How Moderates Are to Blame for the Rise of Trump
The Grand Old Party has become as hip and cool as Monday Night Bingo at a Florida or Arizona retirement home. The party has been in fast decline, as its reliance on middle-aged white votes hasn’t generated a new generation of party faithful who are eager and enthusiastic to pump fuel into outcast Republican ideals.
Soon after Obama’s election, the GOP found support in a group of people with an even harsher, more hate-filled political tone to keep the party alive: The Tea Party. Tea Party voters have a reputation for a complete disregard for facts or feasible solutions. Instead of listening they scream their loud mouths off, blindfolded and following whichever pandering politician is willing to jump off the deep right end for their support.
Unfortunately the current administration hasn’t ruled as far to the left as originally advertised, even when taking into consideration Republican obstruction. The administration has willingly catered to Bush-era ideals by maintaining the neocon policies of the Patriot Act, refusing to bring big banks to trial following the sub-prime bust, and even ramped up conservative policies with record numbers of deportations, the militarization of local police forces and the proliferation of private, for-profit prisons.
So what happens when we build a voting platform based on lies and misinformation and while having an executive that plays middle-of-the-road politics? You see, when you combine all of this with greed for capital and power eventually an out-of-control powerful and chaotic being is created. Just like Dr. Frankenstein created a monster who went rogue and terrorized a village, the U.S. establishment and their support for extreme right-wing and neoliberal policies gave life to a reactionary fascist who has been terrorizing and targeting certain groups that make up our communities: Donald Trump.
First, look at the supporter base of a person whose slogan is “Make America Great Again.” WTF does that even mean? As any person of color will tell you, this slogan has an outright racist, regressive meaning. However, Trump’s slogan helps us understand where his base comes from: Either they’re white supremacists who favor a system that is overtly more racist without public shaming or consequences, as in the good old days, or they are aspiring white supremacist Mexicans or other people of color that desperately want fit into a country that never loved them in the first place.
Second, we have to understand that Googling skills are a millennial privilege inaccessible to baby boomers, because it doesn’t take much to realize that Trump is a capitalist con man selling bullshit to anyone willing to digest it regardless of hard evidence. The internet betrays his every bombastic claim seconds after it comes out of his lying mouth, but Trump supporters remain steadfast in their allegiance, proving the point that values matter more than facts.
And lastly, Trump provides a platform for white people to be comfortable with their racism and fascism. For years before Trump came around, bigotry had to take shelter in ill intentioned policies, police departments across the country, through mass incarceration, through the drug war and even through gentrification. Now it has a name and a face and an unforgivable hairdo with wall-to-wall cable news coverage.
Okay, now that we have that out of the way we can get to the point: TRUMP DIDN’T JUST HAPPEN. Trump is Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton all mashed into one soulless, babbling loudmouth; a walking monster generated by millions of dollars, channeled by an egotistical nurturing device that pumped life into it.
If the power and visibility of the Oval Office were in the hands of someone well-intentioned, it could be used to mobilize people who want to create a better world.
This is why protesters and organizers speaking on behalf of the immigrant justice movement have begged the Obama administration to do the right thing by standing against deportations, immigrant incarceration and imperialist foreign policy that continues to force migration through economics and war. Organizers have met with local officials, both Democrats and Republicans, to discuss how free trade agreements and corporate tax cuts are impoverishing the working class. The end result is invariably the same: Politicians stay loyal to their party and what gets them elected, so they take steps forward by passing symbolic reforms that appease the public while at the same time pushing legislation that takes ten steps back.
So-called moderate politics have polarized our political system to the point where lines are blurred, and in the age of Trump this isn’t gonna cut it. People, especially the young generation, crave a real leftist government that uplifts the voices of those whose chants often go unheard. Many in our generation reject a two-party system that primarily benefits the wealthy. If the political landscape allows discourse as absurd as that which Trump openly enjoys, the only way to keep the entire spectrum from being pulled further to the right is for progressives to remain unabashedly radical and loud.