The Donald's presidential bid has been a non-stop tempest of excitement, controversy and notoriety — and I want to keep watching it unfold, popcorn and ballot in hand. To see the Republican establishment squirm because they can't control a genuine “Maverick" candidate is hilarious; to watch the other milquetoast candidates try to catch up to Trump by playing his game of unabashed, unfiltered rhetoric is equally entertaining.
Don’t believe me? Believe the stats. Over 24 million viewers were watching, on average, throughout the whole Trump-run GOP debate. Even the B-team of seven (those candidates who didn't crack the top ten GOP hopefuls) earned the third highest ratings ever for a primary debate on television. If anything, you have to at least give The Donald credit for inspiring more people to care about politics, even impertinently. The man truly is a ratings machine, and the most recent polls place him firmly in the lead in New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries. Not to mention his uncanny ability to reveal himself in our everyday foodstuffs is on par with Jesus.
For the GOP party apparatus, Trump is both their shady doppelgänger and their identical reflection. The biggest skeleton in the GOP closet is the very questionable support that Trump has been receiving, from the most radical elements on the far-right. Trump is the political id of America right now.
My support for The Donald’s campaign, however, comes from a deep-seated resentment for establishment Republicans. The politicians who categorically deny climate change — our world and nation’s most significant issue — the politicians who want to remove choice entirely from women’s reproductive decisions, the politicians who think embroiling us in another Middle East conflict is the optimal solution for peace.
These are the real losers, not fit to run a McDonald’s; instead they run the most powerful nation on Earth. Republican voters are tired of the ineptitude, the deception and the malarkey that stems from mainstream, vanilla politicians. Trump is tapping into that anger in a way that works particularly well for him as an outsider, a business magnate who has bent the system and its leaders to his will in the past. Trump gets what he wants. He gets things done. His tone is nothing like the brown-nose tripe that comes out of every other candidate’s mouth. It is aggression. It is candid. It is power and directness.
In itself, his persona and attitude are refreshing as crisp orange cantaloupe in what would otherwise be a stale, boring election, full of palette-swapped conventional Conservatives. (Look! We have a Hispanic, a black, AND a woman! We’re more diverse than the Left!) Up-and-comer Bernie Sanders experiences a similar effect with the Democrats; both he and Trump are straight shooters who say what they mean, and mean what they say. People love that.
Also like the populist Bernie Sanders, Trump is incorruptible by the special interests and lobbyists that control Congress — a big factor in his widespread appeal. But unlike Bernie Sanders, that immaculate talking point might be losing out to corporate interests after all. I guess you can’t corrupt a dirty Socialist pinko, oddly enough.
Perhaps the impending implosion of the GOP will force them to start fresh, and hopefully start better. If the GOP wants to catch up in the 21st Century, we need to start arguing with reality less and accepting the facts more. If the beautiful disaster that is Trump Tornado rips the Republican Party in half — like it certainly will if Trump chooses to run independently — then it will be time for a new Reconstruction of the GOP. This time, it had better be good.
The election’s not for another year, but right now, the GOP is stuck on the elevator ride up Trump Tower, and I can't wait to see what or who comes crashing down next. With Trump, the GOP will reap the reactionary seeds it has sown for decades. And if there is a President Trump in 15 months, then he is the leader Americans rightly deserve. Consider us fired.
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