The most interesting thing about the Donald Trump candidacy is not the outrageous things he is saying, though I grant he says a lot of things that are off-the-charts nuts and dangerous.
By far the most interesting thing about the Donald Trump candidacy is that the GOP - a party representing half of our government at the highest levels of institutional power, a party which now holds real levers that matter - the Republican Party does not have anything better to offer.
Everybody is saying how Trump is dangerous. I understand why people think that, but it is also true he doesn't hold any power in government. He isn't involved in the process of governing us whatsoever right now. He's rather toothless in that regard.
Isn't it far more dangerous that the people now governing us, the people holding power in the Republican Party have no better answers than Trump?
If they do have better answers, why are those answers not being articulated in the primary?
Isn't it a fact that the more dangerous and ridiculous Trump's rhetoric, the more apparent it becomes that the Republicans in power have nothing better to say in response?
I mean, shouldn't it be easy for them to beat Trump? Aren't they incompetent if they can't?
For goodness sake, the man is selling this: Building more walls, xenophobia, Islamophobia, huge tax-break windfalls for the fabulously wealthy while the budget used for legitimate government bleeds red, bullying, rudeness, bigotry, and the terrible list goes on and on.
That is the brand. That is what Trump is selling to make America great again!
Republicans in power cannot beat that. Their base voters are buying Trump. Why? Apparently he is the best thing available. They, after all, are the buyers.
This is pure, brutal capitalism at work. This is electoral politics at its best. The Republican pants are pulled down right now. We all get to see it. It is sad, yes, but also kind of funny and very instructive.
Trump did it. We should sincerely thank him. Also, for God's sake, we should sincerely agree never to elect him president of anything dear to us.
Could Trump pull this running in the Democratic Party? Not a chance, not even if he got all liberal-ed up and started championing causes cherished by the left. Why? Because he is a bigoted, bullying, rude, racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, cut-throat capitalist who will stick it to everybody not branded Trump until the day he dies ... and probably he will figure a way to stick it to us from the grave as well. He may be paying lawyers to arrange for it this very moment.
Why is it so scary, after all, for the Republican Party if Trump wins the nomination? Isn't it scary because he would lose so very badly? And isn't it the case that if they run on what Trump is offering, it will mean the death of the modern party?
Wouldn't a Trump nomination put The Republican Party solidly in Jerry Springer Show territory? Wouldn't they embody that metaphor, like a farcical reality TV show, before our very eyes?
Trump exposes - clearly - that Republicans have nothing better right now.
Cruz is also saying extreme things. I think he is much worse than Trump. Trump would attempt to govern; Cruz is only here to burn everything down. People are not going to elect him to lead us into the brave new world of change that is by God coming.
Cruz wants to go backward. I doubt that is a legitimate option for most voters.
I cannot predict the weather. (I am not a scientist.). Nor can anybody hope to predict political outcomes with any certainty. However, I predict that soon will emerge out of these political ashes a rebirth. The modern Republican Party is dead - I don't believe it can survive this. Or else, if they are alive, where is their alternative to Trump's lunatic message? Show us the brand.
Change is inevitable. Movement is inevitable. The question then becomes this: Which way are we moving? The modern Republican Party has been moving to the right for at least the past 3 decades. They will keep moving - there is no stop.
Can they keep moving further to the right, as Cruz says? Where does that lead the party in practice? As far as I can tell, there is no legitimate governance to be had further to the right; to the right are things like fascism and violence and poverty and anarchy. Seriously.
But move they must. Eventually, sooner or later, probably soon, they will have to start figuring out how to move back to the left, to the place nearer the middle where governance takes place. Citizens will insist upon actual governance. They will even vote about it.
Lincoln is correct: You can't fool people forever. You also cannot keep moving to the political right forever. I can almost feel the big plates jerking around beneath our feet.
I believe it is possible that history will view the 2016 election cycle as the context which gave birth to a legitimate governing party, the post-modern Republican Party. It may take many years to root out the weeds and poison and move in a progressive direction, but it is going to have to be done, even if it pisses off a few oligarchs.
Because now, today, the modern Republican Party is not even better than Trump.