Sunday, 20 March 2016

Inside Job: The Growing Destabilization of Presidential Politics

It has become commonplace for journalists and even politicians to stand amazed at the low level to which the Republican party has sunk with the rise of Trump politics.  The talk is of old rules and standards not applying, of battles for the soul of the party and the soul of the nation.

The growing concern over violence at Donald Trump rallies (Guardian, 11-March, 2016) is but one symptom--albeit a despicable, graphic one.  What isn't talked about nearly enough is that this is the party the Republicans made.

The Republicans are (ironically, for them) a minority party, with minority views.  To gain a governing majority they made a Faustian deal with the fringe elements who have always existed--Nativists, John Birchers, radical Evangelicals, White Supremacists.  Since 1980 (Reagan), and up until 2012, this "coalition of undifferentiated anger" could be counted on to respond to every new, trumped up [sorry] Liberal outrage by voting Republican. When the things this angry block wanted did not come to pass, the party they had elected demonized and blamed the Democrats for it not happening.  And they further demonized the Democrats as representing the rotting "establishment" that needed to be brought down in apocalyptic terms.

This reactionary coalition of undifferentiated anger now has a billionaire figurehead.

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