Sunday, March 13, 2016

Trumped In Chicago

Oh, dear . . .
The recent disruption of a crowd assembling for a canceled Donald Trump rally in Chicago pretty much demonstrated for all the world what an embarrassment Trump has become to the United States and what a laughingstock of the world America has become.  Trump could have run a positive campaign with the many valid points he's made about the economy - the trade deals the U.S. has made have been disastrous, jobs need to be brought back, we have to start building things again - but he's instead centered his campaign around fear of immigrants, fear of Muslims, and fear of just about anyone else who doesn't fit his narrow definition of what an American is.  It's a prejudice his German immigrant grandfather would have understood.   Yes, yes, he keeps saying that he's perfectly happy with immigrants coming in so long as they're legal, but I get the impression that he'd lower the quotas drastically if he ever got to be President.
Whether it was right for the protesters to stop the rally by infiltrating it is beside the point.  Trump supporters didn't react in a civil matter to the demonstrators, pretty much justifying Trump's decision to cancel the event before things got out of hand.  Trump himself, though, hasn't helped matters any, telling MSNBC's Chris Matthews nothing more than he didn't want anyone to be hurt but not saying much if anything to supporters to keep the tone respectful.  In Ohio and Missouri yesterday, Trump was back to his belligerent self, arrogantly dismissing his critics - which include the rest of the Republican field - and his supporters have been cheering him on.  They're cheering him on with the same angry misanthropy that filtered through the air at Altamont.  Indeed, they're cheering him on to the Republican nomination.  As scary as it sounds, they are likely to go to the polls in November in droves.  And the Democrats are preparing to send into the general election as his opponent . . . Hillary Clinton?  A tired establishment figure who doesn't offer anything other than her "experience?"   But then, a party that has been thrashed in the two most recent midterm elections and is being run by clueless politicos who don't listen to the concerns of the rank-and-file members for whom Hillary is not the answer shouldn't be expected to rise to the occasion.
The country is tearing itself apart, and the hatred and animosity have reached a boiling point.  Donald Trump has been one of the biggest contributors to this discord.  But Hillary Clinton's response to Trump's promise to "make America great again" - her promise is to "make America whole again" - isn't reassuring.  On the one hand, we could have a President who creates crises or, on the other hand, we could have a President who at best responds ineffectively to them.  Bottom line:  We need a Franklin Roosevelt, but we're going to get a Franklin Pierce. :-(   

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