Good Morning America! Yes, it’s true, Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. I know it is hard to believe that the country of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt has done it, we have nominated a would be tyrant to be President of the United States.
Somebody pinch me, this must be a very bad nightmare. I know that we tend to elect opposites from one election to another. For example we had, ” I am not a crook,” Richard Nixon and then we elected a man of great morality, Jimmy Carter, who in an interview admitted lusting in his heart. Carter famously wore a cardigan sweater in a speech to illustrate how we needed to turn down the thermostat. We did not want to do anything like that and we turned to President Reagan who made us feel good about ourselves. Bill Clinton could sell ice to an Eskimo and make them feel good about it. President George W. Bush was the king of the Malaprop. We went from the Bush to President Obama who is erudite and eloquent. Well, you get the point.
In all seriousness, we now have the candidacy of Donald Trump. There is no point to pointing fingers as to who is to blame. The Republican Party as an Institution, and the media are the obvious targets, for not having taken his candidacy seriously in the beginning. The Media gave him billions of dollars of free air time. His candidacy was a novelty and they took advantage of the circumstances and made a lot of money in the process, but they failed to do their job and ask the tough questions that each candidate should get if they are to be properly vetted.
Like many strongmen who aspire to be a tyrant, Trump has inflamed the passions of the masses, the unwashed mob who would take our freedoms away in the name of liberty and freedom. In each stump speech he skillfully points to the press, and says they are the enemy. He picks someone out of the crowd to set the mob on. He emboldens the racist among his followers by ascribing blame onto someone else for the problems of those who align themselves with his cause. Whether he chooses to blame Latinos for taking away jobs from white Americans, or chooses to stoke the fears of those present against Muslims, or threatens to physically remove 11 million illegal aliens he is emboldening the fears of the masses in his attempt to be their leader. Women are a target as he is the most misogynist candidate one can imagine. He furthers the flames of racism, as he continues to blame the black guy in the White House for their troubles. It is this backlash that is most troubling, for candidate Trump continues to encourage the racial divide.
One wonders if our democracy has gone too far in allowing a mob to vote. Madison spoke quite skeptically about democracy when he said that democracies ” have been spectacles of turbulence and contention…and have in general been short in their lives as they have been in their deaths.” Adams worried about whether democracy would survive due to man’s tendency to want to be led and his greed.
In Trump we have a candidate who is a demagogue who is willing to use peoples fears and their want to have a leader, lead and damn the consequences. After all, democracy is messy, dictators have it so much easier, they just order what they want and whatever they demand can actually happen.
The Media has made it possible for a reality star to be President. They have failed to ask the hard questions in return for ratings and dollars.
The harder question to answer is what do we do now that we have unleashed the mob. Their anger is quite apparent. They revel in, in your face politics using intimidation to get their point across. The question even arises as to whether or not to have everyone vote. Can our Democracy and our Republic withstand the onslaught of an angry mob? We shall see if hope will overcome fear and whether reason will triumph over hate. It is often said that this is the most important election of our lifetime. This election to be sure is important for the very existence of our Republic hangs in the balance.