A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
If my life’s goal was to be as offensive and foul, as narcissistic and friendless as possible, I would emulate Donald Trump. You’ve probably met this kind of person before. Trumpians are rather rare in middle class America, thank God, but you never forget the experience. Trump is nothing more than a user of others, a money-grubbing, calculating con-artist who sees every acquaintance, every person he meets, as nothing more than an opportunity to feed his ego and ingratiate himself. Trump has empathy for no one. He goes through relationships, friends, wives, like the rest of us go through tissues during the winter cold season. Those who claim to be Trump’s friends do so only for whatever benefit they hope to gain because, in my opinion, no one is truly a friend of Donald Trump. This is the classic behavior of the back-scratching Narcissist Club. Notice how the entire Republican party elite and its speakers of its propaganda network (iHeart Radio, Fox News, etc.,) all claimed absolute revulsion for Mr. Trump for years, but now that the bizarre parade of bigotry, misogyny, and white supremacy called “the Republican primary” has awarded their precious the Crown of King Narcissist, they’ve all become Mr. Trump’s lackeys and suck-ups. “No your Lordship, I’m sorry, your penis isn’t small, I was really talking about your hands.” They’re falling all over themselves to apologize after calling him, so many times and in so many ways, what he is: infantile and pathetic. For the thinking people among us – moderates, Independents and Democrats – never have so many people been made so nauseous by so few. It feels like the nation has suffered a giant case of election season food poisoning.
Millions of Americans suffer chronically and greatly under Republican policies that have hurt them for decades. Republicans have forever opposed raising the minimum wage, have slashed funding for job retraining, unemployment benefits, education assistance, medical care for the needy, drug and alcohol addiction treatment, etc. The Republican political machine is the worst enemy of the middle class, of unions, the poor and the under-educated, yet more of Trump’s supporters are these same increasingly-disenfranchised and angry people. Trump said it himself. “I love the poorly educated!” That Trumpian gaff (among so many) revealed volumes about himself and his party. Trump knows well that if his adoring fans ever looked at the facts, they would flee him and his party. The Republican Party only survives on members who never look at facts, and instead, happily dive into an all-white, mostly-male mosh pit of angry, ignorant bigots and misogynists. Trump deeply insulted his own base; they didn’t even notice. (There is no explaining the women in his base, other than the fact that raging bigotry and the mob mentality can drive a person to extremes.)
But this is where the Republican Party is today. The party elite for decades has been feeding and nurturing a party of violent bigots, white supremacists, religious extremists, women haters, child haters, gun fanatics, survivalists, and even separatists and militiamen, and all of these groups have thronged Trump gatherings and often physically attacked anyone who didn’t look like them. The reason the Republicans pursue these groups is because fanatics cannot see past their own obsessions; their extremism hides from them the fact that Republican policies are largely to blame for their angst. Strangely, the election of President Obama presented an opportunity for the Republican machine, never mind that none of the delusional claims and theories about Obama’s background make any sense, and never mind that Obama’s presidency has been one of the most productive and respected the nation has ever seen, especially coming off the Bush/Cheney debacle. Again, rational logic doesn’t need to work for these people. Hatred trumps everything. The result of course is Donald Trump, who appears to be a horrific mix of Moussilini, David Duke, and Stephen King’s evil clown character, Pennywise.
What can you call it when the Republicans have for so many decades fought relentlessly to overfund the military, drag us into needless wars, deregulate all businesses across the board, protect big tobacco from the liability of millions of deaths, protect big oil and big coal from their liability for their widespread pollution and disasters, protect Wall Street from liability for widespread securities fraud, slash funds to repair America’s broken bridges, roads, gas pipelines, railroads, and fresh water supply systems, slash funding for America’s own injured soldiers returning from Republican wars, slash funds for early childhood education and nutrition programs, obstruct efforts to bring about national healthcare and instead turn it into a cash cow for insurance companies – all while massively cutting taxes on the wealthiest people and corporations and skyrocketing the national debt. Personally, I can only call it Republican contempt- for average American citizens. For you and me. Their masters are the Kochs, Mitt Romneys, Sheldon Adelsons, and Donald Trumps of the world. These people epitomize greed.
Some say there is no way Trump will be elected. I dearly hope that’s true, but it is clearly not beyond of the range of possibility. Given his temperamental character, the thousands of legal claims of fraud against him, his bigotry, his lack of maturity, and his total lack of relevant experience with, and knowledge of, world affairs, world history, and geopolitics, it seems unthinkable that Trump could win the election. But even if Trump loses, what does his rise as the unquestioned Republican king say about America? Nothing good. It is, at the very least, a stunning indictment of the Republican Party, that this disgrace of a person named Donald Trump is the very best Republicans can offer, and rather than risk electing an incredibly well-qualified and likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, the Republicans are now gathering round to kiss the ring of an unstable and dangerous megalomaniac. Utterly disgraceful. Even unelected, Trump is already a profound tragedy for the Republican Party and the United States. The world’s only superpower needs highly knowledgeable, rational, and experienced leadership to match. And as citizens of this superpower, we have a solemn responsibility, to ourselves and the world, to calmly and thoughtfully elect that person to office.
Copyright 2016 Daniel R. Cobb