This won’t be too long, but it’s time I addressed these matters simply because of this issue’s unexpected longevity in both the news cycle and of course subsequently in the musings of the radical right.
The candidacy of one Donald J. Trump for the presidency of the United States has been a spectacle of policy-lurches, endless gaffes, and repetitive tirades… which have decimated the authority of the political ruling class like nothing in the history of the entire nation. A potent mix of voter frustration and hatred of the rhetoric-muzzle which has descended in this age of political correctness, along with a bombastic and highly successful personality has managed to keep ‘the Donald’ at the top of the polls well clear of the other candidates for months on end, with the Iowa caucuses rapidly approaching.
As you can imagine, the media and the Republican establishment are sweating bullets, as are many of the ‘Conservative’ blowhards like Glenn Beck and the writers of RedState. An army of self-described trolls have carried Trump forward, engaging in a devestating battle that has buried Trump’s critics and left them looking hysterically stupid.
The most recent episode was Trump’s proclomation that Muslims be prevented from immigrating to the United States during a temporary period until the vetting process was improved, in response to the San Bernardino massacre conducted by lone wolves linked to the Islamic State. The national media exploded with frothing accusations of Nazism, an on-air rant by Fox’s resident queen, solicited denunciations from Trump’s competitors, and even a British petition to have the candidate banned from entering the United Kingdom (a country with a stellar record on its handling of Islamic issues, including Jihadi John, the broad daylight decapitation in Woolwich, and the rape of thousands of schoolgirls by ‘Asian‘ grooming gangs). However, just as with every other incident before it, it doesn’t look like Trumpmentum is ebbing in the slightest. If anything, he is gaining ground with the increasingly afraid and pissed-off electorate.
“‘Can’t stump the Trump!” has become the popular rallying cry on Trump-friendly boards like 4Chan’s /pol/ and Twitter. Can he be stumped? Well, certainly not by other people’s attacks on him, and apparently not even by himself either. An objective analysis says he will not win the nomination, and I base this on two things:
a) I think his supporters are largely lazy. They don’t have the kind of fervor that, say, a supporter of Ted Cruz has. This is the pitfall of a populist campaign, in that while Trump certainly has many ideological supporters, much of his base are people who don’t see politics as part of their daily lives and are gravitating to Trump not because of his policies necessarily, but because of his brand and his admirable disregard for the stale conventions of American democracy. These people have trouble turning out for elections.
b) I think the party will do anything it can to prevent him from becoming the nominee, even if it means backroom tricks at the nomination convention. We have plenty of evidence from the last 7 years alone that the Republican Party will vote with the Democrats to gang up on the specter of the ‘far right’. They’re not so different from the UMP in France.
So, what’s the final verdict? Can the Reactionary truly want Trump to lose? Yes, but lose in a certain way. It is massively beneficial for us if Trump actually ends up winning a plurality of states, but is mugged at the convention and launches into a fuming tirade. The party gets split, the anointed candidate (likely Florida Senator Marco Rubio) will lose badly to Hillary Clinton, and the result is that the party is, for all intents and purposes, finished. Embittered Trump voters will have been mugged by the realities of democracy and will look elsewhere for a political outlet, joining the ranks of the dissident right. There are no democratic solutions to the crisis of the modern world. Where Trump matters is the edge of the Overton Window, not the electoral college, his rhetoric is lending an air of legitimacy to our more extreme sentiments, and you can see in various articles from the left that this is where their concern over Trump lies, not the man himself, but what he is giving rise to on the gritty underbelly of American political sentiment.
With that said, I am all for encouraging Trumpism, because I am confident it will be extinguished, although much later than the Republicans hope. Let’s get this man as close to the finish line as we can. The further he gets, the greater payoffs we stand to collect. People say that the things espoused by the former ‘Apprentice’ superstar are dividing the nation. Good. That’s exactly how we want it.