Wow! The Republican Convention will be a Trump coronation. He’s bagged an “elephant” — one more trophy to go with his cars, buildings and wives. How exciting for him. What’s surprising is not Trump’s triumph, but rather how soon and quickly his opposition collapsed following the Hoosier State primary.
Trump’s reverse Republican Party takeover speaks less to political skill than to a weak field of Republican candidates, particularly the last two standing – Ted Cruz and John Kasich. In the end, Trump’s “idiotology” was more appealing to the base than Cruz’ and Kasich’ Party line ideology. None of Trump’s opponents have anywhere near his media savvy, presence or brand recognition. Cruz and others failed in part by mimicking at times Trump’s schoolyard bully style complete with “in-your-face” insults not realizing you can’t beat a bully by being a bully too. Trump was helped by the ineptitude of Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee [RNC] chairman, and Party brass who were unprepared for Trump’s circus. Yes, it’s true, the Donald thinks serious is spelled “circus”.
We are starting to see which Grand Old Party (GOP) leaders will (i) join and actively support Trump, (ii) bless him and then offer no support, or (iii) object and abstain from voting. The former Presidents Bush – Pres. George H.W. Bush and Pres. George W. Bush and (would be Pres.) Jeb Bush will not support Trump, others like House Speaker Paul Ryan are not ready to commit. See reports on their views here at Time, here at New Zealand Herald, at Huffpost and RealClear Politics respectively. I disagree with most of the politics of these people, yet do have some sympathy – Trump has more than crashed their Party; it must feel like a home invasion to them right now.
On the other hand, they lit the torch on wedge issues that birthed and fed an extremist right wing base, including the Tea Party. Trump fanned these flames with “plain speak” bringing them out of the proverbial closet in a bid to make false pride and prejudice seem mainstream to Trump’s “silent majority”. This then gave wing to his candidacy and the angry crowds. Wings of wax that will melt in the heat of the general election, just as Icarus’ did when he flew too close to the sun.
Here is one of the early lists of GOP who do not support Trump. My Twitter feed, and perhaps yours too, has seen Republicans upset with Trump’s win, with a number leaving the party. Have you seen the burning of registration cards too? One Tweeter asked what special wink, handshake or signal is needed to join and vote Democrat. I explained that it’s not like the KKK, just register and vote. It’s going to be messy with Trump’s ascendancy. Once he has his way with the Party, the people who feel violated and leave may never return. Whatever emerges will have less substance and a narrower, and baser voting base. It will no longer be recognizable as the GOP.
What happens now? Well, anything can happen in a reality show. It gives me pause because I often say anything can happen in America too. Perhaps we will see a rebranding – will it be “The Trumplican Party”, or the “Trumpian Party” or maybe “Tempest in a Tea Party? I believe most current Party members will see getting branded like so much Trump steak as a mistake. I heard Trump might want to actually use a branding iron.
Trump will also try to play the general election with a Trumplican deck and his favorite cards; the Ace of hate, King of anger, Queen of Ku Klux Klan, Jack of misogyny, and the Joker – his “mancard”. It will show his small hand indeed. Speaking of home invasions, right-thinking Americans across the Nation won’t want to see him in their White House. I know Democrats will make every effort to make sure that doesn’t happen. You can see right here that Trump has already been Warrened (spelling intended).
Trump has shown us incredible, irredeemable flaws that make his election unlikely. Certainly so far, he has shown he’s some kind of trollish pied piper, wearing a coat reflecting his cards of hate, anger, intolerance and misogyny. Trump’s march and his tune is attracting extremists like flies and bringing them to his big white Trumplican tent. The fantasmical press generated in the process is crowding out the Borowitz Report and the Onion. It might even explain why Stephen Colbert is revamping his Late Show. How to do humour when the whole world is a circus? Maybe Jon Stewart left The Daily Show because he saw this coming… nothing is funny anymore.
People joke about Trumpenstein, yet — the scary thing is there might be a wild card out there somewhere. What if we see a Supertrump instead, capable of leaping over to the White House in a single bound? Shudder, shudder — eh? This means he has to jump over his own policies, temperament and beliefs, morph from cartoonish to human or at least human-ish and build a platform attractive to and worthy of America. He would need to build a moral core and Americans would have to trust him with the family nukes. Can he make all that happen? Unlikely, yet I don’t think we really want to wait to find out; instead, need to leave no stone unturned to ensure we see a Liberal Nation Rising.
Few people thought the GOP primary would be over so soon with Democrats still fighting amid talk of a contested Democratic Convention. Even if not contested, the remaining interim contest until then is unappealing and wasted energy. The left needs to get behind a candidate; ideally someone tried, tested and tough. Maybe even a little hawkish because Trump will use guerilla warfare. Someone with their own brand. Oh, and a womancard, yes that would help tremendously.
Bernie Sanders needs to see the light and sort things out with Hillary Clinton right now. Get on over there Bernie, it’s time to talk.