Sunday, July 26, 2015

Trump: Bastard Child of the GOP

Unless you're a reality television junkie, chances are that, until recently, your knowledge of Donald Trump was mostly a mental image of a billionaire with a bad hairdo. The odds now are that if you don't know who Trump is, you've been living under a rock, or cast away on a deserted island.

"The Donald" is all over the media, both conservative and liberal, and not for good reasons. Buffoonish behavior makes for great headlines and sound bytes. It doesn't make a person qualified to be the President of the United States.

Smarter people than me have already pointed out that Trump has as much chance of being elected to the presidency as the odds of the proverbial snowball surviving hell. Still, among Republican candidates he ranks first in many polls. You can bet this has the GOP stalwarts in a frenzy; as well it should since he's tainting their entire brand.

Not so long ago, Trump would have been given the bum's rush. What's happened to make him a genuine contender for the Republican nomination?

The answer to the question is that Trump has finally managed to successfully capture the basic message of today's GOP, make it even more hateful and elitist, and spoon-feed it to people who are ready and willing to vote for him mostly because he's loud, obnoxious and just plain nasty.

In other words, he's taken his reality television persona to new heights (or lows, depending on your viewpoint) and is thus resonating with the angry, knuckle-dragging crowd.

Trump's methods - coarse insults, sneering personal attacks, childish temper tantrums - have been time honored tenets of the Republican party since the days of Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon.

The GOP itself gave birth to Candidate Trump, and now they're wringing their hands because their spawn has managed to capture the limelight and hijack their party - no mean feat in a field of contenders that boasts such colorful whackjobs as Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal.

To add to the entertainment, Trump has already shown he's willing to attack his fellow Republican candidates with the same viciousness he unleashes on Democratic contenders. So, we're treated to the amusing spectacle of listening and watching as the GOP's leaders stumble and fall over themselves in a mad rush to condemn the presidential hopeful they themselves had a role in creating.

The party that gave us McCarthy's witch hunts for supposed Communists, Nixon's Dirty Tricks Squad and the "swiftboating" of John Kerry now has a true standard-bearer, and they have no one to blame but themselves.

The Republican Party deserves what it birthed, and that offspring is Donald Trump.

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