By Pamela Raintree
August 3, 2015
This week’s question – yes, it takes a week to properly research a story and say anything intelligent about it, so this will be a weekly blog unless someone wants to pay for a research team – comes from Facebook: “Donald Trump and what the world is coming to when a bigot is #1 in the polls?”
Jean Lafitte, Butch Cassidy, Jesse James, Wyatt Earp, Bonnie and Clyde, Al Capone, and Donald Trump are among America’s most beloved thugs. Gunslingers, robbers, mobsters, a slave-trading pirate, and The Donald who gets his jollies off by humiliating people on national television, or at least until the producers said, “You’re fired” – all ruthless, self-serving, parasites, and all with their cult followings. The simple fact is that Americans love villains. Why? I’d bet that The Donald knows.
Rob Garver, writing for The Fiscal Times said that, “an overarching concern for the Republican Party has been the impact that Donald Trump might have on the GOP primary election.”1 Women’s Rights News quotes Republican National Committee member, Steve Duprey, from a Reuter’s interview as saying, “He’s not going away.”2 Maybe that’s because, “Trump is a demagogue dedicated to riling up the people (particularly conservatives) with race baiting, traditionalism and strongman tough talk,” as claimed by a Salon article.3 Take a closer look at the guy.
“Trump has found support from Republican voters looking for a successful businessman to jumpstart an economic renaissance—and someone who won’t be bullied by anyone.”4 When questioned about immigration, by Jeremy Diamond, for CNN Politics, he says, “the 11 million undocumented immigrants” … “must go.”5 Sounds like xenophobia to me, and his views of women are less than stellar. Women’s Rights News reports; “According to a recent report, when a lawyer needed a break to pump breast milk, Donald Trump called her ‘disgusting.’” 6 Healthcare? Umm – Well, according to the Jeremy Diamond story, Trump has gone from being a proponent of single-payer to “appeal Obamacare.”
Jeffery A. Tucker opined in Newsweek that a recent Trump speech was, “a brazen display of nativistic jingoism, along with a complete disregard for economic reality.”7 He went on to make the case that The Donald is a Fascist, saying,; “Trump has tapped into it [Fascism], absorbing unto his own political ambitions every conceivable resentment (race, class, sex, religion, economic) and promising a new order of things under his mighty hand.”8 I’ll leave that argument for others. I’m supposed to be writing about the significance of his ranking in the polls anyway.
So! Who is it that actually supports Donald Trump? It so happens there is a poll that makes it pretty clear. Yahoo finance reported; “The Quinnipiac survey found that Trump had the plurality among self-identified tea party (23%), evangelical (20%), very conservative (20%), somewhat conservative (24%), and moderate/liberal (17%) Republican voters.”9 CNN reporter, Chris Moody, put it more succinctly, saying “the real estate mogul turned Republican presidential candidate, has, for the time being, captured the hearts and minds—or at least the attention–of GOP primary voters.” “Trump’s support is strongest with Republicans in the Midwest, conservatives across the country who do not have a college degree and (perhaps not surprisingly) those who report the most negative views of immigration and Mexican immigrants in particular,” according to Janell Ross, in the Washington Post.11 And they like him because?
Ring of Fire Radio cites Salon as summarizing; “The GOP tends to preach and practice intolerance, xenophobia, nationalism and anti-democratic values (i.e., voter suppression). In many ways, the GOP is anti-enlightenment, and embraces passion over reason.”12 Salon’s Conor Lynch writes that “race baiting, xenophobia and belligerent nationalism — is not unique to Trump; he is simply the most blatant and vocal about it.” … “the party’s base likes what he’s saying. The people are angry about illegal immigrants murdering white women,” … “homosexuals destroying the tradition of marriage, and so on.” … “right-wingers are reacting angrily to social progress of the new century.”13
ABC News conducted interviews with individual Trump supporters. The responses don’t exactly mirror the assessments above: a college student likes his business acumen and that he’s self-funding the campaign; a business owner agrees with her regarding business skills; a retired gentleman with atrocious grammar agreed with Trump’s attack on McCain; a Democratic supporter also cited Trump’s view of McCain’s capture in Vietnam; another person likes his immigration stance, and; one respondent wants the country run like a business.14 These responses appear to support the conventional wisdom that elections come down to the pocketbook. Maybe so.
I know that my views could be expressed in terms of economic issues. That is probably unavoidable in a society that translates everything into a cash value. What I see in all of this is the battle over who deserves how much of the cash, and who will make my choices in the future. That isn’t necessarily reflected in what I’ve written above, but I never promised that what I write would be strictly academic. That said, my vote is going to the person who I think will promote the health and welfare of the most people on the planet. Personal freedom is essential to that, in my opinion, but personal freedom does not extend to the public enterprises or government agencies that can exercise control over individuals. That is to say; if I open a business or take a job with the government, my choices in those roles would not be personal, and thus would be subject to regulation.
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