Boosting Trump Dooms the Right, Advances Democrats
What if one-third of the right’s seething, trust-only-their-gut rabble cram Trump, already a General Election underdog, down their party’s throat? Early in the primaries, fire-breathing Trumpery has already dismantled the rightwing propaganda machine. Plus, he’s discredited all elitist “conservative” ideologues and their tiresome, failed ideology. Overall, Trump is a wedge widening the broken Bush coalition of billionaires, evangelicals and seething white workers. Why, top Repugs are almost as distressed as the frustrated blue collar mobs cheering the new Trump towers.
That all sounds good to this progressive: let’s toast the Donald as the greatest schismatic force in politics, splitting open a staggeringly insular, anti-thought and Constitution-defying party. And this happy news precedes the inevitable tsunami of scandals coming Trump’s way, as his personal and business dirt oozes to the surface. Agreed, Trump is less extreme, less ideological (on abortion, taxes, trade, Israel, Asian wars) than the fanatic Cruz, even Rubio (or Carson’s fans). One embraces a disruptive Trump nomination though not without dreading the Trumpster trashing the White House.
With GOP mud flying fast and furious. all the more reason for the exceptionally clean, scandal-free Sanders to emerge as the strongest Democrat. Hillary, with negative baggage the size of Maryland, is the perfect bulls eye for vicious, demagogic Trumpian antics. Look how Trumpery demolishes all opponents, with decades of fewer ducks in a row (vs. HC). Against Sanders, but not Hillary (with also high negative ratings), Trump’s sky-high disapproval numbers (pushing 60%) will be front and center.
Will Trump suddenly win over the 65% of his own party who reject him (many like Meg Whitman with fervor) and/or consider him unelectable in the General Election? Does Trump yet have a national constituency —beyond his one-third of the disempowered. Will evangelicals forever dismiss hard evidence linking Trump to sinful gambling and strip joints, the underworld, KKK support, inherited wealth, multiple divorces and bankruptcies? Are there enough under-and unemployed angry, white, bigoted yahoos — and how many will certainly vote in all-important battleground states?
Where’s Trump’s National Party?
Let’s concede all the ’08 “Romney states” to any Republican nominee, but how does the Donald take over half of the key, close contests, like VA, WI, CO, NH, OH, PA and FL? What if nominee Trump, seriously more discredited by November (however hard to believe), drives down all Republican voting, as the less objectionable Romney fell millions short of McCain’s ’08 totals? That’s why elected Republicans fear Trump, as not only a blown chance against vulnerable Democrats, but a wrecking ball to its entire power structure.
Thus, is it such a reach to project that a divisive Trump nomination offers the greatest chance to make America greater: by boosting reform Democrats, even pulling some out of the shadows? More than half the activist billionaires will likely support Hillary, the predictable, multi-millionaire whose Senate and State careers did not damage their treasure. The rest will tone down or go with fellow oligarch Trump, who only happens to be the richest, most business-friendly, anti-tax corporatist ever to run for president.
Will Trump’s zero program specifics not torpedo all those vacuous promises to bring industry and job growth to countless Rust Belts? What imaginable majority of voters will embrace foul language, illegal bans against entire groups, loutish defenses of torture worse than waterboarding PLUS directing violence against rally protesters or unarmed families of alleged terrorists? And let’s not forget delusions of self-defeating walls (real, and with tariffs) that will alienate most the world. Finally, what happens when the military refuses to follow a lawless and unconstitutional President Trump order? A coup comes even quicker than an impeachment.
Yes, Trump could draw in angry non-standard voters, but for how long will hardscrabble workers tolerate Trump’s fat cat, anti-worker sense of entitlement? Will mounting negatives not grow when the world learns in depth about his unChristian, go-for-the-throat business practices? What happens when his great wealth is exposed as no less corrupt than that of his billionaire buddies? And more for there will be a definite electoral price for Trump’s dramatic, infamous flip-flopping (on abortion, taxes, trade, guns).
Law of Unintended Consequences
So, I present this great irony: marginally literate, Obama-hating pitchforkers are mobbing together to make a long-shot bet — that trashing GOP candidates polling best against Clinton or Sanders (like Rubio or Kasich) will liberate them from anti-worker, pro-outsourcing dinosaurs they help elect. Thus, backward Tea Party types today push a disrupter who’s destroying GOP power bases on the ludicrous chance things will “just turn out right in the end.” If Trump were a Democratic plant, could he any better obliterate the entire Republican Party and brand? In short, rightwing outrage, by grinding away at sacrosanct rightwing foundations, will produce mayhem that advances Democratic chances. The longer Trump lasts, the greater the divisions.
Trumpery, the best con job ever on the blinkered right, looms as the best lever to reverse Senate control, even cost GOP House Seats. That’s why that snake, Senator Mitch McConnell, just insisted that elected Republicans would “drop [nominee] Trump like a hot rock.” McConnell is not alone and Christie’s Trump endorsement is getter slammed. Even against the vulnerable Hillary, Trump looks to divide the party of Bush-Cheney and produce a Goldwater-like fiasco. Thus, Republicans will have an utterly contradictory, two flank battleground: they will viciously attack the Democratic nominee while somehow distancing themselves from Trump the loose cannon, assaulting both disdained Democrats and Republicans alike? That way lies GOP mayhem — and about time, too.
3 Stages, New Progressive Era
To kickstart a generation-long Progressive Era, three things must happen. The GOP hegemony (over state houses, Congress, and the judiciary) must be permanently splintered, its core contradictions splattered, its national leadership humiliated. Two, we need a new crossover coalition (as with the Sanders movement) among white voters victimized by job-outsourcing and crony capitalism with millions of minorities shut out from jobs, training and housing options. 3) sufficient electoral disruption so that a generation of progressive voices are motivated to run for office, propose bold solutions, and push for systemic reform promised in ’08. Now we’re talking change, not theatrics — and yes, we must transcend obsessions with the bizarre, personality-addicted, presidential circuses.
This week, that means renewing support for Sanders so he maximizes his challenge to Hillary’s re-found media “inevitability.” Simply nominating Sanders triggers a national consciousness-raising campaign that will make his agenda for social democracy palatable. Because Sanders will not stoop to gutter politics, and his career is invulnerable to rightwing cheap shots, Sanders offers more constituent crossover leverage and fewer vulnerabilities than Clinton.
So, go for it, Trumpsters: eviscerate the Republican brand, humiliate national leadership and shred the ideological folly that makes the right such lock-step goons. Then see what happens when a majority of rational adults ultimately reject an undisciplined, dangerous narcissist who indulges his lowest, gut instincts. Best of all, Trump vs. Sanders dramatizes all the key differences between a rank amateur and crass opportunist playing a dangerous game vs. a genuine, honorable movement leader on the brink of what could define the Second Progressive Era.