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“Trump is the Republican Candidate: It’s a Bit Late to Face American Fascism”
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“… it took Trump, as the logical next step in American politics’ downward spiral, to open some eyes.” While I share your frustration and bewilderment over the nomination of Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for president, I want to challenge the idea that America is on a downward political spiral. Parts of it may be, but if you step back from the political noise that passes for daily news and look at the longer term trends instead, you come to a different conclusion. The country as a whole is steadily getting more tolerant and progressive, and the trend in this direction is accelerating. A fast rate of change will naturally produce a backlash, and the size of the backlash will ebb and flow in proportion to the latest successes in the progressive trend, and there have been many successes in the last few years.
The popularity of Trump is not a triumph of the conservative right in American politics – it is actually a refutation of it on many issues. He was one of the most progressive Republican candidates in terms of his stance on the culture war issues of abortion, LGBTQ rights, and support by the religious right. Regrettably, he does appeal to those who desire a strong authoritarian leader, more so than any other candidate in the race. He has also been appealing to the racist fears in society, something that has always been present though it’s gradually declining. The overt racism in our society will continue to decline in the long term whether Trump gets elected or not, just look at the polls of people under 30 and the trend is obvious.
I don’t know who will win the election in November. The best analysis still has Clinton on top, but this has been a very difficult race to predict, and unpredictable events could easily swing the results one way or another. The noise that passes for daily news does a poor job of putting the big picture into context. Just remind yourself of two things: (1) only 23% of the people voting in the primaries so far voted for Trump, and (2) if the presidential election were held tomorrow pitting Bernie Sanders against Donald Trump, Bernie would win in a landslide of epic proportions. That’s tell you what you really need to know about the bigger long term picture.
True. Like MLK said, the arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Nevertheless, we could be in for a huge step backward if Trump is elected. As far as Trump’s stance is concerned: I don’t think he really has one. It’s whatever falls out of his mouth at any given moment, and it also greatly depends on who his audience is. I agree that the numbers show that if there were an election tomorrow, Bernie Sanders would win, but it’s not tomorrow, and if Bernie Sanders became the candidate, that would be the first time he’s ever scrutinized. So far it’s been in both Clinton and Trump’s interest to keep him in the race and not piss off his supporters too much. I hope you’re right and all will end well, or at least not Trump. I’m just not in a very optimistic mood. I know only a small percentage has voted for Trump to begin with, and you’d think that cooler minds would win, but those would have to be the special delegates, and they are falling over themselves to show how spineless they are.
Good post and good link. The Donald is appalling, but many of his supporters are more so. Ignorance, militarism, nationalism and religiosity are a poisonous combination.