When Donald Trump first announced that he was running for president, many political pundits predicted that his campaign was a joke that wouldn’t last for long. We tried to analyze his chances, claimed that he would drop out before Iowa, and stated that GOP establishment would eventually step in and put an end to Donald Trump’s shtick.
All of these predictions have gone out the window. After Iowa, Trump won resounding victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina. Jeb Bush and others have dropped out of the race, and only party favorite Marco Rubio seems to be able to mount any sort of token opposition to his campaign.
If any other candidate in recent political history had demonized immigrants or attacked the Vatican, they would have been yesterday’s news. But Donald Trump has done all of that and more, and every media outrage has given him more support from the angry mob that is America’s far right.
The GOP base is angry. For decades, they have been told that trickle-down economics work and that immigrants are the cause of their financial woes. The Bible Belt has seen factory jobs disappear and be replaced by minimum wage work at Wal-Mart. Rather than blame corporate greed and crony capitalism, they’ve accepted the GOP message that government and the very social programs they rely on to stay afloat are to blame.
White conservative America is furious that we have a black president that says our way forward is economic equality for all, rather than a select group that feels entitled to the American Dream based on their race.
Nobody has learned to tap this resentment for personal gain better than Donald Trump. He knows how to harness the anger of the underemployed, as well as the bigots, and use this discontent to sell the slogan “Make America Great Again.”
His campaign doesn’t address specifics or policies. Donald Trump has only repeated the most simplistic talking points designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator in the GOP, and it works. There are no solid proposals or ideas, just rabble rousing.
If these voters wanted to make America great again, they would vote for Bernie Sanders instead of Donald Trump. Sanders has the proposals that would expand healthcare, fix our infrastructure and put people back to work at the same time. Unfortunately, the GOP has made the words “liberal” or “socialism” so unappealing to voters that they would rather starve than vote in their best interests.
The scary thing is that Donald Trump could very likely win, especially if liberals don’t vote in November. Trump has an incredible number of uninformed and bigoted Americans embracing his nationalist rhetoric which combines reality TV drama and politics. He may be a psychopath, but Trump is a very successful one.