump·er·y (trŭm′pə-rē)
n. pl. trump·er·ies
1. Showy but worthless finery; bric-a-brac.
2. Nonsense; rubbish.
3. Deception; trickery; fraud.

Shem Malmquist said...

Great article, well said!, and