After New York, Donald Trump's vaulting ambition to be POTUS remains on track (in his mind and that of his supporters at least). The nation's sense of angry helplessness in the face of today's issues - the erosion of middle class incomes, a tax system that benefits those wealthy enough to avoid it, and a foreign policy of embroiled, un-winnable wars - remains a powerful force.
The hijacking of America's 2016 zeitgeist by Trump's Conservative motor-mouthing gained public traction by preying on the fears and frustrations of those who know just enough to be ignorant, with or without a college education. Together, the mixture of this popular resentment and his populist rhetoric evokes fear of history, if not repeating itself, then whistling a similar tune (#theriseoffascism & #20thcenturyEurope).
What is more baffling is that those who are at the tail-end of the offense - Muslims, hispanics and women - have been voting for Trump too. At the state primary in Michigan, the state with the largest Muslim population in the US at about 30%, Trump's win included both the anti-Muslim and Arab anti-marginalized vote. He won the Latino vote in Nevada, more than half of the GOP Hispanic vote in New York City and pocketed the highest score among women voters in New Hampshire, South Carolina and, once again, Nevada. Firing salvos of insults still leaves him counting supporters, not to mention his awakening of sleeper cells of misogynists and racists skulking in the undergrowth of an alternative reality.
But like the white majority that can afford to criticize its own, Trump's divisive language has given some women and minorities the opportunity to say what they believe: that they do not relate to all their sexual, ethnic or religious kins-people. Women can lean out rather than in, Muslims can separate themselves from extremists, and hispanics can un-cuff themselves from illegal immigrants.
The era of political correctness seems to have achieved the opposite to liberating diversity. It has forced upon these individuals an identity based on a shackled solidarity with their race or gender. Trump promises to make America secure enough for them to step outside their demographic boundaries. They are tired of the tar brush to the extent that even derogatory generalizations, wielded by a vitriolic, caucasian male are a way out of what they see as their racial or ethnic predicament. To give them the chance to express themselves outside their stereotypes, he meshes their resentment with values from the past, when decent folk told it like it is and prejudice was often confused with honesty.
So some have chosen to ignore the lies, bigotry and fakery that have been passed around like a church plate of conviction and excuse his incitement to violence as a necessary misdemeanor in light of the bigger fight for change. Even being caught out with a thoughtless comment about punishing women who have an abortion did not put to an end to what, one hoped, would be an electoral super bowl's half-time entertainment.
His primary victory in New York has reinforced this voting peculiarity. New Yorkers are a proudly opinionated bunch; they naturally argue outside their gender, ethnic or religious stereotype. The tacky glamour that is Trump Tower is as much a part of the Big Apple as is the intellectual elite of the Upper East Side, and the feisty eclecticism of its Five Boroughs - Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, as well as 27 congressional districts, including some in upstate New York. Firmly back in his boisterous backyard, Trump was able to appeal to the same off-piste opinion, but without having to incite the usual cat fights between his supporters and opponents.
So, as he acknowledged his New York victory, Trump set aside the antics of the bar-room brawl and appeared smart, earnest and sober in his rhetoric. Placing himself among the politically legitimate, "lyin' Ted" became "Senator Cruz" and gnat-to-be-swotted, "Kasich", was now "Governor Kasich". And, elongating those fingers towards the presidential pedestal, he declared it "an honour" to have cast his vote.
Trump's trumping in New York lends a new air of decorum to his solid credo of the chameleon. Knowing that his east coast supporters will be expecting details behind the sweeping braggadocio, he now ventures forth, newly-armed with tele-prompters and a speech writer to help him capture the upcoming states of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland.