At this point, I can't see the math working out any other way. Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for President this fall.
That scares the living bejeezus out of me. It should frighten any reasonable person. Apparently, "reasonable person" excludes a large portion of the American electorate.
Let's be clear: Donald Trump doesn't care about you. He only cares about himself. This is all a game to him, and one in which the most uncouth bully wins through sheer force of will.
The obvious retort is, "well, that's politics as usual." It's not untrue, but this guy claims to represent a repudiation of politics as usual. Right. If anything, he represents an amplified version of it, filtered through the worst kind of populism I've seen since, well…
I'm going full Godwin here. It's the worst kind of populism since Hitler. There. I've done it, and I'm not sorry.
I'm not making a direct comparison between Trump and Hitler as people. That would be woefully inaccurate, and it would downplay the monstrosity of the latter. The actual similarity is in how each man gathered power.
Like Hitler, Trump is pursuing political power by tapping into vein of powerful and largely generalized anger. He's exploiting an unsettling undercurrent of xenophobia to scapegoat entire ethnic groups. I'm still at a loss to explain how his candidacy survived the suggestion we ban people from entering the country based on their religion, but here we are.
Hitler abridged or suspended numerous civil liberties to serve his agenda. In a way, Trump is worse: he wants to do the same thing to suit his own whims.
When he decided he didn't like what the press was saying about him, he responded with this:
One of the things I'm going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we're certainly leading. I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws.
Read that again. He wants to gut the 1st Amendment so he can get an easier payday. It doesn't stop there. He believes Apple should be forced to engineer a backdoor into their products so the government can more easily access private information. There goes the 4th Amendment. How about the insistence that he'll bring back, and even expand, torture for "terrorists?" There goes the 6th Amendment.
His fans claim he supports the 2nd Amendment, but that's revisionist lip-service at best. In his 2000 book, he supported waiting periods and a ban on so-called "assault weapons." Prior to the beginning of his campaign, there is no record of him belonging to any pro-gun organizations or even giving them the most perfunctory nod. He has given repeated monetary and political support for Charles Schumer, one of the most longstanding and ardent advocates for gun control in the Senate.
This guy wants to trample the Constitution, and he's not coy about it. In spite of that, people love him. What does that say about us?
Toute nation a le gouvernement qu'elle mérite, I suppose. I really wanted to think we were better than this.