Friday, March 18, 2016

The Importance of Being Donald

I like Donald Trump.

No, not like how your racist uncle likes Trump, or even like how Donald Trump loves Ivanka Trump.

In fact, I don't even want to bear the depressing thought of having Trump as a a president. I wouldn't vote for him if you gave me a (small loan of a) million dollars, I disagree vehemently with a majority of his positions, and I find him rather annoying.

But he's a blessing -- because he's allowing us to realize a lot of extremely important things about our country, our political system, and the media. And perhaps ourselves.

I'll try to keep this as free from direct quotes as I can, because I'm sure everyone can recite each one more accurately from heart than the Bill of Rights. But this is a series of points that's been on my mind for a few weeks now, but I've just not had the proper medium through which I could illustrate my points. And also, I just feel like these are matters of extreme worth.

A political revolution

First of all, if you're looking for the whole "political revolution" that's been promised chiefly by Bernie and his camp, it's actually best exemplified way over on the other end of the spectrum by Donald and his supporters -- and the commotion surrounding it all.

Allow me to explain.

Actually. Allow Mika Brzezinski to explain.

 I've said this for awhile: Sanders and Trump both tap into a deep-seeded anger held by many individuals who feel under-represented, under-appreciated, and misunderstood; these are candidates who've capitalized off of frustration. Bernie's problem is that only about 12% of Democrats are angry with the government -- a stark contrast to the 32% of Republicans who feel the same way. This is important, because Trump is winning with roughly 37% of the vote at this juncture. Which doesn't sound significant, until you realize that this chunk has been oftentimes running against 3-8 other candidates; it's enough to win (at least, for now).

Bernie isn't doing as well, unfortunately, because he's running for leadership of a party that is largely content with the direction in which the country is headed.


More than any other candidate, Trump exemplifies the idea of being an "outsider" that seems to resonate with a certain sect of folks in 2016. Foremost, he has virtually no political experience. But more than that, like Sanders, he's got no associated Super PACs, no ties to interest groups, and is paying for his campaign largely by himself. Again, this is crucial to folks: Trump is seen as being free to be precisely himself, and -- for better or worse -- tell you exactly what he wants to do.

He's got no ties, no binding agreements, no sense, and no Fs to give.


To best understand the importance of Trump, you have to realize how much the core GOP absolutely loathes Trump.

No matter how he performs here onward, party officials are discussing the possibility of implementing the ol' Ctrl+V of a "third-party" (another Republican) candidate to take him on. And even if he gets the nomination, the GOP elite are strongly considering wooing the delegates to instead pledge support for another candidate. This, of course, is running directly counter to the will of the people [insert the substantial Trump delegate lead].

And people don't realize how serious this actually is.

No matter what your view of the politics in this country, it stands to reason that we have a long-enduring process that has taken place over the past couple hundred years: The people choose their candidate through the electoral procedure, choosing delegates who pledge to vote on the will of the people --you don't vote for the candidate, you vote for people (delegates) who thus vote for your preferred candidate. In theory.

If a delegate doesn't vote at all, or if he/she chooses a different candidate, that individual is known as a Faithless elector.

Except for a few anomalies, or as in the cases of a few notable deaths, faithless electors aren't common -- and they've never actually changed the outcome of an election. In this, the year 2016, we've got potentially hundreds of individuals who may run counter to the will of the people out of fear, bitterness, or even their own sense of self-righteousness. A lot of Republicans are pissed that Trump is succeeding, despite their best efforts.

I can promise you this: If the GOP establishment runs counter to the will of its people, there will be riots. And rightfully so, as it will be a gross bastardization of our very democracy at work; the GOP in particular will be shaken to its very core, and I'd be compelled to predict a complete dismantling of the very party. But that's precisely why, past their ignorance, bitterness, and cunning, the GOP establishment aren't going to actually do anything. I'm a frail, unattractive 23-year-old saying with overt confidence that a dangerous revolt would occur if Trump is hit with the switcheroo. I'm assuming the establishment politicians can see it, too.

And that's precisely why this, right here, is the political revolution. Again, for better or worse.

The millions of people who feel their votes don't matter, who feel like the game is already rigged? What's going on right now?! That completely blows that misguided idea out of the water. Jeb Bush was supposed to have this in the bag. He opened with 2:1 odds in the eyes of many Vegas oddsmakers, received million and millions of dollars from Super PACs (in August of last year, he had more Super PAC money than all other candidates combined), and was assured a spot just because of his family name and the GOP powers backing him.

Dropped like he was hot (ironically...well...).

After him, Marco Rubio was the poster boy of the moderate GOP -- after all, a moderate is generally seen as a safer bet than a purist.


Kasich is a nice guy, but let's stop joking for two seconds.

And Ted Cruz looks like a fat salamander.

So we're left with Donald J. Trump (née Drumpf). The man no one wants to win, aside from his fans. And as simultaneously depressing as it may be, it's also a beautiful thing -- despite the best efforts, hundreds of millions of dollars, and a (well-deserved) smear campaign by the media, Trump is winning. And we can sit here and hate it all day that a man who's had a feral ferret on his head for 69 years is winning, but he's doing it fairly and impressively. And against all odds. The "rigged" system can't even halt his ascension.

That says a lot about the power that we the people have. We're blinded from it by our own anger, but there it beautifully lies. (And those last four words are actually a good campaign slogan for Trump.)

Again, I'm still among those praying that Trump is actually just an elaborate costume and persona donned by Ashton Kutcher to ring-in a new season of Punk'd. I don't want Trump to be my president (and again, I'll say with confidence that he won't be). But it's important that he's making the strides he is.

Because the problem with Trump is that the problem isn't with Trump. He says ridiculous, xenophobic, Islamophobic, and borderline racist things. But so does every fossilized bigot of a white dude in the boonies. The problem with Trump is his supporters.

David Duke.
Ted Nugent.
The 7.5 million people who've voted for him thus far.

Comparing Trump to Hitler? It's embarrassing. In this political climate, it seems we compare anyone we don't like to Hitler. And it's embarrassing. When I see my fellow liberals pull that card, it brings me a lot of shame -- we as a people have to be bigger and better than that. Because then we're marginalizing the systematic extermination of a nearly an entire people, and putting it on the same level as a guy who says he'll build a wall with his legendary penis or whatever.

Let's stop the ignorant rhetoric and propaganda. Trump is a loon, George Bush was incompetent, Obama is this or that, blah blah blah.

Hitler is Hitler.

I've seen people mention that they want Trump to be assassinated, Are we really keen and quick to lower ourselves to the level of scum -- to the extent that we'd wish a violent death upon  a guy who changes political positions about every five years? A guy who admits he says goofy stuff just to get a rise?

It's not Trump's fault. Because this final point on Trump's profound importance is, well, important:

If not for Trump, we probably wouldn't realize how little progress we've made.

He's helped show us that, heck, maybe America really isn't as wonderful as we sometimes think. We've been able to change the channel when we see another black kid gunned down by police; we've ignored legislation that's being passed which places a deeper chokehold on women's rights; we've turned the other cheek while our neighbors get chewed up and spit out by hungry insurance companies.

But no longer.

We can't close our eyes to a reality we don't want to see. Because proud racists, Islamophobes, sexists, and bigots are openly touting their support to a man who's merely a joke. I'm not worried about what Trump says -- I'm worried about what his supporters say. Because these are the people we're going to continue to share a world, a country with -- regardless of how Trump performs in the primary or general election.

So while it's silly that people like Trump exist, it's absolutely frightening that people like (some of) his supporters exist.

And that's certainly not to say that all of his supporters are this way; in fact, I'd like to hope that the majority of them aren't. But they're remaining largely silent in the midst of a deafening crescendo. If you're a Republican specifically, there are a million reasons to be mad. So it makes sense, in theory, to support the candidate who isn't like the others.

But please be careful. And be loud in your dissent toward those who've no shame in saying tragically racist and offensive things in the name of their candidate.

So again. For as much of a joke as he oftentimes is, Donald Trump is arguably the most important candidate we've had in decades. It's a revolution, for sure.

I just hope it's a positive one.

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