It is hard to describe the candidacy of Donald Trump as anything other than a complete disaster—if you are a Republican who has any hopes of winning the next Presidential election. For some of us, the dislike for The Donald is nothing new. For us, it has been decades of observing a self-absorbed, egotistical, and arrogant individual who somehow has managed to confuse his bank account number with his I.Q. Let’s grant him being both rich and having a level of business acumen to get there is well beyond what any of us can even imagine. That, however, does not make him smart, nice, or remotely qualified to be a serious candidate for President of these United States.
Sticking your finger in the eyes of the politically powerful might get you attention and even the support of those who share a belief that the well-heeled and entrenched care little about the everyday lives of working Americans. What is fascinating is the attraction Trump holds for these same folks. Can anyone identify a single instance where the man has shown anything but contempt for anyone he did not feel was up to his standards? He is a bully and a jerk.
Liberals would have us believe there is not a single negative aspect to the influx of immigrants, mainly illegal, from our southern borders. As the facts show, this is simply wishful thinking. However, when Trump utters the nonsense and hatred that marks his campaign, it renders any criticism of a liberal approach as being unacceptable and supportive of Trump. That is incredibly unfortunate. A serious conversation where the positive benefits of immigration are recognized but do not forbid any analysis of aspects that are not quite so positive is what America needs. My own views are probably more liberal than those of many in the GOP, but I am not blind to there being problems.
If Donald Trump is so darn smart, how can he be so bad at counting people (versus dollars)? In 1976, 90 percent of the votes cast came from non-Hispanic whites. By 1988, that was down to 85 percent, in 2000 something like 78 percent. Now, as has been observed by most adults involved in American politics, that number is 75 percent or less. Let’s assume 13 percent of these votes come from blacks (not just African Americans, but all blacks). At ten percent, and growing, we have the Hispanic vote. Just what calculus is it that leads one to believe if the score is something along the lines of 22-3 against Republicans before we line up for the kick off that there is a basis to have a lot of hope of winning a national election?
It is true that Democrats no longer even pretend to care much about working whites (especially those who are male, rural, or from the South). It is also true that a great many of these whites who are not among the rich or elite harbor a great deal of resentment towards both rich whites (who are viewed as not caring about them) and minorities (who, rightly or wrongly, are seen as getting attention and freebies at the expense of working whites). What is also true is that appeals that are, or that are dangerously close to, being racist in nature are both wrong and stupid.
Those ugly messages are wrong because they appeal to the very worst and most selfish natures in our culture. They are stupid, because they are destined to fail. The numbers are the numbers. In addition, the Trump messages damage us among several constituencies critical to any Republican candidate. Time and again, we have seen suburban voters, in particular suburban women, turned off by rhetoric that is seen as insensitive and selfish.
It is totally understandable that Americans are now looking in new directions for political leadership. Too often, the existing powers have failed to deliver what our citizens are seeking. Maybe it is time to turn to new sorts of individuals to take on key positions in our democracy. That does not require us to allow someone who is nothing more than an egotistical blowhard to be taken seriously.
Alienating the largest and fastest growing minority in the country, creating ill feelings among key voter groups, and repeatedly making foolish and hateful comments on all manner of topics. That is the Trump candidacy in a nutshell. If that is not a political disaster for Republicans, it will do until the next one comes around.