When The Donald announced he was running for president, I laughed.
Hell, I think everyone did. The media, late night talk show hosts, foreign leaders… it was a joke. Who would ever vote for a reality TV show host? A male Sarah Palin? A failed businessman who leases his name because his personal ventures flop? (Not that the industries he licenses’ his name to don’t flop as well, he just doesn’t lose money when those fail.)
When he started winning, I shrugged. America has huge problems with racism, sexism, and homophobia, so him pandering to the dumbest of the dumb and succeeding didn’t surprise me. Early on, yeah, I expected him to do well.
I thought Drumpf was a better choice than the other candidates by far. Not because he is a better person, businessman, leader, or more intelligent, God no. Drumpf is a blowhard; a mouthpiece without a conscience. Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich, however, those guys you had to worry about. They were believers. When Cruz says something anti-woman, anti-minority, or anti-gay, he means it. Kasich actually signs anti-woman legislation into law. Drumpf? The guy is a megaphone of nonsense. He changes his positions on a moment-to-moment basis. I thought that if he somehow won the presidency, nothing would get done. He’d ask for garbage—“Build a wall!”—and Congress would deadlock. Far better to have him in office than someone willing to do actual damage.
But now that he is the presumptive nominee, I’m growing worried. I forgot what the most important thing to the right-wing is: winning.
Early on, Republican leaders were rolling their eyes and shaking their fists at Drumpf. It was fun watching the party implode. Someone outside their system was using their bile as his platform, and beating the establishment. It was beautiful; a live-action ouroboros. After years of Fox News and tea bag anger, the chickens had finally come home to roost, and I thought the Republican Party would fall apart in the process. Maybe, just maybe, it could then re-emerge like a phoenix and focus on economic issues, not “moral” ones.
What I didn’t see coming was the wave of sheep-like Republican leaders falling in line behind Drumpf.
The once-hesitant Paul Ryan now says he’ll vote Drumpf. Mitch McConnell says people have to vote for Drumpf, so they can get an anti-gay, anti-woman, and anti-union judge on the Supreme Court. Ben Stein, who shouldn’t have influence yet still gets coverage, just said he’ll pull the Republican lever, even though he believes Drumpf is “ignorant” when it comes to economics. John Boehner says he and Drumpf are “texting buddies.” They do not care about what’s right, they do not care about what’s best for America, they just want to see that winning checkmark next to the “R” on election day.
If that’s not scary enough, there are people who endorse Drumpf without reservation, and it’s a literal “Who’s Who” of who’s an asshole: Dick Cheney. Mike Huckabee. Ben Carson. Rick Santorum. When Dick Cheney and Rick Santorum like someone, that person is a dumpster-fire of a human being.
So if influential Republicans are willing to fall in line to get an incompetent, bigoted, sexist, blowhard elected, I fear the party will lock arms and push through horrific bills, too. The gridlock I fantasized about becomes a nightmare of damaging legislation.
Why? Compare recent accomplishments of the two parties.
During the first two years of the Obama presidency, when Democrats controlled everything, they passed: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform. William D. Ford Direct Loan program (student loan reform). The ACA. Lilly Ledbetter (fair pay). Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell was repealed. Cash for Clunkers helped boost the economy. NEW START (nuclear arms reduction treaty). The stimulus budget designed to get America out of the recession had the largest tax cut to the middle class, ever. The Matthew Shepard Act (hate crimes)…
I could go on.
Compare that to what’s happened since Republicans took over the House: nada. Not only has there been very little (if any) important legislation passed, but they actively tried tanking the American economy by fighting the debt ceiling.
Even worse, in states where Republicans took control of everything, governance was horrific. North Carolina passed a bigoted bathroom bill. Indiana made headlines for actively discriminating against the LGBT community. Slews of states started going after women’s health care, suppressing voter rights, defunding schools, and easing gun laws. And when it comes to the economy? Kansas and Wisconsin went into the toilet thanks to their respective legislative bodies.
And yet people are lining up to support such awfulness nation-wide.
Republicans supporting Drumpf doesn’t automatically lead to his victory in November, but combined with the Bernie Or Bust movement, the prospect isn’t unimaginable. Where the Republicans are uniting behind Chet-at-the-end-of-Weird Science—actual human crap—when faced with the prospect of “What we want!” vs. “Perfectly reasonable candidate,” Democrats are splintering. Thanks to a group of people so enthralled with the smell of their own farts they’re willing to Eric Cartman their votes—I didn’t get what I want, so “screw you guys, I’m going home,”—Drumpf could pull off a squeaker.
Months ago, I was fully ready to accept a Drumpf presidency. I thought it would lead to a quagmire of epic proportions, and nothing getting done was better than damage being done.
Now that Republican leaders have decided to throw their weight behind someone so blatantly incompetent, I’m finally scared.
It’s not a good feeling.