So Ted Cruz’s last-minute appeal to neo-Confederate wannabe slave owners has fallen flat, and Donald Trump has walked away with the South Carolina primary. Even angry evangelicals could not save him as the Trump-tide washed over his hopes and dreams.
From his retweet, however, you would think Trump sees this as a victory over Fox News more than over his Republican opponents, or at the very least, a vindication:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2016
“What a great night,” he said in another tweet. “Thank you South Carolina, a special place with truly amazing people! LOVE.”
Trump walked away with 33% of the vote, beating out both Rubio and Cruz, who were tied for second place with 22% (Rubio over Cruz by 22.5 to 22.3 percent). Cruz tweeted last night that “Conservatives continue to unite behind our campaign,” but you wouldn’t know it by the numbers.
Bush gave up was already a halfhearted effort and dropped out. What does this all mean? Pundits are trying to sort it out and today’s talk-show circuit will be full of speculation and guess-work.
To people who say Rubio will benefit from Bush dropping out, Trump retorts, “They don’t understand that as people drop out, I’m going to get a lot of those votes also.” Yes, Trump thinks pro-establishment Republicans are going to vote for him. He cannot accept any other possibility.
One thing that is certain, and that is that while Trump represents the worst impulses in people, there is no win for America to be found even if he looses to any Republican in this field.
People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:
“So far in the Republican primary, Donald Trump has called for mass deportation, Ted Cruz has embraced the endorsement of a man who believes abortion providers should be put to death, and Marco Rubio has called for all abortions to become illegal, even in cases of rape and incest. No matter whose name is on the Republican ticket in November, we’ve seen that all the leading candidates are pushing a dangerous agenda that’s out of line with the priorities and values of the vast majority of Americans.”
The Republican race has a grim calculus and none of it includes American greatness. The primary races are a zero-sum game, where gains and losses are balanced out between the participants, but this does not paint the entire picture. The numbers themselves are less scary than the impossibility of a favorable outcome for the country.
The danger for Republicans, in other words, is vastly different than the danger to America and Americans posed by those Republicans. Trump could be building up unstoppable momentum or Cruz’s loss could snowball, but equally dire is the prospect that someone other than Trump might win, might build up momentum.
As PFAW points out, all of them “are pushing a dangerous agenda that’s out of line with the priorities and values of the vast majority of Americans.” A win by any of them signals a Republican intention to drive the car into the ditch again in 2016.
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 www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.