By The Piper
The elephant in the room, as the saying goes, is none other than Donald Trump, the blond billionaire from New York. ‘The Donald’, as some in the elite media still call him, has been peddling patently racist, xenophobic and aggressively sexist narratives.
He has also introduced a new genre in American politics by attacking the personal appearances of opponents and media figures who do not buy his merchandise. All the same, he is leading in the polls!
How could someone with practically no experience in running for elected office be doing so well? Weren’t we all led to believe that the Bush dynasty would continue via Jeb, perhaps this time without the ‘mis-underestimation’ of No. 43? What in the world has happened to this last paladin (Jeb), or to the prominent anti-union activist, Governor Scott Walker? Why isn’t Marco Rubio doing better, given his obvious political abilities and gift of speech?
Everyone seems puzzled, and to boot, pundits long ago predicted a flame-out. Yet the Trump machine keeps going, and this, even after the fantastic performance of Carly Fiorina in the second debate.
Let’s get to an explanation for this troublesome development. I think the best way to get at some clarity is to tweak the assumption that human beings always act in their self-interest, and especially so with respect to matters of economic well being. For a long time now there has been a ‘Kansas’ problem, that is, where working class whites who should rationally be voting for the Democratic Party, have given themselves to the extreme right.
Trump understands that all too well. He understands that the Republican base is built not only on tax-cuts and fiscal responsibility, but also on a deep sub-structure of racial thinking. He must have figured out at an early stage that all of the establishment candidates will champion the economic interests of ‘Wall Street’; a few will dig in on issues dear to the religious right – abortion and gay rights. What about racism and sexism, the two other planks of the conservative house? The Republican field has for years simply jettisoned these problems out of their campaigns.
Trump decided that he will pick-up those issues, especially race, because there is a whole class of voters who were being left out, who had no place to hear or express their racial and sexist commitments, other than on talk radio. He had already tested the waters with antics concerning President Obama’s nationality and religion. He got away with it, and in fact, he may have even burnished his image as a so-called straight-talker.
And so it was, in typical fashion, Donald Trump entered the 2016 election campaign with a big bang by calling Mexicans rapists, murderers, and the other vices usually heaped on immigrants in time of need or political desperation. He has now expanded his war against all immigrants, albeit under the cover of illegal immigration. Donald Trump knows what he is doing. The real question is – what will Americans do about Donald Trump?