It’s time to Break It Down!
I have hesitated to make this point earlier because the bottom line is we all have the right to self-determination. The franchise of the vote is personal and sacrosanct. However, I have watched with curious interest, and written on several occasions about the runaway freight train of a phenomenon that the Trump Primary Electoral Tour has become. Clearly, this post will add to the list.
As we prepare for the last week of voting before the advent of spring, more and more Republican leaders, call them Establishment for lack of a better word, have come out and shown their hand in an effort to galvanize an anti-Trump firewall; an actual Movement, referred to in some circles as “Never Trump!” This ideological force field’s singular purpose is to prevent Donald J. Trump from securing the GOP Nomination.
Recent initiatives, including those of Mitt Romney who set out with his own one man show a week and a half ago, and Marco Rubio who last week went so far as to cede an entire state, Ohio, by urging Ohio voters to vote for a rival, Ohio Governor John Kasich in that state’s Primary, rather than himself, all in an effort to create a Tic-Tac-Toe style block to thwart the Trump machine. That move, Rubio falling on his petard, was foreshadowing in a way, for while Kasich did win Ohio yesterday, Trump pummeled Rubio in his home state’s Primary, forcing the Florida Senator to suspend his flagging Campaign.
In a race that has become nearly as entertaining as Indiana Jones’ pursuit of the Ark of the Covenant, a number of key Republicans are pulling out all the stops. Here is how you know things have reached a critical mass. Early in the election season, most of the candidates systematically and in virtual lockstep routinely blamed President Obama for every ill in this country, past, present, and future. Without regard for the facts this was simply the strategy. For example, say someone’s brother-in-law’s cousin’s son’s classmate’s father was unemployed. President Obama’s alleged “horrendous job policies” were to blame. Forget that we are in the midst 72 consecutive months of adding jobs to the U.S. economy, the longest such period of job increases to the economy since records have been kept. That kind of illogic, in fact untruth, is emblematic of the kind of fact-free madness that rules the day in Republican campaign circles.
As recently as a couple of weeks ago, that was true even for some of the ridiculous antics surrounding Trump rallies. For months, there have been reports of Trump supporters verbally and physically attacking protesters at his rallies. Never mind why voters who support other candidates would attend Trump rallies in the first place, be that as it may. They do have a right to free assembly…but it takes a special kind of person to submit needlessly to such abuse…when there have been so many examples of what one can reasonably expect. Nevertheless, several of Mr. Trump’s competitors attributed Trump supporters’ actions to the President.
That was then. Fast forward to here and now. This past weekend the intensity of crowds, protesters, and raw rhetoric all combined to reach a predictable boiling point. In fact, the environment became so rough and unstable in Chicago that authorities cancelled the planned event.
So how does all this dovetail? Well, now, Mr. Trump’s three remaining competitors (two after last night) for the GOP Nomination have all concluded that he actually has contributed to the atmosphere that has led to these extracurricular activities at his events. Surprise, surprise; if one were a cynic, one might think this newfound visionary insight by these men is a product of routinely getting their pants beat off them by the Donald.
That brings me to my existential point. All the finger pointing about the cause of Trump’s success; all of it, whether thrust at President Obama, or even Trump himself, for that matter, is misguided. No matter how much Republicans regret or resent it, Mr. Obama is the Commander-in-Chief. Still, his considerable powers, stemming from his high office, do not enable him to coerce one single Republican voter to cast a ballot for Donald Trump. In a similar vein, given all the Donald’s bluster, wealth, and considerable influence, he has not cast a single ballot in any of the GOP Primaries or Caucuses held to date. To frame it in terms of a familiar axiom, “When you point fingers at someone, three are pointing back at you.”
This past Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” journalist Carl Bernstein characterized Trump as a ”neo-fascist who is appealing to nativism, racism, and bigotry.” From many if not most people’s vantage point, he has been all that and more. Yet, vote for himself, is not something he has done.
Now, take a step back, and breath deeply while you are at it. Don’t believe the hype, and don’t be deceived by all the talking heads or political genuflection. The compelling question is, who is responsible for the rise of Donald Trump?
First, let me tell you who/what is not responsible. It’s not:
- Barack Obama
- Hillary Clinton
- Bernie Sanders
- Black Lives Matter (BLM)
- The Iran Nuclear Deal
- The Economy
- The Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare)
Having been perfectly clear about what has not been responsible for producing Trump Madness, no sleight intended to March Madness, the culprit in this mystery is far too evident for all the handwringing and intrigue machinations offered by a variety of theoreticians. Simply put, first let’s discount the notions of blame, or credit, depending upon one’s perspective, for the unexpected success of Donald Trump. Instead I suggest we shift the paradigm, and think and speak in terms of accountability.
That being said, there is but one element that logically can be held accountable for that which DJ Trump has become, and that group is, drumroll please…Republican Primary/Caucus voters…period, full stop, exclamation point for emphasis.
Anyone who opts to cite one of the 10 factors delineated above, from President Obama to Entitlements, or any other(s) in lieu of the individual living, breathing, sentient, beings who actually pulled a lever, or checked a box with Trump’s name affixed thereto, is dissembling, obfuscating, excuse-making, or dare I say more pointedly, just plain lying through their collective Centrals, Laterals, Cuspids, Bicuspids. Molars, and Wisdom Teeth.
The most ardent explainers and excuse makers insisted the problem was simply one of proportionality. They reasoned that having 17 candidates in the field ensured that the votes were splintered into too many disparate parts for the will of the people to shine through. They also said as the number of prospective candidates winnowed down, the votes would go to other candidates and Trump would fall off and eventually drop by the wayside. That was 13 (now 14) former candidates ago, and with just 4 (3 as of today) candidates remaining, including The Donald, Mr. Trump is not only still in the thick of it, he often pulls from 40 to 50 percent of the votes in primaries and caucuses. So how’s that been working for them?
Ergo, if you are Republican and Donald Trump prevails, in the off chance you didn’t vote for him, odds are…you have a boatload of friends and associates who did. Feel free to send them a card that reflects your gratitude, or lack thereof. In case you’re having difficulty coming up with an appropriate sentiment, “Thanks for nothing” comes to mind.
Conversely, if Trump becomes the nominee and you rep the GOP, and perchance, you did vote for him, give yourself an enthusiastic pat on the back, not unlike Mr. Trump does to himself at the slightest provocation. What can I say? If that was really your choice, extra long pause…then undoubtedly, you got the candidate you deserve!
To be clear, despite all the efforts and initiatives undertaken by concerned Republican leaders, Donald Trump is doing just fine, thank you very much. Of course, the grand prize of the day was Florida, where he literally ran “Little Marco Rubio” (a Trump appellation) out of field. In addition to the Sunshine State, he won in North Carolina, and Illinois yesterday. Governor Kasich won Ohio (where Trump finished Second).
At midnight with 99% of the votes reported in Missouri, Donald Trump held a razor thin lead (about 2,600 votes). This is actually critical for the guy Trump calls “Lyin’ Ted,” since of the four out of yesterday’s five contests already decided, Cruz had not won any, while Trump had taken won 3, and Kasich 1.
Don’t get me wrong. There are those who dismiss the wisdom of the voters. As a rule, such people think certain voters have not thoughtfully considered their options, or they have been hoodwinked and bamboozled, or that they are simply unaware of the consequences and repercussions, or worse case, all of the above.
I simply do not believe that to be true. The GOP has in large measure been baptized by fire in the font of pure unadulterated Obama hate. Donald Trump has been fashioning what became his campaign persona all the way back to the time of the Birther controversy. He is in effect, the anti-Obama, and as such, the natural candidate of choice for countless Republicans. Therefore, it stands to reason, from my observations anyway, Mr. Trump has distinguished himself as the one guy running who is most un-Obama-like, and as a result, he has established himself as the man to beat on the way to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention, July 18-21, 2016. To wit, finger point all you want to, if you want to; just remember, “Three are Pointing Back at You!” That’s ironic, as there are now also (just) three candidates left in the race.
I’m done, holla back!
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