Why should you read and why should I write yet another post about Donald Trump? After all, there have been more column inches written, more words telecast and broadcast and more discussion on social media about him than any other candidate in either the Republican or Democratic primary battle. However, we must remember that at first he was a novelty, a curiosity and a late night show punch line. Many of us considered him a clown or an entertainer, not a serious candidate. Yet, it is a fact that, since entering the race he has moved into the top position and has remained there for many months. Not only has he lead the pack in the polls, but he has consistently dictated the agenda and controlled the conversation. Most concerning, despite his tendency toward inaccuracy, exaggeration, bluster and incitement, his poll numbers have not only held, but have grown. Reality is that his campaign has defied all predictions and mocked historic precedent. The Republican establishment is now recognizing the precipice on which it finds itself and is scrambling to somehow avoid tumbling into the abyss of party destruction. While only weeks ago all of the experts and pundits believed that a Trump nomination was extremely unlikely, today they are secretly quivering at the prospect.
We can all rightly condemn the Republican party for enriching the soil from which this abhorrent candidate has risen. Though it may make us feel better, it doesn’t speak to the real issue at hand. We have observed often during the past decade how extremely polarized our country has become. It sometimes seems as if we live in two different countries with completely opposite sets of values, visions of the future and interpretations of our history. Clearly we have seen parts of our population polarized in the past over issues such as Civil Rights and the Viet Nam War. However, today if feels almost as if we are living in two countries, separate and distinct and having a difficult time co-existing. I will leave it to the historians, sociologists and political scientists to pontificate on the causes and roots of our internal alienation. What I believe we need to do at this moment is understand the danger that confronts us and begin to act to protect ourselves. If that sounds as if I believe that there is an urgency to this situation, you are reading me right.
There are several reasons that I feel this urgency. First, I believe that it is entirely possible for Trump to win the Republican Presidential nomination. Second, his words ring of xenophobia and nationalism while they reflect the resentment and alienation of many who feel that they have been left behind. Third, I think that he has tapped into a part of the population that is not typically politically involved and is therefore not yet counted in the polling. Fourth, I believe that he has taken pragmatism to new heights. His campaign has adopted an attitude of “the means justifying the ends” to an extreme. Fifth, while he is certainly a man with vision, it is that vision that I find most disturbing. He seems to view the Bill Of Rights as a tool to serve “the greater good”. In his world it seems that individual rights are subservient to the “greater needs” of the country. Where have we seen theses attitudes before? Finally, the candidate that is knocking at the door closest to Trump is Cruz, another extremist who is equally frightening. Either candidate would jeopardize the America that we know.
I, as many, have often said that it would be great if Trump were the GOP nominee because it would create a historic victory for the Democrats. I also know that this an election year like none other that I can remember. What we think we know, is simply wrong. Why do I write yet another post about Trump? Because I am concerned, very concerned about the possible consequences of a Trump candidacy.