Donald Trump. Finally the Republican establishment has found a billionaire it hates. Though before musing on his speculatively ephemeral candidacy, I thought there may be some utility in clarifying political principles.
Interests. That’s ultimately the game. The audience of this blog has common interests, as do anti-gentilic jews, gibsus blacks, and revanchist hispanics. Their loudly expressed interests are considered to be publicly palatable, while ours (presently) are not. The fact of which alters their existence not a whit.
Political parties have interests also. And these interests are discrete from those of its current constituent base. In ideal situations the overlap is generous, though only the foolish forget these platforms are floating and never permanently anchored. And of all a party’s interests, the most fundamental is in persisting as a viable political vehicle. This to provide some measure of wealth and power to its apparatchiks and remora. Republican politicians are attached to the cause of conservatism precisely to the extent it satisfies these objectives–and not an iota beyond.
Constituencies attempt to use these political vehicles to carry forward their own interests. Many, myself included, often describe the failure to do so as a Republican “betrayal” of their base. In less emotionally freighted language, this is simply the phenomenon of interests rapidly diverging. Republicans are attempting to position themselves into the crest of the Amerind tsunami, the children of which will all be 100% apple-pie voting “Americans.” This necessarily involves an increasingly awkward rejection of the declining legacy population from which they are now desperate to pivot. This unfortunate end could have been easily predicted in context of a democratic system featuring universal suffrage, though there was money that needed making and football games that needed watching, and so here we are: back to taxation without representation.
An astute Republican party would have known to draw a deep protective moat around its voter franchise. Political strategists are, by necessity, some of the most professional racists. They can predict within two of a dead man’s twelve votes how a precinct will perform based exclusively on its geo and demographic profile. Everyone and their grandmother understands that Republicans will receive a majority white split with only drops of thunderbird and tequila.
So while they are in power one would predict borders tighter than Lindsey Graham’s zipper with a beautiful woman. That the opposite actually occurs speaks to the party’s inherent fractures. Republicans fight from unfavorable ground because their voters and patrons have diametrically opposing interests. Republicans could not defend the base because their donor class demanded its erosion. Economic growth requires millions of additional consumers. Maintaining national sovereignty does not. And since money is far more demanding and perceptive than votes, interests of the latter have been jettisoned from the party platform.
Of course someone must still go to the toil of scratching ballots, and this is where millions of mestizos come in. If the maneuver were executed flawlessly, this cohort would be coaxed into the republican fold while the party maintained a still sizeable bloc of wholly ignored conservatives who grudgingly remain loyal only out of reciprocal contempt for the democrats.
Unfortnuately for the party one man is shoving a very flamboyant comb-over into the works.
Donald Trump appears to be a shallow, narcissistic, showman. He has declared bankruptcy multiple times and has built more ego than enduring institutions. If he holds commitments more solemn than to yachts and pussy, he has held them in close company. His political statements have flounced across the spectrum, and if he truly wants the border sealed it is an inspiration that only seems to have arrived in his late 60s. This is not Jeff Sessions. Though walls and laws are wholly uninterested in the integrity of their architects. And those erected by a charlatan are no easier to surmount.
Whatever reservations prudent men may have about his character, Trump is offering what no other party would even consider: to advance the interests of legacy America. Namely the interest to not be invaded. Republicans are understandably hysterical and have laughably countered that voters should reject his entreaties because they run counter to the interests of the party; whose interests in turn run counter to the very people they are scolding. The party is saying in effect: How are we supposed to replace you if you keep making us look bad?
Big business, now one of the most potent forces behind American liberalism, is quickly forming ranks against this gauche apostate. There have undoubtedly been many encrypted cables directing their political marionettes to make him go away. Barring Trump from the debates will be key, and I expect concerted flimflam about party values to provide the casus belli for doing so.
If he is actually impaneled and attracts even more support as a result, it would be intuitive to think this would pull the field to the right on immigration. I think the opposite. Trump is just as likely to become a political Dylan Roof thus triggering a predictable what-would-liberals-want-me-to-do lunge to the left among his rivals. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an exasperated JEB finally wail: We categorically reject Trump’s xenophobic Hate. Take down these American flags!
I would be pleased to see his candidacy catalyze establishment flailing in either direction. And if it were left, even the most rheumy republican voters might be inclined to see the party’s intended pivot. Many would remain out of credulity and inertia. Though a huge number would be set adrift politically. And in that is the opportunity for an actual representative movement to emerge.