There are a number of aspects of this election cycle that are confusing and saddening to me. First and foremost is the rhetoric being delivered by Donald Trump; but it’s not so much the message he’s espousing as the huge success he’s having with it. Back in the George W. Bush days, I thought we had reached a new level of bluster, where he could say pretty much anything (mission accomplished!) and there was no consequence.
Trump is now proving that racism and xenophobia are alive and very well in the United States of America. The irony is that his slogan is “Make America Great Again” and his method is to discriminate based on race and religion. To use physical violence to solve problems. To make bold claims, many of which have no bearing in reality, and face no consequences. In fact, this next-gen bluster is winning him support.
The irony is that the GOP frequently refers to democratic candidates as socialist, pointing out similarities to Hitler or the U.S.S.R., but in reality, Trump is acting more like either of those fascist regimes than anyone. He even quoted Mussolini! I don’t think my WWII veteran grandfather ever punched someone to convince them of something. That’s not the Great America he protected in the Navy.
I’m still not convinced that Trump’s campaign is anything more than a ruse to show just how broken the system is. That’s the only scenario in which I could see myself appreciating this exercise.
Another baffling aspect, probably distorted by media coverage, is how Trump is easily the most talked about candidate and is leading the GOP polls, while the second-most talked about candidate (Sanders) is trailing significantly in his primary. Trump, the front runner, frequently references Sanders as well. I have a hard time believing the popular vote would go to Clinton, but maybe this is where coverage doesn’t match actual interest. Sanders (and Trump, to be fair) is a more compelling story.
* = PC enough for ya?