Republicans long ago lost their moral authority to claim the mantle of Lincoln. Since Lyndon Johnson, they have bitterly divided the country with code phrases and vivid metaphors like "welfare queens" to exacerbate the racial divide. After all, President Johnson knew the South would be lost to the Democratic party for at least "a generation" with the passage of the civil rights legislation and 50 years later the South is more solidly Republican than ever.
All these code words and intimations about "urban crime" and "welfare cheats" have morphed into a candidate who no longer disguises his racial antipathies. The appeal to racism is no longer subtle or cloaked in symbolism like when Reagan made a campaign speech about "state's rights" in Philadelphia, Mississippi, a backwater where four civil rights workers were killed in 1964, or when George W. Bush opened his campaign for president at Bob Jones University where interracial dating was banned.
With the presidency of Barack Obama, the alienation and disenfranchisement of the angry white male voting base constituting the Republican party's electorate has festered. A black president, changing demographics, wage stagnation and the legalization of gay marriage have served to undermine the old order in which white males, particularly those without a college education, felt some hegemony. There seems to be no place left for them to go besides coalescing around a candidate who demonizes Mexican immigrants as "criminals" and "rapists."
When two men in Boston beat up a homeless man while shouting pro-Trump, anti-immigrant sentiments, Trump retorted: "I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country, they want this country to be great again." It is left to Donald Trump to explain how the beating of a homeless man contributes to the greatness of America. Very recently, Trump clumsily failed to distance himself from David Duke and other white supremacists who have flocked to his campaign like a moth to a flame.
However, among his followers Trump is immune to criticism. The more anger and vitriol he employs the better. He himself has said he could "shoot someone and not lose voters." He is the Teflon Don! His policies seem to shape shift resulting in no lose of support. Most recently, he backtracked on his advocacy of torture by saying he would respect international laws that govern the use of torture after initially proposing that he would bring back "waterboarding" along with "much worse."
He even brought his phallus into the discussion at the last debate. No topic is too salacious or too graphic to be deemed as unworthy of mention during a presidential debate. The Republican party is devolving before our eyes. It is no longer not only anti-intellectual as it has been at least since the presidency of George W. Bush, but now moronic and sophomoric as well.
Yet his angry base stands tall. Their existence is reaffirmed by a former Democratic Party-leaning billionaire who would not give them the time of day during a chance encounter in everyday life. I mean, how much contact could Trump possibly have with the common man anyway given his chauffeured limousine rides or his trips in his eponymous jet? It only remains to be seen if the recent attacks on his business enterprises like Trump University where "students" paid huge fees to be served pablum or other businesses, such as his failed airline shuttle, will hurt him. Likely not!
Alas, Trump is a Frankenstein monster of the Republican party's own creation. The party establishment, it's elite, like former Presidential contender Mitt Romney and Karl Rove have done their best to explain the consequences of a Trump candidacy, but his persona defies characterization by anyone other than the self-aggrandizing, megalomaniacal billionaire himself.
Surely, a Trump presidency would be an unmitigated disaster for the nation which would lead us to fondly recall the good old days of the George W. Bush administration when government ran smoothly. And it would take a hypnotist of unparalleled skill to conjure such a memory. Imagine any world leader, no matter how highly esteemed, who wounded the ego of Trump. An international incident would ensue and our oldest allies promptly discarded and humiliated. We simply can not choose a leader of the most powerful democracy in the world who singly admires one foreign leader- Russian President Vladimir Putin -- or who uses the prestigious forum of a presidential debate to brag about the size of his member.