So, Cruz is out. And we’re honestly and truly going ahead with this Trump thing. Wow, America. You have really let yourself go.
Basically everyone who isn’t a Trump fan is positive that the Trump campaign has an extremely serious race problem. But here’s the thing. I don’t think for a second that Donald Trump, the man, is an overt racist. But he is campaigning on some very harsh racial stereotypes and he is doing it on purpose. The tepid endorsement from David Duke and the appearance of alleged KKK members at rallies and voting precincts had at one point provided Trump with a golden opportunity to emphatically declare a position on race — an issue which remains divisive and critical all across America. But instead, he acted as if all this race crap is just liberal bullshit.
At their most benign, fans of Trump don’t believe that race is a legitimate issue in America anymore, but instead the product of so-called “political correctness” [what we used to call “manners” in the old days]. At their most dangerous, Trump supporters enthusiastically cheer at Trump’s absurd promises to begin: 1] deporting all Muslims; 2] killing the entire families of ISIS members [which is a war crime of the very highest order]; 3] building a magical wall between us and Mexico; 4] and so very much more.
Now, I know a great many conservatives who are not at all racist. And I don’t believe racism is a Republican cornerstone at all. But I’ve listened to enough [more than enough, really] of Trump’s statements on a variety of issues that I can honestly say I don’t have the slightest idea what his real plans for the country are at all. And I don’t believe he does either.
What appears to be happening is that Trump is wooing Tea Partiers and other disenfranchised Americans — including [it has to be said] more than a few lifelong Democrats — with good old fashioned hyperbolic vitriol. Or is it vitriolic hyperbole? Either way, it’s the Southern Strategy laid bare and cranked up exponentially. Policy? Ideas? Reforms? Strategy? What need have we angry Americans for these crude tools? There’s a man up there shouting the things I’ve always wanted to say. And by God, he’s FAMOUS!
That’s what it seems like, anyway.
A good friend of mine who is a thinking conservative says that this is precisely how Trump’s mind works as described in his “The Art of the Deal.” To win in business, Trump advocates coming on incredibly strong and abrasive to begin with. Use brute force to make enemies of adversaries. Be bold and reckless and brash and unpredictable. Then, when the deal gets closer make small concessions and minor capitulations to win over the people you’ve terrified. Get them saying, “Well, he’s not such a bad guy after all.” In truth, this is all straight out of Machiavelli.
So, while Trump may be scaring the shit out of all of us today, the capitulation is very likely just around the corner. And that’s when the shit gets really terrifying.
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