Over the last several months, I've written a couple posts about the current political climate, specifically mentioning Donald Trump, the crowds that he was drawing and the vitriol that was being spilled. Afterwards, many friends and some family told me I was overreacting. Trump was a carnival side-show. He can't articulate actual policy, let alone a coherent speech. He's crude, vulgar and a bully. He won't get that far.
As you know, we've reached a point where there are four Republicans left in the field; a religious zealot who is despised by by more than half his co-workers and gleefully almost caused a default on the US debt, the next big thing who having fizzled completely and failing to unite anyone behind him has resorted to discussing penis length during a national debate, the governor touted as a moderate who has signed nearly every reproductive rights restriction that has crossed his desk dramatically impacting women's access to abortion and medical care in his state, and finally, Donald Trump.
You know I'm a Democrat. I make no bones about it. Do I have opinions on a host of topics - sure. Could I provide you a cogent argument as to why I believe what I do - absolutely. Would I expect to change your hearts and minds - no, but I would hope we could have civil discourse. For those of you firmly entrenched in your opinions, I don't expect to sway you - I'm good, but I'm not a miracle worker. Just as I have several opinions that no matter what you say, you're not going to sway me on either. But I'll listen to you, I'll respect your right to voice your opinion. I don't have to like it, just as you don't have to like mine, but I would hope that at the end of our chat, we could have a beverage and maybe a snack together.
The pundits say that even if Trump becomes the nominee, which is still debatable due to the delegates outstanding and what may happen at the convention, that he'll never win the general election. I hope and pray that this is true. But more than that, I can't stop thinking about what has become of discourse and civility in our country. Where has this enormous backlash against education and intelligence come from? The Republican debates have, by far and large, been embarrassing, mean-spirited and full of inaccuracies that rarely seem to be called out. Trump's rallies have given us a plethora of examples of the worst of our human character traits - protesters punched, shoved, taunted, kicked and all while Trump stands at the podium egging his supporters on. Even today, his Chicago rally has been cancelled due to security concerns. Two recent Trump quotes from his rallies specific to violence:
"I'd like to punch him in the face, I'll tell ya." (said of a protester from a 2/22/16 rally)
"There may be somebody with tomatoes in the audience. If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell - I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees." (Iowa rally 2/1/16)
Can you imagine Ronald Reagan saying something like this during a rally? Could you imagine George H.W. Bush discussing his penis during a debate? I can imagine him walking off the stage and disavowing anything the others said. Can you imagine George W. Bush telling a crowd in Spanish that Mexico is sending rapists and murders across the border? These aren't even my guys, but if you forced me to vote for one of them versus Trump or Cruz (because Rubio and Kasich will be gone soon), I'd put Reagan's corpse back in office.
Trump does not give one solid fuck about the people voting for him. Make no mistake about that. He cares about himself and his brand. He has no solid plan for how he intends to bring about any of his ideas. The Republican National Committee should have disavowed him months ago, forcing him to run as an independent and depriving him of what he desperately craves - attention.