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Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Thoughts on the Campaign on Donald Trump

And here I will pause for a moment. In my twitter feed there has been a lot of people talking about being at that moment in Weimar Republic and there being a funny looking little guy with dangerous ideas rousing up the folk, and just what were we going to do about it, President Hindenburg? And I'm not entirely sure they're wrong anymore. Donald Trump is just as ignorant as the people he's whipping into a frothy mixture with stiff peaks. But he's smart enough to play that ignorance, the be the populist to that demographic. Hindenburg and his intelligentsia laughed at the funny little man. And then, three years later, he appointed him Chancellor with emergency powers. Because laughing up our sleeves doesn't counter his message.

And, yes, I've just Godwin'ed my own post. It's intentional.

I am as guilty as the next person for making the Trumpster the butt of the joke (see all the Linkee-poos since, I don't know, July?). I'm not going to stop at that, but I've never discounted him or the rage he's tapping into. It's a dangerous path he's trending, and to mix my metaphor, that high-voltage live wire he has grasped may just turn on him. He has shown he knows how to wield it. Not everything has gone his way, but that power is intoxicating and the people around him are getting a contact high from it.

His rise needs to be checked, and that may mean some of us will need to grab that hot end of that live wire. My tool of choice is ridicule, to play the fool, but my voice is small. Together our voice is louder. It may be that New Hampshire breaks the campaign (I'm laying odds he wins Iowa), it has done so in the past. However, the Trumpster has broken the patterns of the past ("he'll fade by Fall", "He won't make it past the tides of October", "We'll see his numbers fall by Thanksgiving when people really start to make up their minds and get serious"). The Trumpster is doing quite well with the theory, "There go my people, I must leave to go lead them." The undercurrent of hate and pent up anger (yes, to these people, it's still pent up) is a strong tide he can ride right into office. I can't let that happen. The rest of the GOP field appears better only because of the comparison to the lunacy of the Trumpster. He's a dangerous lunatic, fueled by narcissism and his internal stories. He's taken on the mantle of the Voice of the People. That's a major step.

His rallies are not safe places to contradict him (I give props to the Black Lives Matter Movement and Jorge Ramos for trying, those people have put their health and safety on the line). A head-to-head confrontation will lead to violence. Not from the Trumpster himself, but from his followers who have reached a point where they will tolerate no dissent. In these types of movements, the front men never get their hands dirty, and there are toadies a plenty who will volunteer to do the work. The Trumpster needs to be countered before we reach a state of not being able to stand up to him.

Many people who remind us to think of the Nazis and not wanting to repeat history have an incomplete knowledge of that history. Before the Holocaust, before the Nazis rounded up the crippled, mentally ill, handicapped, and then gay people for extermination there was the Night of the Long Knives when Hitler and his cronies assassinated anyone that might challenge him for power (including many leading Nazis and Brownshirts).

Right now everyone is discounting the Trumpster's chances. And none more loudly than those on the right. The establishment of the GOP is already conceding they may be losing control, and the Trumpster has made even Chairman Reince Priebus apologize and make nice (so there's not going to be any King Richard moment coming). He's formed a co-dependent relationship with Roger Ailes. He is coopting the power structure of the party.

They all say he won't last past Iowa. And even if he makes it to the nomination, Hillary will stomp all over that parade. I am not as certain. A small victory in Iowa could be enough to propel him to the nomination (it hasn't happen for the past 20+ years, but again he is breaking all known patterns). Even a strong showing (but an over all loss) in Iowa might be enough. And then as we on the left laugh, scoff, and point at the ignorance and fear mongering suddenly we wake up November 9th to President-Elect The Donald. And that's a hang-over I don't want to experience. Again, this is the actual lesson of history.

So understand when I make fun of him, I'm dancing in front of the King with my jester stick firmly in hand, looking for an opening to twist the (metaphorical and/or political) knife in.

If I'm successful we can tie all the bastards together so we only have to find one weight to sink them to the bottom (I grew up in southern NJ, it's a thing there).

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