I wish I hadn’t taken so much time off from writing this blog, because so much has been happening lately in the world of the presidential election.
Donald Trump is ahead in the Republican race for the presidential nomination.
He seems to be losing some ground to Ted Cruz, who is basically “Trump Light”, and that doesn’t make the GOP look much better.
There seems to be a split in the GOP over Trump – one part is organizing an effort to make sure he doesn’t win the nomination, and the other part is folding like a house of cards and rushing to back him.
It’s creepy, seeing people who just a few weeks ago characterized Trump (correctly, in my opinion) as a dangerous blowhard, now basically saying, “Yes, Mr. Trump. Whatever you say, Mr. Trump.”
Don’t they realize how duplicitous that looks? Don’t the Republican voters see it?
And still Trump continues his outrageous behavior, inciting his base to assault protesters, refusing to show up at Republican debates (to debate Ted Cruz and John Kasich), and spouting ridiculous rhetoric that still explains nothing about how he is going to implement his crazy ideas.
His latest bout of crazy was today, when Trump released a statement – after losing the Wisconsin primary to Ted Cruz – referring to Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted” and stating that the Wisconsin results were due to a conspiracy between Cruz, “the Republican party bosses”, and conservative talk radio to “steal” delegates from Trump (“Republican Cruz Crushes Trump in Wisconsin, Says Party Will Unite”, Steve Holland, Reuters website, 4/6/2016).
Because, of course, Trump’s loss would have nothing to do with him insulting Wisconsin governor Scott Walker (who is very popular with the tea party/reactionary crowd), coming off like an unprepared schoolyard bully on a conservative talk show (he was so unprepared he didn’t even know the host was a proponent of the “Never Trump” group), and taking several different positions on abortion in about a 72-hour period of time.
Wisconsin conservatives/right-wing reactionaries, who should be part of Trump’s base, turned on him because of these errors. But, of course, Trump can never take responsibility for anything, not even his own campaign mistakes.
The abortion flip-flops started when Trump stated there “has to be some form of punishment” for women who have abortions (“Trump Call to Punish Women for Illegal Abortions Sparks Firestorm”, Harper Neidig, The Hill website, 3/30/2016).
When pressed, of course Trump couldn’t say what form that would take, nor how he would ban all abortions.
What punishment is he wanting? Prison terms, hefty fines, public stoning??
Then he tried to fix this when he stated that “it’s a states rights issue”, after he met with the Republican National chairman Reince Priebus on March 31. He also stated that “it’s the law”, presumably referring to abortion being (barely) legal in most places.
In PA, abortion is technically legal – but not permitted under Medicare/Medicaid except in cases of life endangerment, incest, or rape, unless the woman pays extra. That basically makes it illegal for poor women.
Anyway, Trump then released another statement saying that he meant that it’s the law now, but when he is president, he will change that.
Because, presumably, Trump believes that presidential powers supersede the Supreme Court, and that he can just overturn Roe v Wade because he wants to.
He never explains what his actual plans are to implement his right-wing ideas, ever – and he excuses his silence by stating he doesn’t want everyone to know what he’s going to do.
He just wants people to trust him. Trust him, and he’ll fix everything.
75% of women do not like him, and will not vote for him. That’s the bright spot in all this.
But…when confronted with this fact, Trump stated it wasn’t true.
“No one respects women more than I do,” he crowed. He says this a lot. He Tweets this a lot. He thinks, I guess, if he keeps saying it, people will believe it. Another tactic that bullies use quite often.
I can’t tell you how many times in the past 2 months my mouth has dropped open in astonishment at the things Trump has said.
When asked about who he would consult regarding foreign policy matters, he replied
“I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.” (“Five Worst Right-Wing Moments This Week: Trump and His Proxies Take Leave of Reality”, Janet Allon, Alternet website, 3/19/2016)
He rambled a bit more and then added
“So I know what I’m doing. I talk to a lot of people and at the appropriate time, I’ll tell you who they are. My primary consultant is myself and I have a good instinct about this stuff.” (Ibid)
Yeah, who needs information and education, when you have yourself and your “instinct”?
I would encourage you to read the whole Alternet article, because it details other interesting tidbits such as David Duke stating Trump makes Hitler look good, and Republicans trying desperately to spin the physical attacks on protesters by stating they are paid (um no, most of us will pay people for rides just to go and protest) and that the protesters are just like Vietnam War protesters (actually, I think a lot of them are better organized and somewhat braver than we were, and good for them!).
How that translates to the justification for punching and otherwise roughing up protesters is beyond me. I guess the Republicans were speaking to the now elderly people who used to shout “America, love it or leave it!” and called us “dirty hippies” in the 1960s and 70s.
In fact, one of the last people to assault a protester was a 78-year-old man named John McGraw. He sucker-punched a protester as that protester was being escorted out by the cops (“Trump Supporter Charged After Sucker-Punching Protester at North Carolina Rally”, Justin Wm. Moyer, Jenny Starrs, and Sarah Larimer, Washington Post online, 3/11/2016).
Ol’ reactionary John talked with the press after punching the guy, stating, “Next time we might have to kill him” (Ibid). He could say that because, you see, the cops jumped on the protester, and not on reactionary John.
The cops have now been suspended – for 3 to 5 days, big deal – for doing what they did (“5 Sheriff’s Deputies Disciplined After Assault at Trump Rally”, Jeremy Diamond, CNN website, 3/16/2016).
To put things in context, Trump has been saying in his speeches that he wants to punch people in the face, makes references to how protesters used to be carried out on stretchers, and offers to pay the legal fees of people who violently attack protesters (“Media Highlight Trump’s Role in Inspiring Violence at his Events”, Julie Alderman, Media Matters website, 3/11/2016).
It’s not clear whether or not Trump has paid reactionary John’s legal fees. I can’t find any information on that but I would guess not, as Trump would be bragging about it if he had.