Trump is the turd blossom that has grown from the GOP’s fertilization of their base with fear, hatred and racism to win elections. Essentially a minority party, the GOP has had to use demonizing and terrorizing to squeeze out the highest turnout possible for their party to support their elitist agenda which does nothing to help 99% of their voters.
In the 2004 elections, Dick Cheney and the Bush/Cheney campaign came right out and declared that if they were not re-elected, there would be another terrorist attack on America by Muslims.
In the 2008 elections, hatred had V.P. nominee Sarah Palin as an energetic cheerleader for core Republicans and America witnessed the ugliest display of open racism in a campaign and a party in recent memory.
In the 2012 elections, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan tried to whip up hatred of the “47%”/”Takers”, read “minorities” in campaign events and Donald Trump rallied racists in the GOP against Obama claiming his birth certificate was a fraud and made a bogus offer (quickly canceled) of $5 million if Obama released his college records…because of course, an educated black man had to be a fraud.
So it came as no surprise to many when this 2016 election cycle came along and bigotry was a core campaign tool of Republicans. However, no one imagined Trump would be a candidate let alone become the ultimate embodiment of Republican manipulation of their core using hatred based on race and religion.
The Establishment Republicans are apoplectic about these bigoted chickens coming home to roost but this is the monster they have built over many years. In truth, the monster isn’t actually Trump, it’s the Republican base that has been whipped up to believe that their bigotry is righteous and that the GOP is their only hope to protect them from the fear and hatred they feel towards Muslims, Mexicans, blacks, gays, independent women, etc.
It was their brainwashing of their base that began this and the GOP’s familiar obliviousness to what blowback is (see “Financing and Training Mujahadin in Afghanistan”, “Invasion of Iraq”, etc.) once again caused them to be taken by complete surprise. They never predicted that the bigoted base they intensified year after year wouldn’t just remain slavish rubes that they could push a fear button on to get their vote, they never foresaw that that base might grow to crave a nominee created in their own increasingly hateful image.
And now this has all has come to fruition in the candidacy of Donald Trump. Trump is just a magnifying glass for seeing the slimy nastiness that dwells in the depths of the Right Wing Republican soul. It is truly terrible but it’s not new, it’s been there through the centuries, through slavery (yes, they called themselves Democrats then but the parties were reversed back then), prejudice against different nationalities and religions, treating women as inferiors, etc.
Being a showman, Trump has elevated this hatred now to a nauseating height, announcing that as President he would stop all Muslims from entering the country. Now, anyone who has heard him declare other impossible and crazy things like building a giant wall on our southern border that he would make Mexico pay for by speaking magic words, would greet this insanity with a shake of the head. Of course he could never do this, just like every other BS promise he makes.
The difference here though is that he has adopted the rhetoric most Americans associate with enemies of America and its Constitution. Even for a Republican, that’s hard to describe as acceptable which is why a clear majority of Republicans have joined Democrats in assailing Trump for this latest and grandest bigotry.
Trump espouses a nationalistic policy that…trying as hard as I have to avoid this comparison in the past, heralds back to Nazi Germany. He announced his support for an impossible and unconstitutional policy of banning all Muslims from entering the country. He wants to force all Muslims to virtually sew a yellow emblem on their clothes, electronically tagged that is, so they can be easily detected, tracked and inspected wherever they are in the country at all times. He’s expressed support for sending Muslims to internment camps. This is the stuff of Nazi nationalism, demonizing all those who follow a specific religion, just substituting Muslims for Jews.
In doing this, he is attempting to sew a swastika onto the American flag. He drapes the word “Protection” over his horrible bigotry and the corrupt Right Wingers who show a blind, absolutist dedication to him, not dissimilar to supporters of fascists and dictators in other countries and history, might as well be returning a heil to him.
The good news though is that this is the moment when he went one goose step too far. The majority of the political world, both left and right and most of the media have stepped up to denounce Trump. He is now permanently too toxic to attract support to win in a general election…but the hateful GOP core may only be more enthusiastic towards him in the short term and he could at least win the GOP nomination on this platform of unAmerican bigotry…because it shows he’s an outsider and he isn’t PC (how crazy when being Nazi-like is okay to RW Repubs because it’s better than being politically correct which is much more evil than Nazis).
The GOP base wants their minds’ id represented in the leadership of their party and the nation. So while Trump’s motivation may be to punch up his poll numbers…at a moment when Ted Cruz began to overtake him in Iowa…this nuclear attack on America’s principles, Constitution and Muslim citizens is a poison pill in the end. He has lost the extreme longshot he may have had (though that was even unlikely) to ever win the Presidency but may have helped himself in the GOP race. As the saying goes, he may have won the battle but like the Nazis, he lost the war.
Though we haven’t seen such hateful ugliness so openly broadcast in a Presidential race in most of our lifetimes, it is important to remember that this fringe supporting him is very narrow and shallow. Trump and his bigotry is not reflective of America, it is reflective of a small sliver of Americans who are extremists…ironic considering how Trump smears all Muslims based only upon the small sliver of their extremists. In this way, the Republicans supporting Trump have far more in common with Muslims supporting ISIS than their fellow Americans.
Maybe we should insist the rest of the Republican candidates refer to Trump’s supporters as “radical Republican extremists”?