Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest of an audience, or gives pleasure and delight. No matter what any American thinks of an already tiring 2016 presidential race, it is a form of entertainment; particularly on the Republican side of things. Of all the contenders on the Republican side, no candidate is more entertaining than Donald Trump and obviously he is something much more than entertainment for his substantial base of support; and it is substantial according to polls. Whereas many conservatives are enamored with Trump for expressing the hateful hopes and dreams of typical teabaggers, corporatists, and racists, one conservative loves Trump for the same reasons establish Republicans want him out of the presidential race.
One well-known conservative who served as a senior economic policy advisor in the George H.W. Bush administration has a very interesting assessment of Donald Trump’s performance and participation in the Republican primary; it is an invaluable service to the conservative movement. Bruce Bartlett said, “I love Donald Trump because he exposes everything about the Republican Party that I have frankly come to hate. It is just filled with people who are crazy, and stupid, and have absolutely no idea of what they are taking about. And the candidates, no matter how intelligent they may be, just constantly pander to this lowest common denominator in American politics;” crazy, stupid, racist and religious to the dangerous extreme.
Just a few weeks ago, Bartlett penned an op-ed in which he said what many political commentators have said for months: “The Trump phenomenon perfectly represents the culmination of populist anti-intellectualism that became dominant in the Republican Party with the rise of the Tea Party. I think many Republican leaders have had misgivings about the Tea Party since the beginning, but the short-term benefits were too great to resist. A Trump rout is Republican moderates’ best chance to take back the GOP. I think the problem is obvious and Trump is pointing this out. Among other things, one of the things that we are seeing very clearly this time more than any other year is that issues don’t matter. Policies don’t matter. The only thing that matters is attitude. And Trump has exactly the right ‘chip on your shoulder’ attitude that many, many people find extraordinarily attractive that is completely divorced from whatever he is saying about the issues, which is precious little.”
Now, although Trump is revealing the insanity, stupidity, and extremism rampant in the Republican base according to Bartlett, a moderate Republican, another noted conservative and advocate for the Koch Party movement despairs that Trump still exists in the presidential race; because of the national exposure he is providing the significant extremist wing among conservatives. A typical Koch conservative columnist, George Will, penned an op-ed in the Washington Post explaining why he (and the Kochs) want Donald Trump thrown out of the Republican presidential primary. Besides exposing how conservatives feel about democracy, even in their own primary process, Will reveals that he understands the Party’s base loves Trump because his extremist positions represent the Republican Party and greatly jeopardizes their White House ambitions.
Will wrote that, “A political party has a right to secure its borders. Indeed, a party has a duty to exclude interlopers, including cynical opportunists deranged by egotism. This is why closed primaries are defensible: Let party members make the choices that define the party and dispense its most precious possession, a presidential nomination. The Republican National Committee should immediately stipulate that subsequent Republican debates will be open to any and all — but only — candidates who pledge to support the party’s nominee.” Remember, this is the Republican movement and not only is there no room for, or tolerance of, dissenting opinions, all policy decisions and talking points are the purview of the Koch brothers and the religious right. Obviously, Donald Trump is not clearing any of his extremist statements with the Kochs or the church; likely because he is aware his extremism comports with a majority of the Republican base.
George Will all but assigned the duty of “excommunicating” Donald Trump from the Party to an imaginary conservative icon who will write an “excoriating” denunciation of Mr. Trump to frighten him into leaving the presidential primary immediately. Will writes that to rid the Republican primary process of Trump, “conservatives should deal with Trump with the firmness (William F.) Buckley dealt with the John Birch Society in 1962. The society was an extension of a loony businessman who said Dwight Eisenhower was ‘a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy.’ In a 5,000-word National Review “excoriation” (Buckley’s word), he excommunicated the society from the conservative movement.”
As an aside, it is indeed fascinating that Will used the John Birch Society (JBS) as comparison to Donald Trump. Although the group “may have been” excommunicated from the conservative movement in 1962 with a lengthy National Review screed, for the past six years the John Birch Society (Koch brothers) have controlled every aspect of the conservative movement; it is exactly why Donald Trump is so popular with the extremist Republican base. Incidentally, the businessman George Will said accused Republican president Dwight D. Eisenhower of being a “conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy” was none other than John Bircher Fred Koch; Charles and David Koch’s father.
As a one-time noted conservative senior policy advisor to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Republican Bruce Bartlett has been a thorn in the side of Koch Republicans since 2009 when he began harshly criticizing new President Barack Obama. Republicans hated the idea that a staunch Reagan and Bush Republican would criticize the new President because he was too conservative and stingy with economic stimulus and infrastructure spending and way too focused on deficit reduction; especially in the midst of a Republican recession. Bartlett has made several calls for extremely substantial government investment (trillions of dollars) in public work projects and infrastructure improvements, and condemned Republicans for blocking what he labelled “woefully inadequate funding requests” from the President for programs to create “millions of real jobs” and begin a seriously robust economic recovery. Bartlett has also infuriated Republicans because he is a staunch advocate against tax cuts for anyone because they reduce government revenue.
Since the Koch brothers created the Tea Party, establishment Republicans embraced the “crazy” that is causing despair among so-called moderate conservatives who recall a less-absurd movement. Now that Donald Trump is bringing the level of absurdity among the base onto the national stage, and other Republicans are struggling to out-crazy the Donald and vie for the base’s support, one conservative is taking “pleasure and delight” because entertaining or not, he celebrates that Donald Trump is exposing the “crazy and stupid” that is the Republican Party and defines the conservative movement. For a secular humanist, it is refreshing to finally see an establishment Republican admit what most semi-conscious Americans and several scientific studies have known for six years; the Republican party is full of “crazy and stupid people with no idea what they are talking about.”
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.