BY BOB BEARDEN
Donald Trump is scaring the hell out of the Republican Party, because he is saying all the things they seem to believe, stand for and often think, just not out loud. And they know if they say them openly they are likely to become a deeply wounded party and may never be able to recover from the branding of them as racists and bigots.
I don’t believe Republicans as a whole are racists or bigots; in fact, I would say the vast majority are decidedly not, but their leadership is tied hook, line and sinker to policies that promote that image and with a guy like Trump moving the narrative in that direction they are more and more becoming locked into that harmful mantra, like it or not.
Those running in the same pack with the Trumpster are finding in order to get noticed they have to praise Trump in some way or other, when what they would love to do would be like Mark Antony and bury him somewhere deep and shady.
Trump is sucking up all of the air out of their narratives with his outrageous and often vile screeds and tossing them out piecemeal to a media that is lapping it up like a puppy laps up fresh cow’s milk. And his appeal among the rabidly anti-everything wingnuts of the Tea Party base of the Republican Party is loving it. His poll numbers are shooting through the roof and he is sitting atop the field of GOP hopefuls in a couple of polls.
Yep, Donald’s their guy. He’s saying what they believe and think but usually won’t tack that far afield or openly voice it.
And in doing so, the man formerly known as a more “compassionate conservative than my brother,” The Jeb! – who now has lopped off his last name in his campaign material; the little shrub bush of the familial Bush – is having to tack to the far right and is starting to say things that people who are his supporters are going think – WTF did he just say?
Donald has out-crazied Ted Cruz to the point that Ted is having to praise him rather than bury him, as he would love to do.
Poor Ted Cruz – alas, we knew him well.
It’s a marshmallow world out there in the la-la-land of Republican presidential wannabes and Donald the Trump is roasting all the middle-of-the-road, leaning-to-the-right guys like The Jeb! on their own petards and they don’t know what to do or say about it.
Don’t you just love it? Well, only if you are on the left side of the room.
They have an awful dilemma to contend with. If they attack him, they lose any possibility of making the cut set by their revered Faux News in the upcoming debates and face the distinct possibility of ending up on the cutting room of history, as a very far out trivia question in the latest edition of Trivial Pursuit. If they side with him then they are openly marked as bigots and racists. And, of course, they might well be, but they prefer that to be a well-kept secret that they will only share at those rich billionaire conclaves they get invited to, as they go begging the Marvins and the Kochs to “pick me, Monte … pick me!”
It’s a dog-eat-dog world, especially in the context of the radicalization of the Republican Party. They face a crossroads of character and integrity. Join the Trump man in the pigsty of racist, bigoted politics or tack to the left, wiping the muck off of their bodies and lose all hope of ever getting their party’s nomination to run for the highest office in the land.
Donald Trump came to bury the Republican Party, not to praise it!
– Bob Bearden, chairman of the Central Oklahoma Labor Federation Board of Trustees and a member of Mayflower Congregational Church UCC, is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer