WASHINGTON, July 12, 2015 — America is having a Howard Beale moment, and it’s about time. The media tell us we need to worry about “extremism,” especially the kind that emanates from right-of-center. Electability, they tell the gullible public and their equally gullible political candidates, requires a level-headed disposition.
Forget all that, says iconoclast and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. In that sense, Trump resembles screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky’s fictional newsman Howard Beale from the 1976 film “Network”:
I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot. I don’t want you to write to your congressman, because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write.
I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, “I’m a human being, Goddamit! My life has value!”
So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, stick your head out and yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
If anything, Donald Trump is America’s angry, rage-filled, cathartic moment.
His less-than-delicate denunciation of the ills Illegal immigration is having on America was his ticket into the nation’s wheelhouse. The mainstream media called Trump an insensitive racist. The organized left demanded that his business partners immediately sever all financial ties with him.
And if the Washington Post is to be believed, the Republican National Committee Chairman, Reince Priebus, spent an hour on the phone telling Trump to tone down his rhetoric; it is making GOP “donors and consultants,” not to mention “Republicans in Washington,” nervous.
That explains why recent polls show Trump in a dead heat with the GOP’s presidential frontrunner, and mild-mannered milquetoast, Jeb Bush.
Republicans don’t know it yet, but their party is dying. That’s why they keep nominating flat-liners like John McCain, Mitt Romney and, most likely, Jeb Bush. That’s because a tea party/conservative/libertarian coalition within the party of Lincoln has yet to coalesce and oust the empty suits of the GOP hierarchy.
And so, while most presidential candidates in both parties mouth empty platitudes about positive campaigning, the majesty of mindless American mobs, and assure a dwindling and frightened middle class that a dazzling future awaits them, Trump instead zeroes in on the negative.
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You can’t grapple with problems by pretending they don’t exist. Worse yet, the media pretend that flooding the nation with illegal immigrants — people crony-capitalist GOP donors can exploit for their cheap labor and Democrats for their votes — is worth the crime, disease and the strain on our nation’s social safety net.
America yearns for a new breed of brash, articulate conservative that says, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
Until that day, rage on Donald Trump. Rage against the dying of the light!