By Trevor Law
So … here we are … talking about Donald Trump. To all of you, you are voting for him, supporting him, or think he is a swell guy, you are killing me. I mean … why would you do this? *sigh* Well … here it goes, so let’s just hope this is the last week he is in the news and just move on. In one of my previous posts I talked about the Republican primary and I failed to mention Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson. I see now that was a mistake and so I am correcting that right here and now.
This will not be the last week, or even the last month. Donald Trump is a major player in the republican party primary and it is very important to just embrace that fact. He might not win, but he will change the GOP, for better or, far more likely, for ill. How did we get here? How did someone this bombastic, with zero electoral experience, and who the Republican party as a whole seems to hate and be embarrassed by become, and remain, the frontrunner?
Recently Eric Erikson uninvited Donald Trump to a large event for his blog over remarks made about Megyn Kelly. While most people at the event cheered he did get some flack over it. In an interview he recently said that Donald Trump was created by the GOP, and for the first time in maybe all of recorded history, he hit the nail right on the head. The GOP has ran itself as the anti-Washington, anti-Obama party. That they would roll into Congress, and slash the budget, gut Obamacare, and roll back the size of the federal government. They were told that if they were sent to Washington that they would ‘take their country back.’ Yet Obama is still there, mucking up the country with is liberalism, and talking about things like the environment, Iran, and shootings. The fact is, Obama is seen as a blight on America by many in the GOP and the failure to crush him is seen as a moral failing, that any attempt to work with him is basically treason, and anyone that does so, can’t really be a conservative.
This is the source of Trump’s strength. His supporters aren’t the most conservative in the party, they are the angriest. He has tapped into a source of angst within the party, by talking about how the Mexican Government is sending rapists and drug dealers into America. Making it seem as if we are under siege, and that America itself is about to fall apart. You may ridicule this all you want, but Trump is their standard bearer now, and he isn’t going anywhere. He is the anti-politician, someone who thrives on division, controversy, and being politically incorrect. If he offends you, tough, if you say he is wrong, screw you, you are an idiot. He is an expert showman and is a creature of reality TV. Since we have turned our elections into that, it should come as no surprise that has excelled in such a role. He is also not a loyal Republican, and this has shocked so many people, yet it is another source of strength for him. After all, why should so many people who vote Republican feel any source of loyalty, for a party they feel takes them for granted, and betrays them on a regular basis.
In short, he and his supporters are the beast that the GOP raised and trained to hunt and kill Obama and the Democratic Party. Now they have lost control of it. He will rip and claw at anything and everything that tries to hurt him, and the more you attack him the more convinced he and his followers are that they were right all along. Some have suggested that the media ignore him, but to what point? The people who love him will still flock to him, maybe they should attack him? But this only makes him stronger. No there is only one way to stop something like Trump: that is take away its food, and let it starve. The other candidates will need to show that they can channel the rage of the base, and will need to show they care about what they care about. That means every single candidate is going to try to be angrier, and more bombastic than Trump. If that sounds like some kind of nightmare, imagine how the GOP feels.
Another thing that should be noted, is that his presence on the campaign has hurt people like Cruz and Carson, yet that doesn’t tell the whole story. When he entered the field people thought he would just draw from the most conservative supporters and he has, but really he is pulling from everyone. As I said, the party is angry and Trump seems to be the only one willing to channel that rage. People want someone who is genuine and I must say I am seeing the real Donald Trump. They want someone who will fight and Donald Trump seems willing to fight literally everyone. In short, he is what many in the GOP want their party to become.
How he falls, and what will do it exactly I am not sure of, but what I can tell you is this, the supporters who are flocking to him, and the excitement they feel for him is real, and if I am wrong and someone in the GOP doesn’t channel it, and learn to drive that anger to something more constructive, he will destroy the Republican party … or … he just might save it.
It might be Trump that knocks some sense into the GOP about how reckless it is to constantly stir up a steady stream of rage and hate against the opposition. That it is far easier to create a party built around attacking, but far more rewarding to build a party built around ideas, policy goals, and achievements. The GOP as spent the Obama years telling everyone what they are not, and what they are against. Now is the time to talk about what they are for, or else, be Trumped.