Republican Party

Trump(eting) Hate: Who Represents the Real Republican Party?

Last updated on September 25th, 2023 at 01:43 pm

According to former Texas Governor Rick Perry, Donald Trump does not represent the GOP.

Appearing Sunday on ABC News’ “This Week”, Perry told George Stephanopoulos, “Donald Trump does not represent the Republican Party. I was offended by his remarks.”

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Perry went on to say,

“To paint with that broad a brush that Donald Trump did, is, I mean– He’s going to have to defend those remarks. I never will. And I will stand up and say that those are offensive, which they were.”

Trump responded to Perry on Twitter Sunday by making fun of Perry’s new glasses:

Perry isn’t alone, of course. Jeb Bush blasted Trump Saturday, saying, “His views are way out of the mainstream of what Republicans think.”

And Trump had something to say about Bush as well:


CBS News can parse it as it did Sunday: “Now the Republican Party has a candidate with a more gentle view and an even harsher one,” but the real question is, which viewpoint is the real Republican Party? The guys who want to kick immigrants out, or the guy who wants to insult them and then kick them out?

Trump admitted Saturday that he was surprised by the business backlash against his remarks, saying in an interview on Fox News that,

“I knew it was going to be bad because I was told this. All my life I have been told this: If you are successful, you don’t run for office. I didn’t know it was going to be quite this severe, but I really knew it was going to be bad.”

But he did it anyway. And as Yahoo! Finance put it Thursday, “Trump is rising in recent polls, placing second both in national surveys and in polls of key early-voting states.”

Despite what Trump’s political rivals say, despite the business backlash, if you look at the Republican polls, Trump’s words are resonating in the same way Bernie Sanders‘ words are resonating with progressives. I mean, Republicans seem to love themselves some Donald Trump. The nastier the better, in their view.

In fact, Trump is doing so well at the polls that the question is being asked, “Are his numbers for real?” Experts seem to think Trump’s glory is fleeting. HuffPollster said on Thursday that, “While increased media attention may have given Trump’s numbers a modest boost, they obviously do not translate directly into electoral support.”

Trump, who has had something to say to each of his detractors, disagrees, on Sunday telling Howie Kurtz on Fox News’ Media Buzz that he actually thinks his numbers will go even higher:

I believe in punching back. You know I don’t think they’ve treated me fairly. A while ago they said he’s never going to run, he’s never going to run. Then I ran. Then they said, ‘He’s never going to file his papers.” Then I filed my papers. Now they don’t know what to say. Now, all of the sudden, I get these really big poll numbers. And, they’re really good. Although, I think they’re going to go higher because I really think people agree with what I say about the border and just agree with me, period.

Yahoo! Finance opined last week that “Donald Trump is quickly becoming the GOP establishment’s worst nightmare,” while at the same time he is a godsend to Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Think about it: All by himself, Trump makes most of their arguments – especially Sanders and his anti-oligarchy campaign – for them. He is everything that is wrong with corporate America, and a more bumbling version, if that is possible, of Mitt Romney.

Whether or not Trump represents the Republican Party better than Rick Perry remains to be determined. The GOP Establishment has managed to keep people like Rick Santorum off the ticket in the past (though Sarah Palin slipped by), but Mitt Romney was less a stroke of genius than the selection of the least noxious candidate.

Romney crashed and burned. It is difficult to see Trump transcending his predecessor, but is there really that much of a difference? Either man would be a nightmare on the world stage, but then that can be said of Trump’s current rivals as well.

The real Republican Party seems to be a group who will seize on any opportunity to legitimize their various bigotries, whether it be against blacks or women or gays, or, in this case, “Mexicans” as a blanket and uninformed category for all Latinos.

Trump is the flavor of the month. But so too have been those candidates who resonated with the Religious Right, or with Neo-Confederate secessionists and ethnic nationalists, or with the NRA crowd. The Confederate flag on week, “Mexicans” the next, and next week it will be something else.

There is a lot of hate in the Republican Party, and the smaller the GOP gets, the more compressed and volatile that hate gets. Protest all you want, Rick Perry and Jeb Bush: There is always room for another bigot, and so there is room for Donald Trump. In the end, he is as real a Republican as any of you.

And trust me on this: you don’t know what offended is, but you will come Election Day 2016.

Photo: Screen capture

Hrafnkell Haraldsson

Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen's Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.

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