“It is with great honor that I accept the Republican nomination for President Of The United States Of America”. On July 21st 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio and live before twenty thousand plus Republicans, on international television broadcasts and social media outlets around the world, those words will be spoken by billionaire Donald T. Trump. After running a primary campaign unlike anything seen since the film, Bullworth. Mr. Trump will claim victory because an outdated Republican Party did not comprehend the actual significance of the election and two term presidency of the first black president as it related to their party and the American political landscape.
The refusal of both parties to understand that the election of Barack Hussein Obama was not just an eight year aberration, it was America signaling that it was willing to take political measures into their own hands and make bold steps for change, rather than the glacial steps of the past. No, not the change of campaign slogans, but the change from the politician of the status quo, business as usual and one that speaks in safe terms. The door swings both ways and is not party specific. Ask Hillary supporters if they expected a challenge from Bernie Sanders. The point being that the willingness to vote for the first African-American president ushered in the era of voters willing to vote their conscience no matter how bold it may be. In fact, the bolder the better. If one is on the left, go full throttle Elizabeth Warren Progressive Left and if there should be a need to move towards the center, let the starting point be from as far left as possible.
“Mrs. Clinton comes across as timid and old timey, despite the fact Mr. Sanders is in his mid seventies.”
Drowned out by the din of cheers coming from Bernie Sanders twenty thousand people campaign rallies, the presumptive Democratic Nominee, Hillary Clinton finds herself not worried as much about the inane partisan attempts to drag her down with Benghazi or mail sent from a private server, but how her campaign must deal with and adjust to the far left pronouncements of Mr. Sanders. Compared to his bold campaign of socialist ideas, Mrs. Clinton comes across as timid and old timey, despite the fact Mr. Sanders is in his mid seventies. Contrary to the beliefs of the Democrat establishment, she is not a lock.
Then there’s Donald Trump. If anyone can state what any other GOP candidate believes, please speak up. The GOP field is so overwhelmed by the presence of Donald Trump that they’re just making things up as they go along in order to find some kind of distinction in the field of candidates. They are playing a ridiculous game of reactionary one-upmanship rather than pro-active campaigns that set them apart as individual leaders. Trump says, he’ll build a wall at the Mexican border and a candidate says he’ll give undocumented immigrants bar codes for tracking. Another says, not only will they build a fence at the Mexican border, but they’ll build one on the Canadian border as well. Jeb Bush says he uses the term “Anchor Baby” because no one else has given this potential leader of the free world anything else or better to say. Trump has also baited Mr. Bush into wasting precious media coverage on non-presidential priorities such as, exclaiming that he’ll speak Spanish when ever he wants. When it comes to discussing race, gender equality, gay marriage and other social issues, Trump speaks as if he’s sitting on a porch during a hot summer day sipping shine and spitting “toobackie”. He gets headlines and forces the entire GOP field to capitulate and address subjects they traditionally side step. When they do make comments, they project an ineptness that causes them to run in circles retracting and stating that they were misunderstood or that they misspoke; further sending them into the abyss of single digit poll numbers, as Trump continues to rise.
“The wave Trump is riding is not popularity, but that of xenophobic backlash and the fear that we will never get our country back…”
Moreover, after eight years of what the right has called a “sham” Presidency that could not provide a proof of birth, it is only fitting that Trump would seek to abolish the 14th Amendment which grants birthright citizenship. As a billionaire who made the bulk of his fortune as a land owner, harkens back to a day when only he and others like himself were allowed to vote and sheds light on the privilege our democracy now bows to with regard to choices of candidates, creators of restrictive voting laws and gerrymandered districts. The wave Trump is riding is not popularity, but that of xenophobic backlash and the fear that we will never get our country back, at least not the way it used to be prior to Reconstruction. He openly speaks about these fears and channels all those who silently and vocally agree.
The voting booth is a confessional absent of a priest; a place of only the voter and God. In public, amongst friends and colleagues, voters can say what is politically correct and expedient for the moment. They can shake their heads and be appalled with every word and insulting outrageous action that candidate Trump may make. They can talk about how he must be stopped and is ripping the very heart out of the Republican Party. But in the voting booth… only God will know what lever they will pull. It is that moment when they will acknowledge quietly what they really want America to be, no matter who their co-workers or friends may be. They will confirm America is who it says it is as individuals, alone and singularly in a voting booth. Exit polls lie and so do friends and family members when they are asked who they voted for.
Just as the presence of a black president created cracks and fissures in America’s unspoken conversation about race, so too has Donald Trump’s arrival forced many Americans out into the clear. Are we what the constitution says we are or are we going to change it to acknowledge and finally give in to the hypocrisy of the founding fathers we’ve known was always there. Trump makes us as Americans make that choice. He paints us in a corner, Democrat, Republican, Independent, Black, White, Latino, Asian, LGBT and Straight, and says the rubber has met the proverbial road. Whether we like it aloud or quietly, some of those roads lead to Trump. It is possible, a majority of them in the GOP do.
The other day on talk radio, basketball great Charles Barkley stated that he marveled at how the Republican field seemed to cower from making disparaging remarks about Trump, in fear that he would train his ire on them. The GOP’s fear is justified. Trump handed Roger Ailes and Fox News their lunch in a small brown paper bag and told them to take a seat while being aired on THEIR network. He destroyed them with no fear or hesitation and while doing so brought down their heir apparent to Hannity and O’Reilly and face of the future, Megan Kelley. He then told them if you mess with me I will go scorched earth and burn you down in the process. Ailes, relented, the GOP eventually came up with a pledge for candidates to sign. Trump did this to Fox News. Rinse and repeat, Trump did this to Fox News. What chance does Jeb, Scott, Carly, Chris, Marco, Ted, Ben and the rest of the GOP combo band have against that? This was “Must Watch” TV that evidently from the ratings, everybody did watch. It was a very, very public dismissal and dismantling of the Republican status quo.
“They followed the script of “No” all the way to an embarrassing invite to Netanyahu and a misguided letter to Iran, meant to derail sensitive negotiations and deprecate the president’s standing on the world stage; an action that bordered on treason.”
American politics is not pretty. It operates under the cloak of back channels and clandestine agreements far from the gaze of the public and their obsession with social media. It is here that I can only speculate that Mr. Ailes received a call from someone like a Koch or Rove or Adelson simply stating, “Roger. He’s killing us” and Roger Ailes reassuring them the debate will end it all. Only to find out that that which they helped create can not be controlled.
Let’s face it and be honest, we are witnessing the self implosion of the Republican Party as we know it. They’re blocking jobs bills not because of its merit or lack of, but because who will get credit. The Speaker of the House is calling a sitting Congressman of his own party names while that congressman is seeking the presidency in the name of their party. They are splintered by the Tea Party, Evangelical Right and the old guard. They followed the script of “No” all the way to an embarrassing invite to Netanyahu and a misguided letter to Iran, meant to derail sensitive negotiations and deprecate the president’s standing on the world stage; an action that bordered on treason. They have realized “No” was good for hindering a sitting President from governing but have not given in to the fact that over eight years it only marginalized themselves and what little fruit it has borne does not support the party in a national election. Dark money, PAC money, nor will Citizens United help the GOP in this election cycle. Once again, the lessons of the last two national election cycles proves funding and support from many individuals will beat massive funding from a few large entities each time. Why? Because individuals can fund and vote, corporations, even though viewed as an individual by the court, has tons of money but on election day is left outside looking in the candy store window with no lever to pull.
“Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
The GOP current front-runner, Donald Trump is cut from the cloth of Barry Goldwater, the bold speaking Senator from Arizona who captured the 1964 GOP nomination. Goldwater once stated, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” “The Donald’s” political birth parents are the era of Reaganomics, the father of top down prosperity and a Dixiecrat mother who sings hymnals while embracing the social ideology that breathes new life into the fable of the mythical “traditional” family and stalwart American values that would make James Crow blush with pride. However, just as Goldwater won the GOP nod and lost the general in a landslide, so will Trump. Just as Goldwater’s win and then loss forced the GOP to rebuild itself up from the ground up, so will a victory and loss by Trump.
Yet, through it all, a new GOP will emerge with players who are no longer merely reactors to the election of the first black president or controlled by extreme factions of the party. They will have their philosophy of small government, but smart government. They will not be afraid to say the word tax, when they know it is important for the country’s well being. They will also understand that people run the government and therefore should listen to their directives and desires and not corporate entities or the financially privileged few (that’s one for both parties). Oh, people will still lock horns over issues, but these issues will be substantive and not power plays that ultimately shut down the government. We will once again be to trying to make this a more perfect union. No one will be trying to take back a country, we will all be trying to take it forward. But in doing so, one major occurrence is inevitable to happen… Donald Trump will be at the podium on a hot July Cleveland eve, accepting the Republican nomination for President of the United States of America.