Monday, February 29, 2016

Seven Queries About the Candidacy of Donald Trump

Yesterday afternoon, I found myself contemplating (yet again) the candidacy of Donald Trump and the danger he, his idea, and his supporters pose to our country and system of government. As I sat there thinking about these issues, I really started wondering about the upcoming election, possible scenarios, and what Trump’s candidacy says about our country and about our fellow citizens. And so, I posted the following seven queries to Twitter:

  • Query 1: Now that Trump has refused to denounce the KKK, what percentage of minority voters will turn out to vote against him in November?
  • Query 2: If other GOP leaders fail to promptly denounce Trump regarding the KKK, will the GOP lose all minority support for years to come?
  • Query 3: How does a party that has spent 7 years trying to delegitimize a black President pivot to denounce Trump’s racism? Is it possible?
  • Query 4: Do we take Trump at his word that he doesn't know much about the KKK (so he's an ignoramus) or is he just a lying piece of shit?
  • Query 5: How do we explain a populace that supports the racist & xenophobic views at the core of the leading GOP candidate's appeal
  • Query 6: In 50 years, will people ask about us today the same thing we ask about Italians & Germans in the '30s: How did they let it happen?
  • Query 7: Did Trump refuse to condemn KKK because he knows racists comprise a large portion of his base (or what he needs on Super Tuesday)?

What do you think? Let me know.

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At Tuesday, March 01, 2016 12:15:00 PM , Blogger Charles said...

Queries 1, 2, and 7: He has denounced them. The questions now need to be asked as "why did it take him so long to denounce them?" And I think the answer to that was that he was examining the blowback he would get for not doing so.

Question 3: They haven't been trying to delegitimize the President because he's black. They've been trying to delegitimize him because his ideas are dangerous to the country (i.e. he's a Democrat). Their answer, not mine. My answer: Why would they even examine the two things together? They don't acknowledge the first, so the second has no bearing.

Question 4: "I don't know much about the KKK" can be taken a number of ways. It can mean "I know they're generally seen as a bad group, but there are other people that say that they're getting a bad rap and aren't really a racist organization, and I haven't done the research to determine the answer for myself." In the same way that someone might say "I think the Jews are good people generally, but there is this document called the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and I don't know much about it, so I can't say for sure." They're both bs answers, but not necessarily lies. (Of course, given that there's evidence that his dad was in the KKK -- which he of course strenuously denies -- it's probably a flat-out lie.)

Query 5: Everyone needs someone to blame that isn't them. Trump is giving them that "not me" target. The same way that he's now saying that his refusal to denounce the KKK initially was the fault of a bad earpiece.

Query 6: No, I think it will be more the way we look at the "No Irish Need Apply" signs of the past, because I can't imagine that U S Americans will stand for large-scale despotism.

Query 7: I think his slowness to respond did. And those people who were encouraged by his initial refusal to condemn probably didn't pay attention when he later did condemn them.

Please realize that this next statement is not intended to defend or support Trump. But I'm not sure that, even if he were elected, he wouldn't pivot back to his pre-campaign views once in office. Until he started running for office, he was much more centrist -- or even left of center. Since he's changed his views once, I see no reason to think he wouldn't again. Of course, I'd prefer that we don't get the chance to find out.

And, if he does stay strident an far-right, I would hope that even the Republicans in Congress would take steps to tamp him down, the same way that some of us are questioning if Sanders would be able to implement most of his proposals, due to lack of support.

At Tuesday, March 01, 2016 12:24:00 PM , Blogger Charles said...

To my second-to-last point (about Trump changing his views once in office):

I wrote my comment before I saw that article, incidentally.

At Thursday, March 10, 2016 1:07:00 PM , Blogger MSWallack said...

Sorry for the late reply... I've been sick, sick, sick!

Trump didn't actually denounce the KKK; rather, he "disavowed".

As to Query #3, the fact that Obama is a Democrat was some of what was going on, but that doesn't explain the birtherism and rank bigotry that became endemic to much of the right immediately upon his election.

As to #4, apparently Trump refused to be part of the Reform Party, one of his reasons was ... David Duke. Hmm.

With regard to changing views once elected, there is some merit to that and Presidents and other elected officials do it all the time. But, if you are elected as a part of an ideology or wave movement and then shift on the core issues that galvanized your supporters, things can wind up getting ugly. The people who are supporting Trump aren't showing a lot of tolerance right now and I'm not sure that I want to see how they would react to "I don't really intend to build a wall...".


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