Within a month or so of Donald Trump’s entrance into the Republican primary, this column, like many ‘official’ pundits, had little reservation claiming that the Republican establishment would never allow “the Donald” to be the Party’s nominee, much less defeat their champions. However, now that Trump is the nominee and easily dispatched every candidate the Koch brothers and Republican establishment could throw at him, it is evident that the Party establishment never had a say in who would be the Republican standard bearer; that decision was made emphatically by the Republican base. A base consisting primarily of, as Esquire writer Charles Pierce noted, is “old white people… [who control] the Republican Party’s attention, its platform, its public face.”
There is a lot wrong about America, and it’s not something an American ever wants to admit, but it is glaringly evident now that a bigoted fascist, and reality show star like Donald Trump, is the official face and standard bearer of the Republican Party. In choosing a man that represents everything bad and wrong about America to officially represent the Republican Party and according to his policy proposals the entire conservative movement, it is safe to say the entire world and maybe a few Americans now comprehend just how much is wrong about America. And it is important to note that everything wrong in this country is due to establishment Republican propaganda that convinced the conservative base, primarily old and angry white people, that Trump is the only man in America to see the conservative vision to fruition.
Of course all the news is that many in the GOP establishment are, if not eschewing, at least tepid in their support of the Party’s new hero, but only because he says in public what they’ve perpetuated in private and with dog whistles for the past eight years. The establishment wanted a hero that held Trump’s entire nasty social, domestic, and foreign policy positions, but one who would tone down the hateful rhetoric and demagoguery that earned the love and admiration of the angry white base. One can’t help imagine that many of the other Republicans vying for the nomination aren’t kicking themselves for not embracing Trump’s style and rejection of the GOP’s typical dog whistle bigotry and fear-mongering.
Despite the faux pushback by the Party establishment, and the hilarious “Never Trump” movement, Republicans as a party and voting bloc are not nearly as dispirited about Trump as they feign. It is important to remember that Donald J. Trump won the Republican nomination fair and square by garnering more primary votes and support than his rivals. Rivals, by the way, who either have in the past, or currently, embraced everything Trump stands for, but were too timid to say it in a public forum. If one is honest, Donald Trump is no different than 2012’s Republican nominee Willard Mitt Romney. Whether it’s their predilection to rampant mendacity, stance on immigrants and immigration, foreign policy and more wars, government privatization, tax policy, or appeal to evangelical extremists, Donald Trump is Willard Romney without a filter or magic underwear.
It is important to remember that many Republican voters were not enthused over Willard Romney’s candidacy in 2012, especially the all-important religious right voters. But they turned out en masse to vote for him; Romney knew that was how it would be and so did the establishment. Because they knew the old, angry white base would support any Republican who alluded to fulfilling all of their hopes, dreams and wishes.
In Trump, the base has a champion that pulls no punches and promises to create a warmongering nation of white religious people to conquer the world and “make America great and Aryan again.” It is worth noting again that if any of Trump’s Republican opponents had expressed the conservative agenda in stark, hate-inspired terms like the Donald, they would be the nominee, but they aren’t because they hewed too closely to establishment dog whistle tactics that failed to sate the bigotry and hatred of everything non-white and non-Christian the angry white base demanded.
Republican voters have complained for the past six years that establishment Republicans failed to deliver on their promises and neuter President Obama out-of-office and put an end to cultural diversity, women and LGBT rights, and everything common decency entails. Those voters, the ones who elevated Trump to be the party standard bearer, see Trump as the one and only man in America who speaks their language and will forcefully follow through with everything he promises to accomplish even if he has to suspend the Constitution. They don’t care if he lies, is a fascist, a warmonger, a bigot or will privatize government into a corporation, as long as he creates the “great white America” old angry white people yearn for he will earn their and establishment Republican support. Republicans may be in chaos, but the establishment can’t complain about Trump because they created the conditions for the angry white base to prevail over the establishment and choose the best representation of what the Republicans have been selling as the perfect presidential candidate.