It won’t be long before Donald Trump is forced into a lifetime decision; one far more reaching than anything he has faced before. He will either have to accept the logic of exiting politics in a graceful, or even narcissistic, Trump manner . . . or seriously bet all his chips—money and brand—in the founding of an American populist movement, perhaps a stars-and-stripes’ version of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s Front National [in France].
As of right now, the political air engulfing the Republican Party is heavy and rancid, as one would expect when ambulance-traveling to the emergency room of a hospital; or, some might say, to a funeral home. The GOP could be getting ready to either enter an intensive care unit in the field hospital of American Politics or, perhaps, in a last act for a moribund, close its own political casket from within.
One could say, and correctly so: all of this is courtesy of Donald Trump.
After a run lasting one and a half centuries, a political party fermented from a brew of anti-slavery activists, former Whigs, modernizers and ex-Free Soilers of the 1850s, the party of Abraham Lincoln, has turned into a political cauldron of anti-labor activists, Christian fundamentalists, and practitioners of predatory monopolistic enterprise—a tyranny-of-capital over helpless people handcuffed to a globalization process in which they have no say. The Republican Party has emerged from a metamorphic about-face, traveling the full one-hundred eighty degrees from people-concern to money-concern, under the banner of conservatism, and unashamedly displaying the colors which have identified the party for the last thirty-five years: those of social regressiveness.
And that’s the reality Reince Priebus, Butler-in-Chief of the Republican Party, is waking up to after the nap he took with the consent of the party elders . . . a nap which has permitted a wild-and-woolly party guest, and equal opportunity humiliator, Donald Trump, to install himself as a permanent member of the Republican household sitting, or demanding to sit, at the head of the table and being bestowed respect by both the insulted, and those who are about to be insulted.
But Priebus and party elders aren’t about to pull the curtains back in the Land of Oz and show America, and the world, what the party wizardry is all about. It will be preferable, they probably think, to lose the next presidential election running one of the caricature little elves . . . perhaps another Bush, or one of the two un-Mark Cubans, or even hawkish little Lindsey, while pulling the curtains together: making every effort to keep a majority in Congress (both houses), and forcefully exiling the Donald back to his TV Neverland, where he can humiliate others to his heartless’ content.
But, what would happen if the pride and arrogance personas within Trump win the day over the supposedly common-sense Trump? Could he, as an independent candidate, win the vote to stamp the Trump Golf brand on the White House grounds? Or, if unable to win the White House, create a substantial on-going political following, a constituency that would elect members to Congress and root the party permanently into American politics?
He could adopt an appropriate combative name for his party, such as the American National Front (ANF); and also enlist the attractive women in his life (wife Melania and daughter Ivanka for now) into far-right politics just as Jean-Marie Le Pen has done with Marine Le Pen, his daughter, now heading the National Front, third largest political party in France, and his 22 year-old hottie granddaughter, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, member of the French Parliament since 2012.
As tempting as it may be for Trump to try and have it both ways, a party he can call his own with the prospect of future political success . . . and a continuing successful brand, he may, instead, choose self-exile and “construct” a second best seller: The Art and Practice of Common Sense in Business and Politics.
American mainstream corporate media might be unduly stressing Fear of Terrorism as the major factor or key reason in the makeup of Donald Trump’s political constituency. And they would be wrong. Fear is a very distant third reason for the 30-plus percent polling the Donald gets time after time within the Republican electorate. In fact, if Democrats were polled, I would not be surprised if he did get 20-plus numbers from them as well. And that makes me think that the constituency rests not in party ideology but in two other reasons, emotional reasons: anger and bigotry. Anger at a government with a super-sophisticated and super-expensive military might . . . yet incapable of bringing puny insurgencies down, making a mockery of the billions in tax dollars thrown away. And bigotry; something probably best explained in an educational, non-political setting . . . I prefer not to go there.
Republicans and Democrats, or independents for that matter, that would blindly follow the Donald, are likely to sprout from the same socio-economic-educational group . . . and that group, at least for now, may prove to be too small to elect anyone sponsoring unreasonable anger or unrestrained hate.
So, perhaps “constructing” a second best seller might not be a bad option for Trump . . . even if the gnomish and minuscule Republican Party elders deny him the respect he “humbly” thinks he deserves.
© 2015 Ben Tanosborn
Ben Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in Vancouver, Washington (USA), where he is principal of a business consulting firm. Contact him at email@example.com.