The dust has settled and the absurdist contest of the Republican primary race is over: Donald Trump, despite the near unanimous scoffing of the punditry, of the professional political classes, of academics and mere pedestrian observers, has triumphed. He has banished the vapid crew of his 16 opponents, leaving them naked and forelorn, and now in short order has seen most of them reverse their prior views of him, and genuflect to kiss his royal ass, sucking up in the most obvious of ways in hopes of securing some tid-bit of power, while demonstrating their utter lack of any sense of honor. Indeed, politics makes odd bedfellows.
Equally odd are Trump’s most fervid supporters, a class of mostly white, mostly male, mostly – to call a spade a spade – dumb and stupid “lower or middle class” followers, who actually imagine that The Donald will indeed help them with his mix of racist, xenophobic rhetoric spelled out in simple “working class” terms: he’ll kick ass, rub noses in shit, punch ’em in the nose. He’ll show the corporate-Wall Street types, the Chinese, the Mexicans, and all those other losers, just who is boss. These dupes care not if he contradicts himself 1000 times, doesn’t think anything through beyond which line to drop to snare another round of applause and sucker in the press for still more free headline space.
That Mr. Trump was born with a modest silver spoon up his ass, and lived the life of a privileged young man of wealth, and secured a million dollar “loan” from dad to start off his career – back when a million dollars was something – and is, by any measure, part of the upper-class elite 1%, phases his followers not at all. He is one of them, and he’ll do right by them, never mind the history he carries. Actually just hating “them” will suffice, whichever un-PC words we use for “them”: nigger, wetback, illegal, rapist. Queens born Mr. Trump, out to show up his Manhattan superiors, figured out a while back that the scab of deeply inbred American racism was ripe for picking. He began the “birther” matter of denying a black President’s birthplace or birthright to be in office. For Trump its been all down or uphill since then, depending on your perspective.
So we enter the summer of our discontent, with the Republican party in disarray, quickly recovering from its shock of The Donald, with most, if not all, lining up in support of “the party nominee.” A few have demurred, some for hypothetical reasons of honor (the Bush family; Cruz) and others out of immediate political calculations that in their corner of the world supporting Trump would be electorally lethal, for themselves. As a veteran of the Chicago Convention of 1968, I must say it looks like Cleveland may prove equally volatile and perhaps historically significant.
Over on the other side of the fence, the mainstream media, serving its corporate masters and owners, did its very best initially to simply ignore the campaign of Bernie Sanders, and then when its hand was forced, minimally reported on it, almost uniformly in a derisive, dismissive manner, while asserting prior to any caucuses or primary voting, that Hillary Clinton was assuredly the nominee of the Democrats. The thumb of capitalist censorship lay (too) heavily on the scales of “fairness.” And so, as summer approaches, and a few primaries remain to unfold – apparently some biggies in favor of Sanders – there is a clamor from these same pundits and columnists for kiss and make up, so as to present a united front to the dreaded Trump juggernaut. Indeed.
And indeed, as we stumble blind into the thicket of our electoral maze, the once “never” of a Trump triumph now takes on the shimmer of a desert hallucination. Clinton, by her own accounting, after decades of a “vast right wing conspiracy” series of calumnies against her, is “still standing.” She’s a tough old bird, if not exactly inspiring or by her own admission, not a natural politician. And she does drag a trail of dubious choices in her own particular realm of self-asserted expertise, particularly “foreign policy.” So once she snatches the official coronation of the Democratic party, duly humbled this time not by a young shining knight on a white horse (who happened himself to be deeply bronzed), as happened last time around, but instead by an ancient “socialist” Senator from the tiny realm of Vermont, she will face the onslaught of the vulgarian of New York, who will surely pull no punches. We are in for a political season unseen in modern times – though perhaps reflective of those good old days early in the history of our Republic, when manure was flung with abandon by names we now revere as “the founding Fathers.”
Lacking a crystal ball, I offer no predictions as to just which of these two most likely candidates will depart November 7 wearing the laurels of victory. Though I can assuredly say that the following years, whomever wins, will be politically and culturally sour, with ever widening cracks in the Liberty Bell signifying the steady dissolution of the Nation, within historical sight. In a phase similar to that of the once claimed (by the CIA) monolithic USSR, as it stumbled towards collapse, we too will shatter, for very similar reasons: economic disparities, military expenditures, and moral bankruptcy.
Or, in keeping with a hallowed American tradition, especially in these times of Second Amendment Rights trumping sanity, perhaps the crack of a rifle will signal a sharp shift in political fortunes.