Donald Trump did not damage the GOP but represents the damage done by Republican leaders.
Every time the first symptom of a man’s folly appears, he strongly condemns it as a miscreant who came in uninvited and as an alien to everything he stands for.
In other words, stop telling me how Donald Trump is damaging the Republican Party. The fever is not the cause of the infection.
At the Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes pretty much tells Republican leaders they have no one to blame but themselves:
“The Republican party created Donald Trump, because they made lot of promises to their base and never kept them,” Erick Erickson, the conservative editor of RedState, told Molly Ball of the Atlantic.
Erickson is right. “At this point, most of the people I encounter on radio and on the internet, they’re not really people who at the end of the day want to vote for Donald Trump,” Erickson said. “But they sure do like that he’s burning down the Republican Party that never listened to them to begin with.”
In Washington, the rift isn’t taken seriously. But it should be. Even before Trump arrived on the Republican scene it was getting worse. It began to grow after Republicans won the House in 2010. A significant chunk of the rank and file, spurred by right wing talk radio, blamed Republican leadership in Washington for failing to thwart President Obama and reverse or minimize victories he’d won in his first two years of office when Democrats had large majorities in both houses of Congress.
In my opinion, the rift started showing in 2006 when Republicans were not inspired to go to the polls and keep their party in power. It got worse in 2008 with the nomination of John McCain whose main virtue was being “to the right” of Mitt Romney. It has gotten worse from there.
Do you want to blame someone for damaging the Republican Party? I can suggest a villain: The Bush family and the interests they represent.
Trump is just collecting the ruins created by the Bush family and the interests they represent. He is reviled like a corporate raider is reviled by a CEO who is responsible for making his company vulnerable to such an attack. It is obvious the Bush family has been far more influential over the path of the Republican Party than Trump has in the last twenty years. So if you want to diagnose the rot, don’t look at the most recent damage. Go to the source.
But the phenomenon is wider than Trump and the GOP. What are we to make of Bernie Sanders preaching socialism to 28,000 people who came to cheer him?
(By the way, if you have time to watch Sanders deliver his sugar, you might be better able to endure it if you ask yourself what he is implying about eight years of the Obama economy.)
In my opinion, you might find the key to the riddle by reading the works of John Taylor Gatto on the history of schooling in the United States.
Our political masters thought they were so wise training the populace to bow to any leader they selected. But now the flaw in their plans is obvious. The better the mechanism works the more likely the selection process can be hijacked by someone the Establishment doesn’t want. Sanders and Trump could both fit here.
Dumbing down the American people seemed like such an easy way to get control over them. And I’m embarrassed at how well our leaders have succeeded. But encouraging people to be stupid in order to make them more easily controlled (more “governable” as Paul Krugman likes to preach) doesn’t mean you are going to be better able to keep control of them. It could lead to the opposite result.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had more people who were critical thinkers and not ruled by their fears right now? Such people , I think, would be far less likely to rally behind Trump or Sanders.
Dear Establishment members, you should have thought of that before!
You may defeat Trump but the problem isn’t going away. Some day you’re going to be faced with someone the people want who makes you wish you had Trump. You have no plan B for how to rule the populace and it is only a matter of time before you lose control completely.
You think you’ve set us on the road to Serfdom but you’ve made it more likely you are headed there with us.
Way to go.