The Republican Party Richly Deserves Donald Trump
Rather than an outlier, Trump is the perfect front man for the “values” Republicans have been pursuing for well over a decade.
- Having Trump as its standard bearer is the consequence of the Republican Party’s path over the past decade.
- The Republican Party establishment should stop feeling “shocked” by the emergence of Donald Trump
- The emergence of Donald Trump is the perfect reversal of the emergence of Ronald Reagan in 1980.
The blue-blooded Republican Party establishment is shocked – very shocked – about the emergence of the brash New York billionaire Donald Trump as the party’s current frontrunner for the 2016 presidential nomination.
It is so shocked indeed that many of them stayed away from this year’s Republican convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
And yet, despite all the embarrassment and hand wringing, having Donald Trump as its standard bearer is the logical consequence of the Republican Party’s path over the past decade.
Trump’s readily flaunts his wealth. Gone is any sense of serving the common good. Selfishness is not just “in” – it is cast as a fundamental good.
Greed is good?
What else did the Republicans, with their ever more direct embrace of the base instincts of the American people, expect?
“The Donald” is the immediate echo chamber of the callousness of all those Republican politicians who played dangerously on the baser instincts of the American people.
In many ways, all those that express their support for Donald Trump in the Republican Party nominating race demonstrate that they have understood the party’s broader message.
It all comes back to that famous line from the iconic 1987 movie “Wall Street” about greed being “good.”
To savor the profound irony of it all, it indeed recalls verbatim the entire passage expressed by Michael Douglas (alias Gordon Gekko):
The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.
He also speaks these words that, almost three decades later, appear to be very prescient:
The richest one percent of this country owns half our country’s wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It’s bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal.
These two remarks can be seen as perfect expressions of the operating mantra of the Republican Party. In that sense, Donald Trump is Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko running for president in 2016.
Ronald Reagan – in reverse
In other words, the emergence of Donald Trump has been a long time coming. It is, in fact, the perfect reversal of the emergence of Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Back then, a “B” movie actor ultimately managed to get elected as president of the United States. Trump is already very successful but — given the shadiness of many of his deals — still a “B” level entrepreneur.
He lives the Reagan dream in reverse: A run for the White House is not the path to Trump’s career capstone, as it was for Reagan. Rather, it is something that is left to do for the man who already has everything else.
Under any circumstances, the Republican Party establishment should stop feeling “shocked” by the emergence of Donald Trump. He personifies down to the “t” exactly what they and their highly elitist and utterly materialist philosophy stand for.