MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md., April 10, 2016 — As this election season wears on, some facts have become clear.
All the negative talk about President Obama and government by the Republican Party and its base has been effective. The candidates who claimed they were outsiders are still in the running. The one who has made the most outrageous statements is leading.
Donald Trump, like many successful businessmen, is a good synthesizer. This ability requires taking different facets of a project and putting them together to accomplish a goal. This allows for the successful completion of a task. Most successful people have this ability.
Trump has listened to all the claims and accusations that Republicans have made on the campaign trail and in Congress and has come up with a winning recipe: Make a claim—as general and vague as possible—condense it into a short phrase, and feed it to your base. Example: “We are going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it.”
Trump has struck a chord. Many people that feel they are not getting a fair deal and are looking for someone to blame. Trump’s claim that Mexico is sending its criminals and rapists to our country is just the melody they want to hear. They are not interested in the details; they don’t want logical explanations or truth checkers. They just want to hear their own thoughts echoed by the candidate.
Talk about singling out Muslims for special surveillance and exclusion from immigration have resonated in both Trump’s and Cruz’s campaigns.
Trump’s earlier positions on events and policies don’t matter to his supporters, whose memories are short. He is definitely not an ideologue; he does whatever is expedient for him and always has. He is betting on those short memories to complete this election cycle successfully.
Like Frankenstein’s monster, Trump has built his political persona from parts. His claim that he will return jobs to the U.S. is taken from the progressive candidates. His xenophobic utterances come from the extreme right wing of the Republican party. His creators find themselves unable to control him and have to provide convoluted explanations for Trump’s remarks. His comments about Sen. John McCain are an example of such remarks. Extrapolating from them, one might conclude that all soldiers who died in past conflicts are losers.
Trump’s hypocrisy leaves people gasping. While he complains that our international trade treaties have resulted in failure for the U.S. (an opinion widely held by many, mostly on the left), then does business with the countries he badmouths. His appeals to the religious right are not hampered by his scandalous private life. His complaints about politicians are sometimes caveated by the fact that he has “bought” them in the past.
The Republican establishment is doing all it can to derail his candidacy. Unfortunately, they are the ones who created the current version of Donald Trump. He is their creation, a monster that has taken a life of its own and no longer can be controlled. He successfully synthesizes concerns about liberal media, a sense of political disenchantment, the xenophobia inflamed by groups like ISIS, and perceived threats to religious freedoms to mobilize a segment of the right.
Why is the Republican establishment so afraid of a Trump presidential candidacy? He is out of control, and he could easily lose to the Democratic candidate.
In the last few days we have seen chinks in Trump’s armor. Some of his statements have finally rubbed some of the Republican base the wrong way. They contradict what he has said in public in the past. Trump’s statement that the woman should take blame for an abortion if it is outlawed caused a great deal of commotion and several reversals. Also, Trump’s comments on nuclear proliferation have not been well received.
Like Frankenstein’s monster, the town folks could be coming after FrankenTrump, but it may be too late.
So what awaits the Republicans?
FrankenTrump appears to have the inside track.
If by some miracle Sen. Ted Cruz runs the table and becomes the candidate, he is only slightly more palatable to the Republican establishment. Publicly he comes across like a fanatic a la Joe McCarthy. He also kind of looks like him. He doesn’t appear to have wide appeal in the U.S.
The other option is for a contested convention and for a different person to come out as the winner. Both Trump and Cruz would have problems with that. There could be a third or fourth party candidate.
Seems like the presidency is a slam dunk for the Democrats and is theirs to lose. (We said that in 1980 when Reagan won).
Mario Salazar, a bleeding heart liberal, is fascinated by this election cycle. For a political junkie it is like a wet dream. He is in Twitter (@chibcharus), Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook (Mario Salazar).