Il Douche: The Most Dangerous Man in America.
(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
Earlier this month in Burlington, Vermont, where Senator and leading Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was mayor for eight years, Donald Trump held a so-called private rally (How does one turn a rally in a public, taxpayer-funded venue private? Simple. Just give away tickets.). Without warning, provocation or preamble, the paranoid crowd suddenly surrounded a young woman who was just quietly sitting in her seat and was forcibly ejected by the Burlington Police Department.
As the lady was manhandled out of her chair and pushed out the front door, the mob began screaming, "Trump, Trump, Trump" as they were instructed to do earlier by a Trump flak. During this travesty of Constitutional rights, Trump wearily sneered from behind the podium, "Get 'em outta here, get 'em outta here." That same night, a young man was thrown out in the cold in -10 degree weather, on Trump's insistence, without his coat. And, that same evening, a Young Turks producer was thrown out by the police with this simple explanation: "They don't want you here."
The fact this took place in what is ordinarily a nice, sleepy New England city in which Independent Socialist Bernie Sanders was once their Chief Executive is more chilling than most people realize. It doesn't take much of a stretch of imagination to theorize that Trump could hold a rally in a commune in Berkley and still attract a crowd of thousands of screaming racists.
Comparisons have been understandably made between Trump and Adolph Hitler, but perhaps that isn't accurate enough. When one looks at Trump's flat shark eyes, the defiant, upturned chin and the lips distorted in a sneer of constant contempt, those who know their history cannot help but see the modern day analog of Benito Mussolini, the fascist who ruled Italy for two decades.
And you would think you'd have a problem when David Duke, the arch racist and white supremacist of his generation, says that Donald Trump is more radical than him. But no, they don't see a problem unlike we who are on the outside looking in and wondering in amazement how there can be so many bigoted, fascist mouth-breathers in 21st century, "post-racial" America.
R. Douglas Fields of the Daily Beast nailed it in a recent article in which he sought to answer Trump's sudden and inexplicable appeal (at least to those of us who aren't obsessed with NASCAR and the WWE). In "This is Your Brain on This Election", Fields breaks down how many times the word "kill" was used at a recent Republican debate (53 times) vs 0 times when Kennedy debated Nixon in 1960. Or 0 times in the final GOP debate in 2000. Or 0 times in the final Republican debate in 2008.
So why is a thrice-married, former abortion-supporting multibillionaire casino mogul now suddenly so popular with the screaming Teabagger rage monkeys of modern-day America? Well, as someone once famously asked, "Did the Beatles make the 60's or did the 60's make the Beatles?"
Which Came First? The Chickenhawk or the Egg?
Trump is the very epitome of the triangulating, opportunistic politician or wouldbe politician, someone with just enough smarts to know how to exploit a situation. He's like an overflowing septic tank whose sewage is ever seeking the weakness in the infrastructure, hence the path of least resistance. Trump isn't saying anything remarkably different than he was during his brief stunt of a presidential campaign four years ago that barely got out of his exploratory committee: Trump's just being more vocal, belligerent and strident about it now that he sees America is a bitterer, more frightened and racist nation than it was back in 2012.
We had the chutzpah to re-elect a black man as president whom the gun-clutching NRA membership is convinced, despite all contrary evidence, is going to grab their guns. The fear is pumped out like rancid river water into Flint over ISIS (created by Bush but blamed on, again, the black guy), immigration is now suddenly a YUGE concern despite the fact that more Mexicans are leaving the US than entering because they find their native Mexico that's racked with ceaseless drug cartel warfare preferable to the United States.
Then there's the hysteria over Syrian refugees who have killed fewer Americans than Ebola last year, which is to say none.
Trump is counting on this fear, is nakedly pumping it up and actually exhorting his security and supporters to get even angrier and, amazingly, is able to do so with complete impunity because he has the Teflon coating of being a major presidential candidate. Even taxpayer-funded police departments now reduced to acting as Trump's temp goon squads are ejecting people from Trump rallies left and right from coast to coast based on little or nothing.
So, indeedy. Has the paranoid, xenophobic faction in our once-great nation created Trump or is Trump recreating America in his own cynical image?
To revisit R. Douglas Field's article, he mentions something interesting that's rooted in scientific fact: He theorizes that Trump, as with virtually all the other GOP contenders but more adroitly, is appealing not to the cerebral cortex that distinguishes us from the animal kingdom, the part of the human brain controlling rational, cognitive thinking. Rather, he's specifically appealing to the limbic portion of the brain that keeps us tethered to the animal kingdom as it governs the baser drives of Man: Libido, fear, anger and rage. Especially rage. In other words, Freud's Id.
One doesn't need to be a neurologist or social scientist to see how incredibly dangerous and wantonly reckless this is. And whatever racist teabaggers that haven't been sucked into Trump's toxic orbit are getting mopped up by the other Republicans who are trying to outdo Trump with playing King of the Dunghill and trying, vainly, to topple him.
Throwing Out the Dog Whistle
One of the reasons for Trump's appeal happens to be the very same reason why he's so reviled by establishment conservatives starting with the All Star Republican hit squad recently assembled by the National Review: The complete lack of a filter. Oddly enough, that same establishment GOP is now at war with the venerable conservative periodical founded by William F. Buckley, having dropped their debate sponsorship over this collective ankle-biting.
Trump's saving grace among overweight, barely literate racists and protofascists was his distorted Bulworth-like decision to throw the dog whistle over his shoulder and "say what other 'real' Americans are thinking." Trump doesn't have any time or patience for dog whistle language such as "state's rights" or "entitlement programs". One is half-amazed Trump hasn't gone full bore racist and dropped the N bomb in a speech while referring to the president. And one would half expect that if he did, it would automatically make him the Republican nominee and the convention this summer a mere formality. Which it may already be.
Yet in reality, Trump isn't betraying the GOP or core values in his spittle-flecked speeches and Twitter account- He's just amplifying and purifying them. And the establishment Republicans, horrified to hear their positions repeated back to them unfiltered, hate him for it and hate his enduring success even more. Even so, most of these Republicans are barely smart enough to see a good tactic and, as with everyone else in this country, is very willing to be the first to do something second.
And this seems to be working for Ted Cruz, whose own loudness and nastiness of late has paid dividends in the straw polls as he's now snuggled up just below Trump. Ted Cruz is such a vicious prick that when he was Solicitor General of Texas, he actually petitioned the Supreme Court to keep a man in prison for the full 16 years to which he was sentenced for stealing a Walmart calculator. The reason it was appealed all the way to the high court is because the infamously-flawed Texas criminal justice system mistakenly categorized the defendant as a habitual offender.
The fact is, Trump wouldn't make a more horrible President than Ted Cruz or any other batshit insane Republican screaming out of the 11th century because they're all saying the same thing. But Trump keeps the parishioners coming in, as the saying goes, and continues this sick, silly love-hate relationship with the mainstream media that, as Ennis del Mar said in Brokeback Mountain, "just can't quit (him)."
But the one thing that distinguishes Donald Trump from the rest is his uncanny ability to unite and rally the worst elements our society can inflict on the rest of humankind. That is how and why Donald Trump is the most dangerous man in America.