I stand on all I said in my August 12th post about “The Donald” (namely, that he’s a blowhard who is running for President only to boost the Trump brand and, hence, his own income). Nevertheless, a new doubt has recently crept into my thinking – not about Trump, but about his success so far.
Trump has taken the lead in opinion polls by exploiting the frustration, fear and anger of a broad swath of a very large disaffected electorate.
His policy prescriptions are, mind you, poppycock, but Trump has the luxury, alone among the candidates, of not having to care. His followers don’t believe any elected official can solve the problems facing us, so they’re content to support someone who gives voice to their disdain for the political status quo. Trump, of course, has disdain aplenty, and his scathing criticisms of the other candidates (“loser,” “moron”) feed this narrative of Trump as the anti-politician hero.
The most recent precedent for the kind of political uprising Trump is sparking occurred in Germany in the 1930s. I am not suggesting Trump will turn out to be the same as Hitler. But it’s worth remembering that Hitler came to power with no political experience by stimulating and focusing the German public’s anger about WWI and subsequent hyperinflation of a broadly disaffected electorate. Hitler’s competitors were, by turn, hapless, shapeless and hopeless, which is precisely how the 2016 field of Republicans is already portrayed.
Trump is tapping into a wellspring of anger in America some of it racist, xenophobic or misogynist, much of it simply madness. The alleged and seeming inability of our leaders to effectively manage our economy, conduct world affairs and address the social issues of modern times has made Trump, like Hitler, the epitome of an anti-politician.
From the beginning much of the American experiment is premised on conflicting ideals being reconciled through the give-and-take of the elective and legislative processes. It’s a system which has prevailed for 200 years in heading off extremism in its worst forms. Hopefully, that will yet happen.
We MUST not be complacent.
I have seen and heard too many Democrats say: “Good for Trump. He will destroy the Republican Party and we will clean up.” But, how can we be sure?
Hillary has BIG negatives and even two-thirds of Democrats do not trust her. How can we be certain that the TRUMP parade will not steamroll the whole angry, frustrated country? Remember that in 1930s Germany, the establishment said over and over: “this cannot happen here in modern Germany!”
He who fails to remember history is often doomed to repeat it.
The time has come for ALL OF US to stop playing silly political games with Trump’s role in this election. We must step in to the breach and fight with all we have to take him down.
Hollywood, all forms of the press and all thinking and caring people must come together and stop this crazy man from seducing, and inciting, the whole country.
Where are you Mike Bloomberg??