Let's not kid ourselves. The Donald Trump spectacle didn't rise up like a Phoenix from ashes of necessary change and renewal.
When Barack Obama was sworn in as President in 2009, the GOP was already laying groundwork for the insurgence that would lead to Trump's frontrunner position today. They did it by fabricating rhetoric that Obama's policies would threaten our national security and lead us into economic ruin, among other scary things. For good measure, they even called for indictments of presidential treason.
As a result, the doomsday seeds the Republicans planted created a monster. What we have today is a frightening, not to mention embarrassing crisis on our hands in the form of Donald Trump--an unhinged, ego-maniacal, narcissist with no political experience whatsoever, who has taken advantage of the illusory paranoia and exploited it. He preys on gullible citizens, the minds of whom he enjoys terrorizing simply for his own self-aggrandizement.
The GOP has a bad memory. Its members seem to think that the U.S. was basking in prosperity prior to the Obama administration. As most of us know, those were disastrous times. The stock market had plummeted, the economy had tanked, the housing market had gone belly-up and unemployment was sky high. Plus we were engaged in two wars.
Journalist and author, Fareed Zakaria said, "Republicans have fed the country ideas about decline, betrayal and treason. They have encouraged the forces of anti-intellectualism, obstructionism and populism. They have flirted with bigotry and racism. Trump merely chose to unashamedly embrace all of it, saying plainly what they were hinting at for years. In doing so, he hit a jackpot."
I disagree with Mr. Zakaria on one point; I don't think the GOP has been "hinting" for years. They have in fact been pounding the fear-mongering into the minds of angry and uneducated Americans since day one of Obama's Presidency. It seems the animosity runs deep.
Now the GOP is shocked by Trump's popularity. Excuse me? All the negativity against President Obama that they themselves purported and the relentless provocations of an economic apocalypse is what spawned his popularity. Nothing more, nothing less.
It has worked. In the last 7 years, it scared the pants off the naïve and bigoted in this country. Enter, Stage Right the pompous yet charismatic Donald Trump appearing as a demi-god-messiah with promises to save our crumbling nation and deliver us to the Promised Land.
Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid said, "The Republican establishment acts bewildered. But they should not be bewildered. As much as they may try to distance themselves from it now, Republican leaders are responsible for his rise. Republican leaders created the drought conditions; Donald Trump has simply struck the match."
Yep. The manipulative seeds have propagated and now the GOP is officially at DEFCON 1.
In all fairness, Trump is equally as responsible as the Republicans for this mess. He has single-handedly brought out the hideous dark side of America. He has massaged the absurd claims of treason against President Obama. He's even condoning acts of aggression to his followers by inciting violence at his rallies while subtly predicting more unrest if the protesting continues. He has brought a heretofore simmering pot of hostility, racism, misogyny and xenophobia to a full boil, and an eerily significant portion of the population seems willing to drink in their fill, day after day.
So now, what the Republicans are saying is that they don't want Donald Trump to get the nomination because they don't believe he can beat Hillary Clinton in November. Not because they want to save our country from a calamitous Presidency led by a tyrant. No, saving the Republican Party seems more important.
A few months ago, a frustrated Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said that choosing between Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump is "like being shot or poisoned." Graham continued, "Donald Trump I think is the most unprepared person I've ever met to be commander in chief. And when it comes to Sen. Cruz, he's exhibited behavior in his time in the Senate that makes it impossible for me to believe that he could bring this country together." He also added, "If the past is any indication of the future...I think America would be in trouble if any of them got to be president of the United States."
But, as of last week, Sen. Graham changed his tune and is now endorsing the sanctimonious, Bible-thumping, Ted Cruz to "save" the party. I must have missed something. Is Ted Cruz the bullet or the poison?
I do give kudos to Sen. Graham for being so candid about his current frontrunner: "When Donald Trump speaks about foreign policy, it scares the hell out of me."
What foreign policy? Other than building an impossible wall, bringing China and Mexico to their knees and bombing the "you-know-what" out of ISIS, I have not heard Trump utter a single rational foreign policy plan.
Here's another interesting point that Trump supporters don't consider. We see how immature and combative he is with debate moderators, journalists, fellow candidates and even the Pope himself. How do his followers imagine he will interact as President with fellow U.S. politicians and other world leaders?
Trump may have a lot of autonomy in the hiring and firing of employees in his businesses and on reality television, but as President, firing members of congress won't be an option. He will also not go far by insulting our close allies and other foreign dignitaries. Can you imagine the peevish tantrums he will throw when he doesn't get his way? His psychopathology will emerge worse than what we have already witnessed.
Bottom line is--thanks to the GOP--Donald Trump is shamelessly cashing in on the fears of innocent, brain-washed minds that have been fed lies of economic decline and betrayal for a long time. That is as reprehensible as all the hostility and brutishness he has personally incited.
I do believe the GOP is right about one thing: Donald Trump cannot and will not beat Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders) in November. I have every confidence that the American people will make the right decision.