Donald Trump continues to outpace his competitors with more votes, delegates and primary victories during the 2016 election season. And if the pattern holds, Donald Trump has a very good chance of becoming the Republican nominee for President of the United States.
Yet the Republican establishment and political punditry are desperately trying to define Donald Trump as a reprehensible villain trying to take over the Republican Party. But the truth is that Donald Trump is on the cusp of becoming the Republican nominee because his hateful, chaotic and xenophobic style of politics closely align with the Republican Party itself.
Over the past several years the Republican Party has unabashedly defined itself as an anti-government, anti-black, anti-hispanic, anti-poor white women, anti-foreigner, anti-intellectual, pro-corporatist party. Instead of seeing the stunning election of President Obama in 2008 and 2012 as an opportunity to internally challenge issues like diversity and the rapidly changing population, Republicans decided to obstruct the president at every turn and make a mockery of the democratic process.
While Donald Trump has spoken shamefully about black people and immigrants, the Republican Party has systematically colluded to deny African-Americans, Hispanics and young people the right to vote with Jim Crow voter ID laws. The Republican led House of Representatives has never allowed a comprehensive immigration bill to have an up and down vote on the floor of the House of Representatives.
While Donald Trump has based his candidacy on appealing to white voters, the Republican Party has gerrymandered localities across the country in a concerted effort to create predominantly white districts wherever possible. The Republican version of diversifying their party is to pick up disaffected white Democrats and Independents. The party primarily focuses its energy on maximizing the white vote in elections, and as a result racists and white supremacists are quietly welcomed into the party. Republican elected officials are 99% white and their audiences are basically white. There is no serious effort to appeal to Black, Hispanic and Asian voters. For all intents and purposes, the Republican Party subtly promotes itself as the party of, and for, white people.
While many people worry Donald Trump would bring dysfunction and uncertainty to the Republican Party, it should be remembered that this is the party that has embodied the appeasement of the far right, systemic dysfunction, and borderline criminal obstructionism. We’ve had a Republican led government shutdown and ongoing crisis management for years now. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stalled judicial nominees on lower courts and in doing so, created backlogs of cases and judicial exhaustion for current judges. New Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has already given disproportionate amount of power and influence to members of the Freedom Caucus -- the most radical, extremist and uncompromising Republicans in Congress.
People worry Donald Trump would embarrass America on the world stage. Lest we forget that Republican leaders engaged in unprecedented attempts to embarrass the President of the United States on the world stage with open letters of defiance and opposition to the Iran and Paris climate deals.
Donald Trump’s domestic policy of exorbitant tax cuts for the rich and aggressive military spending are core Republican principles.
Republican critics say Donald Trump makes things up as he goes, but the Republican Party has governed this way as they’ve tried to placate various factions within their dysfunctional coalition. The latest and best example of their inconsistent and frenetic approach to politics is the handling of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Firstly, Republicans refused to carry out their constitutional responsibility by not allowing President Obama’s nominee to fulfill a Supreme Court vacancy to even have a hearing. Secondly, Mitch McConnell attempted to insult Americans by suggesting a sitting President in his or her last year cannot and should not nominate anyone when a position opens up. McConnell rationalized his obstruction by saying the next President should decide. Thirdly, Mitch McConnell and other Republican Senators have already made statements about moving the goal post once again by suggesting even if a Democrat wins the White House, Republicans may filibuster a nominee.
Donald Trump has been called dangerous and unpredictable, and rightly so. But Republicans have governed in exactly the same way. The Republican Party planted the seeds, voters and mechanisms for a person like Donald Trump to emerge and have a serious chance at becoming President of the United States. Now, the party is about to reap what it has sown.
If Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee for President of the United States, citizens worried about our democracy with Trump leading it should hope his candidacy brings the Republican Party devastating losses in states all across the country: An electoral college defeat that far exceed President Obama’s dominance over John McCain in 2008. An Electoral map comprised of Blue victories for Democrats that include Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Missouri, Indiana, Colorado, Florida and North Carolina.
Citizens concerned about the legislative paralysis and animus in our politics should hope to wake up November 9, 2016 and see that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are no longer Majority Leader and Speaker of the House. Our democracy needs a political catastrophe on the Republican side of the aisle. The Republican Party and Donald Trump deserve each other. But we must show at the ballot box that America deserves something else.