But what was more compelling to me about both the speech (Donald Trump’s) and the spirit of the room was how nonideological it all was. Other than undocumented immigrants, who represent a go-to boogeyman for the right, Trump’s targets consisted of a bipartisan assembly of the ‘‘permanent political class’’ that Joan Didion described in her book ‘‘Political Fictions’’: that incestuous band of TV talkers, campaign strategists and candidates that had ‘‘rigged the game’’ and perpetuated the scripted awfulness of our politics. ‘‘Everyone knows that what you see in politics is fake or confected,’’ Didion wrote. ‘‘But everyone’s O.K. with that, because it’s all been focus-grouped.’’
The entire point of this is an attempted exposition on the Trump phenomena in the Republican party. But like so many who have tried to “analyze” his candidacy it misses the mark by being too cute by half.
Or is it? The following is the next observation:
Resentment of this class has built over several years. It has been expressed on both sides, by the rise of insurgent movements like the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street (Trump’s railing against fund-raiser ‘‘blood money,’’ ‘‘bloodsucker’’ lobbyists and Wall Street ‘‘paper pushers’’ would play well across the board). As a reporter in Washington, I, too, have grown exceedingly weary of this world — the familiar faces, recycled tropes and politics as usual — and here was none other than Donald J. Trump, the billionaire blowhard whom I had resisted as a cartoonish demagogue, defiling it with resonance.
You see, here’s the kernel of truth: The American people tend to put up with a lot of crap for a long time, but when they wake up and get mad, if you’re still in their way you’re fucked.
As someone who had at least a bit part in the “Tea Party” I became disgusted with what it turned into fast. It began as a demand that those who had blown our economy to bits, from the Federal Reserve Chair to Hank Paulson to the Pandit’s of the world not get bailed out and, for many of them, to not get off without being punished for what were quite-clear fraudulent acts.
We were supposedly listened to. But not only did these clowns get bailed out and not punished they were then rewarded on top of it with trillions of emitted credit dollars that were charged against our collective hides.
It was precisely this mandate: No more debt damnit, and no more bailouts — that sent a Republican majority to the House and Senate between 2010 and 2012. None of it mattered to the clowncar brigade in Washington DC. Kerry Bentivolio lasted literally 24 hours after being elected before, in my opinion, he was corrupted by Boehner and his cadre of bloodsucking jackasses. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers staff famously told me during the 2011 debt-ceiling debacle when her staff and I were in almost-daily contact that the Republican Party would not stop deficit spending — not now, NOT EVER.
It was at that point that a long string of four-letter labels got applied to her and her staff from my brain to my lips; needless to say I’m not on her Christmas list. She, like the rest of the crowd, was in fact trying to use me (along with any other journalist who was spineless enough to sell their integrity for “access”) to lie to the public. I would have none of it and made quite-clear how profane I considered such an attempt to be.
What started as a strong political movement centered on no bailouts, jail for corporate criminals who committed fraud and no more unbacked credit got co-opted almost instantly into “Guns, Gays and God.” Likewise, those on the left who started Occupy Wall Street with the same basic meme in the first two instances: no bailouts and jail for fraud-committed corporate criminals got co-opted into “Anarchy, Socialism and Handouts.”
This was no accident or organic decay, it was deliberate sabotage by those in the political system. I absolutely certain of this: At several points during the Tea Party debacle I was offered media and political exposure in exchange for backing what the so-called Republicans were doing an advancing their twisted, lying agenda!
Every one of those offers was responded to with this:
The profaning of our political system is a literal daily object of both the left and right. The word democracy crosses their lips in virtually every speech, yet we not a democracy. Democracy is a conversation between two wolves and a sheep discussing what’s for dinner. A Constitutional Republic is found when the sheep pulls out a gun and makes clear that his Second Amendment Right will be exercised should the wolves attempt to hold such a “vote.”
Through the last few decades the American Sheeple have been sheared repeatedly by Democrat and Republican alike. Our jobs have been offshored, our drug prices rigged by monopolists, health care has turned from a middle-class vocation into a profession where quarter-million dollar debts are attached to anyone pursuing it and they are then chased into corporate and university structures that dangle Porsches and Mansions in front of their eyes (which a few achieve) while screwing every ordinary American within an inch of their life, mobile phone companies charge single people 40% more for 50% less compared to married couples, banks forge documents and foreclose through the commission of perjury on a daily basis and yet the average American has his car booted for a $20 unpaid parking fine turning it into a $500 or more debacle. Banks see their funding costs go from 5% to 0.25% while your credit card interest rate, if you’re a good credit risk, doesn’t drop at all during the same time. Prices and services move in almost-literal lock-step between so-called “competitors” on a daily basis; you can find this in airline fares, mobile phone plans, prices at the local gas station and more.
Most of these practices by the corporate and political elite are supposed to be illegal. There is a wide body of criminal law, for example, bearing on anti-trust. It is broadly illegal to discriminate on price for or against a particular person or class; you can offer a discount for volume but it must be rationally connected to differences in actual cost. You can’t legally tie together services and condition the sale of one (or the price of one) on the purchase of another (IBM got sued over this a few decades ago in their mainframe business and monkey-hammered as a result.) The mere discussion of pricing between competitors with market power, say much less any attempt to control same, is a felony; Standard Oil, a huge conglomerate at the time, was literally broken into pieces over this; I, as a former Internet entrepreneur, was keenly aware of these laws and abided them religiously if for no reason other than not wishing to spend 10+ years in Club Fed. And despite the bleating of manufacturers in the drug sector about “reimportation” and similar the fact of the matter is that book publishers tried to prevent a guy from buying textbooks in Asia and then reselling them here — they lost at the US Supreme Court and yet the same practice continues today in the pharma industry where a drug that costs $100,000 can be had for under $1,000 in India!
Trump’s candidacy was claimed to be “poison” to both Hispanics and Blacks. The truth has turned out to be something else entirely. Hispanics and Blacks, traditionally, vote almost-100% Democrat. Trump is now pulling strong support from both ethic groups — in fact, a sufficient percentage of both to make a Democrat win mathematically impossible should that support hold. The Democrat machine knows this and so do the Republicans, which is why they’re having a Grand Mal event over his continued poll numbers: The dirty tricks game suddenly takes on a new dimension when the guy who you want to run it against is the reason you will win as he has siphoned off a critical mass of the other party’s support, while if you try to pull it off and succeed you probably lose. In other words you can’t trash him and then replace him with someone else; the game now becomes one of literal party suicide.
And make no mistake, that’s what the Republican Party risks at this juncture. More to the point, they may be risking our form of government entirely. See, what many people do not understand, mostly because they never bothered to look into it, is that a political party is not governed by “rules of fairness” and there is no recourse to the law when it comes to their bylaws and decisions in that regard. They’re a private club, basically, and can do what they want in this regard. The Republican Party could literally decide to run Jeb through rules changes even if he was dead last in the polls, and that would be legal. You couldn’t sue them to force them to change the person they put on the ballot, believe it or not.
I left the Libertarian Party over exactly this sort of horseshit. A party that was backing a man, Gary Johnson, that had been blatantly lying about his record in a way that bore directly on the party’s alleged principles. Well, the party is free to do that, and when you can’t change the outcome via a motion, debate and vote (because you lose same) then the only real option is to erect the middle finger and walk off. So I did.
Now here’s the problem for the Republicans: A very large body of the American public has had it with the political promises made during campaigns that are repudiated within seconds of the election begin decided. Trump is in front because the people believe he will do what he says he will do.
He will build a fence and stop the illegal immigrants from stealing American jobs, sending those home who are here to steal from our citizens via welfare or worse, gang-bang, rape, rob and murder.
He will stop the offshoring of jobs by making it unprofitable.
He will demand that those who we protect with our military pay the cost of that protection, and if they refuse we will limit our protection to those who truly are our allies and are willing to share the burden of that expense.
He will stop the stupid in arming terrorists and believing nations that are proved liars in their weapons programs or worse, who literally give us the middle finger minutes after signing a deal (e.g. Iran.)
But the real lesson here for the political class isn’t that Trump is here and staying.
The American people are transmitting a very clear warning to Washington through both Trump and Boehner’s ouster. It’s this: We have options. We’re not going to put up with your lies, your theft, your scams and your attempts enslave us via the various back-room deals you cut with lobbyists and the Democrats you claim you’re “fighting.” We are using our lawful and peaceful means in an attempt to correct what we perceive as broken. We’re insisting that we return to a Constitutional Republic as-written, not as a bunch of jackasses in Washington would like to imagine it might be.
And make no mistake about it: Washington is being told that the practices of the last several decades will change. We’re simply going about exercising the methods available to us in the correct order, both from a lawful and moral standpoint.