March 14, 2016 by gregrabidoux2013
Incendiary. Inflammatory. Explosive. Damaging. Catastrophic.
Is the media talking about N. Korea’s most recent claim that it has developed a Hydrogen bomb capable of wiping out Manhattan or the GOP front runner, billionaire real estate mogul Donald J. Trump?
At times it seems hard to tell the difference. In fact, not only has the hysteria and palpable desperation to “Stop Trump” reached near screeching, near jet-takeoff decibel levels on both CNN and Fox, Trump appears to be doing the unthinkable.
No, not winning the White House or even the GOP nomination (be honest, even 6 months ago you thought both were some kind of a joke to raise the ratings for Trump’s Apprentice show). Yet.
No. Trump appears to be uniting (see, he is a uniter!) CNN and Fox in their shared loathing, disdain and utter contempt for candidate Trump. Okay, now their responses are distinct-CNN, and NBC appears to be doing what it can to ensure a Hillary nomination (Clinton Redux) and Fox is even now, in the face of a coming Florida GOP primary Trump Tsunami victory, continuing to prop up and tout distant-third place Marco Rubio as truly the “one most qualified and day ready” to be president.
But their goal seems to be the same as GOP elites like Mitt Romney. ABT.
Anyone But Trump.
All this Rubio love despite the fact that currently, in Mr. Rubio’s homes state of Florida, Trump is polling at 43-45%, Cruz 20%, while Rubio, aka., “Little Marco” is languishing in third place with 15%, only about 5% points ahead of John Kasich.
So, with Hillary Clinton’s inevitable march to the White House maybe not quite so inevitable thanks to a feisty Bernie Sanders and millions of millennials “feeling the Bern,” and the initial “Not So Magnificent 17” now whittled to 4 on the GOP side, it’s time to examine what is becoming the dominant issue of this year’s presidential race-Are Trump haters actually helping to propel him to the White House instead of back to his digs in the Trump Tower?
Well, let’ take a peek at the nasty sandbox fight this campaign has devolved into.
Hillary is calling him a “political arsonist.” This phrase comes right from a focus-group tested exercise her campaign conducted over the last 6 weeks. About a dozen insulting terms were tested and “political arsonist” scored ahead of the others, especially with her key demographic of 45-65 year olds (sorry, Hillary supporters, your candidate is as scripted and pre-fabricated as any in modern politics). The objective here is that the term will evoke images of urban areas burning, looting, destruction and chaos. With the goal that even law and order minded voters will run into the welcoming arms or at least the somewhat distant, aloof though “ready from day one” arms of Candidate Clinton.
Bernie has called Trump “the Big Con” (Sounds like a Cohen Brothers movie) and he and his supporters have likened Trump supporters to “thugs,” “Stormtroopers” (Star Wars circa 2016) and “fascists” (Mussolini, circa 1942).
Within his own party, Trump’s fellow GOPers have called him among other things a “Con Man,” a “fraud,” a “joke” and a “reality horror show.”
Professional agitators and protest groups like MoveOn.org., who have been instrumental in disrupting several of Trump’s planned political rallies of his, liken Mr. Trump to fascist figures of history like former Italian dictator Mussolini, while others bring posters and wear arm-bands of the Nazi party declaring that Trump is indeed a modern-day Hitler.
And we haven’t even reached the general election yet.
For Trump’s part, he denies the amount of violence the media claims occur at his rallies, blames professional disrupters and Bernie Sanders’ supporters, who he calls “thugs,” and asserts that his First Amendment rights of free speech is the real casualty of these protests and disruptions.
And he still calls Ted Cruz “Lying Ted” and Marco Rubio “Little Marco.”
Well, sure, there’s that.
So, does all this Trump Hating help or hurt the candidate?
Well, recent polls suggest that it may actually be helping Trump (as if the GOP establishment didn’t have enough to worry about, right?).
While Americans may as a whole be uneasy when it comes to the arguably, extremist immigration stance Donald Trump has taken (We’ll get Mexico to pay for the Wall) and seems mixed on just how to feel or what to do with Muslim-Americans, these polls seem to be indicating that continued planned disruptions at Trump events are actually helping to create about the last thing you’d ever associate with Mr. Trump-
At events in Ohio over the week-end, Trump, while still sounding very “Trumpish,” also began to ring the victim bell quite a bit. And to resoundingly enthusiastic response. “I feel like a victim here,” he said, “We all are being victimized by these thugs” he told a crowd in Ohio. And, “They fear our ideas and our movement and want to shut us up with violence” he claimed at another rally.
He may be right. Opponents of Trump do fear his brash, even bullying words, his seeming intolerance and his swagger that borders (sorry) on xenophobia. And some, not all, but some, have hit the “Hitler Button.” Of course, a photo of a Trump supporter making the Nazi salute that has been making the social media rounds doesn’t seem to help allay fears that there isn’t some Nazi-like tendencies festering in the Trump camp.
The fact that Mr. Trump dragged his feet in disavowing an unsolicited endorsement by David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan also didn’t help calm the nerves of folks whose “bigot radar” goes off when they are anywhere near Trump.
But on balance, I can’t help thinking of a classic Billy Joel tune (We Didn’t Light the Fire). The highly combustible mix of anger, frustration, fear, and loathing we are seeing play out in this primary season was not created out of some thin-air, pixie-dust recipe concocted by Trump. it has been, fairly or unfairly, justified or unjustified, simmering and now sizzling for 8 years. And, while he also didn’t necessarily light this fire he sure is fanning it with his bluster, his bullying and his counterattacks. As he puts it, “If I’m hit, I’ll hit back even harder, I’ve got plenty of time to be presidential.”
And so far, he has struck a real nerve. Or make that two nerves. One that loves him and one that loathes him.
But to any and all trump haters out there I’d simply share a word or two culled from political history and perspective. The last thing you want to hand a bully is the “Sympathy” or “Victim Card” to play. In this case it could be just the trump card that Donald seeks to move his act all the way to the oval office.
If indeed Mr. Trump is nothing more than some fascist bully as his most virulent haters assert, then let him expose himself as such to America over the next few months. To do otherwise, to attempt to silence him through violence, to, in effect, bully and intimidate anyone who would support him is simply to practice a form of intolerance and coercion similar to those figures whose names are evoked when practicing such politics of suppression.
Let’s give American voters a bit more credit here. In the end, we do tend to get it right. Or left. Depends on the mood of the country at the time of the election, doesn’t it?