In literature, and the threatre arts, a primary component of any captivating story is having a villain-antagonist as a counter to the hero or main character; there just always has to be a bad guy to oppose or there is really no story. In politics, and governance, each side of the political spectrum chooses a representative ‘bad-guy” as a central character to rally against, something Republicans have been particularly effective at. Past ‘bad characters’ Republicans used to great effect to advance their agendas include Osama bin Laden to represent all terrorists and war, Saddam Hussein to represent a nuclear threat to America and more war, and over the past six years it has been President Barack Obama representing socialism as a threat to democracy; likely due to his race and political party. Even though Republicans know full well that Barack Obama is at best a Centrist Democrat, Republicans have branded him a Muslim, un-American, a socialist, a tax and spend liberal, and a warrior against Christianity. Of course none of the accusations are remotely true, but Republicans have won control of Congress and a majority of state governorships by being anti-Obama; something their base considers pro-America.
Democrats, liberals and progressives (there is a difference), have recently found their villain in reality television star Donald Trump and the attention they are heaping on Trump, although possibly warranted, is misplaced. Make no mistake, Trump is worthy of the villain role he is being given by the left, but he is simply playing a part written specifically by tea party Republicans and championed by establishment Republicans. Donald Trump is an opportunist, a nasty opportunist, but he is an opportunist all the same. In fact, nothing in Trump’s campaign rhetoric is novel; he has simply distilled the last six years’ worth of Republican propaganda into an agenda that a well-conditioned base believes is the only solution to “take their country back.” That base, the one scientists and several studies filled with empirical data prove is inherently ignorant, innately cruel, and fundamentally racist, love Donald Trump more than the other Republican candidates for president because he is the only one saying first and loudly what all Republicans believe. It is time for the left, all of the left, to start lumping the conservative movement, in its entirety, into a party representing the worst of humanity their supporters firmly believe is what makes American exceptional and stop focusing solely on Donald Trump.
It was interesting to learn that Trump is getting pushback, as well as significant credit, from the left over the vicious beating of a homeless man in Boston by two thugs because they thought he was illegally in America. They are reported saying that “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,” so naturally Trump gets brunt of criticism when he is just parroting a talking point Republicans have campaigned on since 2010. It is true that Trump said that “Mexican immigrants are criminals, they are bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists” during his campaign kickoff speech, but those statements have been repeated ad nauseum by all manner of Republicans, and conservative pundits, for the last fifteen years.
Now, when Trump heard about the Boston attack, he said “I will say that people who are following me love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.” It is part of his “we gotta’ take this country back” spiel that he ripped off from teabaggers panting to return to 1860 America. It is the same slogan Republicans have used for the past six years to attack women’s rights, voting rights, public education, the federal government, regulations, and gays, and it really should surprise no-one that brash loudmouth Trump is benefitting from a purely Republican agenda. What is surprising is that the left has made Trump the object of their undivided attention when they should be assailing, with extreme prejudice, the entire Republican movement because all the credit and criticism for inciting hatred belongs to the Republican Party; it has been part and parcel of the GOP’s agenda for the past six years and not only during election season.
It is unclear if the left understands that, just because Trump is out saying what the base wants to hear and what the GOP represents as one of two major political parties, the rest of the GOP field is equally hateful and every bit as dangerous as Trump; they are just attempting to appear moderate. Every one of the Republican candidates are anti-government, anti-women’s rights, anti-taxes, anti-immigrant, anti-democracy and anti-science; they are also all, save Trump, fierce advocates for imposing fundamentalist Christianity on the nation. However, make no mistake that when Trump realizes he may be alienating the evangelical right voting bloc, he will be the loudest advocate for the bible as law of the land.
Right now Trump is making inroads to the conservative base with his blatant anti-immigrant rhetoric, even though three years ago he claimed Willard Romney was “crazy and mean-spirited” for proposing self-deportation as a viable immigration reform policy. But the vile remarks he made about Mexican immigrants during his campaign kickoff speech were staples of Republican candidates and sitting congressmen and governors going back at least to 2010.
Everyone needs a villain to hate and rage against and Trump certainly fills that role very nicely; he is a very easy Republican to despise. However, he is just playing a role written by and for seriously nasty conservatives who want to be enraged against their own set of villains whether they are gays, immigrants, women, non-Christians, the government or the poor. It is what they have come to believe is necessary to “take their country back” to pre-Civil War days and why all Republicans, not just Donald Trump, need to feel the rage of the left. Establishment Republicans, and their funding machine the Koch brothers, are never going to allow Trump to be the Republican nominee, but they will continue allowing him to incite the base and take the heat from the left while their equally vile candidate(s) appear moderate. The left has to stop focusing on a reality television celebrity just because he is the only one saying what all Republicans, including the seriously dangerous ones, advocate.