I like Trump. He’s doing something really good for this country. The man is brave, outspoken, exactly what the United States of America needs after so many years of tip-toeing around “sensitive” topics discussed in “politically correct” language. Trump has a problem with immigrants. He has a problem with Mexico. He has a problem with China. He has a problem with America losing its jobs. And, as polls indicate, a plurality of Republican voters share Trump’s concerns. He has emerged, and remains, as the leading Republican front runner, riding his self-created wave of powerful rhetoric and unapologetic rigidity, which supporters praise for “telling it like it is.”
But what about the other 16 candidates? They now find themselves in a tricky situation, precarious, even, as the Republican Party has another crisis of identity. What was once identified as immigration reform is now, thanks to Trump, revealed to be what it was always meant to be: mass deportation and exclusion. What was once a desire to create a more inclusive electorate is now, thanks to Trump, actually the continued disenfranchisement of other races and groups. What was once the need to create jobs is now, thanks to Trump, the intent to withdraw from the global economy. Trump doesn’t deserve the censoring of his fellow candidates. He deserves their worship, as the purest spawn of Republican ideology.
What this means for the non-Trump troupe of Republican candidates is, either owning up to the real message spouted by the Party, or moving a little to the left and toning down their policies. But they shouldn’t be ashamed of owning up to Trump’s vitriol, because he really is saying it how it is, articulating very clearly, and very directly, what the party wants. It doesn’t take long when listening to a conservative broadcast for a statistic on America’s job loss, or that immigrants are responsible for that number; or that China is beating the US in every single way, militarily and economically, outspending the United States; that radical Muslims have infiltrated the country and are planning a major attack; that the government is trying to take away our guns.
Those are all components of the message of fear that have been repeated so often, Americans believe them to be true—at least 30% of Republican polling participants, anyway, the percentage of people currently backing Trump as the leading Republican candidate. His support has only increased, much to the chagrin of the other Republican candidates.
I like Trump because he makes things clear. His campaign reveals a clear support for policies of hatred and remind the rest of America of the power behind the simpleton electorate. The simpleton voter thinks a giant wall will solve America’s immigration problem; the simpleton voter thinks that deporting millions of immigrants is not only realistic, but necessary; the simpleton voter thinks there is usually only one cause to any issue.
I like Trump because he allows Americans to see, with lucidity, the people that unabashedly support him. Just as he says it how it is, you can call a racist what he is: racist. There’s a certain comfort in certainty, no matter how awful the realization. Trump is a racist. He’s a racist who continues to be the Republican front runner, and has been for a while. Clearly, Trump has managed to tap into an electorate highly receptive to his bombast. And why wouldn’t they be? It’s what they’ve been hearing for years now. Trump calls his base of supporters the “silent majority,” recalling the flattering label used by President Nixon to gain support for America’s continued involvement in Vietnam—support he received.
But what about the other 16 candidates? Trump’s “silent majority” is most likely a highly-concentrated and motivated minority; and, unless the other candidates pilfer or divide this group, preferably through discrediting, rather than adopting, Trump’s policies, his loyal base will only grow more radicalized. Unfortunately for the other candidates, any taming of Trump’s message will only serve to paint them as liberal sympathizers. Dear Republican candidates, you’ve only yourselves to blame.