As it begins to look more or less unavoidable that the GOP will be hoisting Donald Trump as its candidate for the U.S. presidency, the true dimensions of America arriving at such a sorry pass should hopefully be sinking in concurrently on those who’ve maybe gone the escapist route with the freak show narrative. The search for a nominee that winds up, as it appears right now, in whatever semblance of a battle there is between Trump and Ted Cruz is, one would think, as worrisome a place as a national party in this country could possibly be. There shouldn’t be any, but to dispel lingering doubt, could there be a more unequivocal declaration as to what has befallen the so-called party of Lincoln?
One now former GOP contender, Marco Rubio, obviously had a skewed take on history when he invoked Lincoln in his berating of Trump as a defiler of the conservative legacy of onetime GOP stalwarts. Lincoln as right-wing role model? Really? With Trump, though, ideological branding is hardly the foremost consideration. Try, instead, repugnant narcissist whose presence in any election scenario, let alone a presidential one, insults the intelligence of the electorate…or at least the portion of it that, thank heavens, still works out to be a considerably greater mass than the ignorami outpouring who hail Trump as the cure for whatever ails America.
One TV analyst recently made a particularly salient analogous reference concerning the consistent one-third or thereabouts of the Republican electorate that has been supportive of Trump. Bob Schieffer noted on CBS that polling among Republicans had shown a similar percentage of approximately one-third being of the view that President Obama isn’t an American, is a Muslim, etc. Such findings, of course, starkly define whence comes the Trump appeal. No one ought be surprised at what values predominate where Trump most finds favor.
We can’t feign shock, either, at the progression to raw hate and violence that lately has come to surround the Trump road show. Not when, from the clown-suited character at center stage himself, there’s no shortage of exhortation to deal in aggressive, vengeance-is-mine fashion with anyone singing, or even hinting at singing a different tune. The top clown all the while intoning how much he too would like to personally administer punishment to “wrongdoers” who dare invade the space he and fawning imbeciles share. The clear message: there’s more to come like the now infamous Florida sucker-punch action.
The absurdity of a presidential campaign in which the persistent headline grabber and probable GOP nominee is, by every measure, the most un-presidential choice imaginable, hasn’t escaped the scrutiny of rational observers of the fiasco, both within these borders and abroad. We have previously referenced here the descent into international laughingstock territory that ensues with a Trump candidacy, never mind presidency.
There surely must be others around the world who echo the British Parliament’s sentiments a while back in pretty much calling Trump’s candidacy a joke. Some strange political turns have been made elsewhere, but generally in the Western world, they’re not in the habit of accommodating odd-ball politicians to the extent Republicans have made it possible for Trump to be part of the current conversation. In Britain in the 1960s and 70s when conservative and rabidly anti-immigrant Enoch Powell made clear how polarizing a figure he intended to be, they moved to blunt his effectiveness. Ditto, firebrand Jean-Marie Le Pen in France who, even at an advanced age, hasn’t given up xenophobic rants. Trump, in his GOP hot-shot status, is the conspicuous Western exception.
Then there are the Trump endorsements, some of which have been true to the farce and follies nature of his campaign. The about-face embrace of Trump by Chris Christie, which one commentator called the “endorsement that backfired,” has been so pathetic, it probably has generated sympathy for the New Jersey governor. Ben Carson’s endorsement served only to remind us he ought to have remained in the medical field and not taken himself so seriously. As for Trump’s endorsement by former Yankees outfielder Paul O’Neill, always perceived as the quintessential good-guy, even-tempered jock, he probably became as big an advertisement as there is for staying in your lane.
So after this process toward representation at the highest level has plunged to these forbidding depths of ugly, where does redemption lie? Where to find a saving grace after the hellish interlude? What perhaps looms as the best bet for the country exiting the nightmare with some dignity is Trump being dealt the finest drubbing he never thought possible…by a woman, yet!