Monday, May 9, 2016

A President Trump?

The voters have spoken.

Now, we have Donald J. Trump as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.  

How does this happen when some months ago we all said it couldn't?  He is a joke. He is a clown.  He is a flash in the pan. No one will actually vote for him.  He panders to the worst in the country and won't last a month.  

Here we are some months later and the unthinkable is happening.  How can this be?   

As he  campaigns for the highest and most prestigious job in the land - President of the United States - and the leader of the free world, we have learned he is a narcissist,  a racist, a demagogue, xenophobic, nationalistic, authoritative and a bully who uses intimidation to get his way.

He continues to contradict himself during his speeches.  No one can pin him down on how he plans to achieve his promise of "Making America Great Again!" And this all appeals to his Republican voters.

How does this happen?  It happens because Trump taps into the frustration, anger, loneliness, and the disconnect of Republican voters, because the majority of  Republican voters are not the wealthy and well-heeled, but the downtrodden middle class. 

Republican representatives in Washington capsule themselves in the Washington Beltway bubble, and appeal only to the intellectuals and wealthy in this country, not to the middle class. They have forgotten the common man.  They repeatedly promise to help the middle class and then betray them by pandering to the rich. 

And, because of this, those with the least education, but, even some that are well-educated, are flocking to his side and voting for him.  No matter how many editorials are written or how many broadcasters speak against the growing phenomenon of Trump, he still wins.


Because, many Republican voters perceive Trump to be authentic.  They like him because Trump is Trump. He puts his largess personality out there.  He is who he is and that is what is appealing to voters.  He speaks with frankness.   He is a racist and doesn't apologize for it.  He is a misogynist and doesn't apologize for it.  In fact, when confronted with that and his infidelity and three marriages, he embraces it and boasts of his sexual prowling and owns it. That is what the voters love about Donald Trump.

He doesn't profess conservative Christian values and then secretly philander.  He is a philanderer out there in the open for all to see.

Trump doesn't apologize for whom or what he is.  He is a billionaire (so he says though we have no proof) and he flaunts it.  As the saying goes, "if you got it, flaunt it."  And he does.

The voters perceive this as authentic.  It doesn't matter what outrageous thing he says, or that he contradicts himself the next day, he is just being Donald Trump and the voters have embraced him.  And Trump embraces them right back.  It's called the "art of the deal," that he has made with his constituents. 

When he intimidates other candidates and calls them names like "little Marco," "Lyin' Ted" and "Crooked Hillary," they love it because he is the playground bully and, something that deep inside, they want to be as well.  They love him because he doesn't stand for any political correctness.  They love it because he sticks it to the Republican establishment, something many Republican voters have wanted to do for years.

Trump  also gives his voters a platform to vent their anger.  He hints at and encourages physical protest at his opponents' speeches. He has predicted riots if he is not the Republican nominee come July in Cleveland.  

He vents their anger as he threatens party leaders with steamrolling over them if they don't do his bidding. He has given the same statements to foreign leaders.  Mexico will pay for that border wall. . . or else.    And his voters love it. They eat it up.

It is apparent that our country has lost its way.  When the majority of Republican voters see Trump as their 'savior" for all that is wrong with our country, we are in a world of hurt. 

They love his authority because that is what they want for themselves.  They are living through Trump vicariously and he speaks to them in a language they understand.

But, what ultimately happens to the playground bully?  He continues to bully, but one day someone stands up to him.  Someone finally says, "no more."  Who will that someone be? A party leader?   A national leader?  A foreign leader?  A foreign enemy?  And what, then, will we have left?  Nothing but a sniveling coward.

What does all this tell the Republican establishment?  They need to come down off their high horses and reconnect with their voters.  They need to appeal to the middle-class and, for example, cut taxes for them, not just the wealthy.  Trickle-down economics does not work and hasn't for the last thirty-some years.  

The Republican party and its leaders need to lead.  They need to give Republican voters what they are asking for and help all Americans, just not their selective few.  They need to provide us with an alternative to Trump, someone who professes our country's values and wants to really help the common man and not themselves.  They need to stop holding our democratic process hostage as they are doing with the current Supreme Court vacancy. 

We really are teetering on the cusp of anarchy if Trump wins the presidency.  Our party system and our ability to govern is breaking down and what will replace it?  Who will decide the direction our country will take in this world?

Instead of reporting on who will or will not support Trump in the presidential election, we need to ask far more relevant and important questions about the role our parties will take in the political process when the November election falls out.  What will be left of our "democracy" and our "democratic process" if Trump wins?  What will the Republican party become and for what will it stand?

When is the Republican establishment going to wake up?  They are still in deep denial.  Trump has been their intervention, but they are still wallowing in their same self-delusion.

Copyright  Suzannah Wolf Walker  2016  all rights reserved.