Commentary: Donald Trump & the New Political Epoch
Ronald Reagan didn’t like the role of a villain. Late in his acting career he got the part of a nasty crime boss. In the picture his character slaps a woman played by Angie Dickinson. Dickinson brushed it off as part of the job but says for many years whenever she saw Reagan he would apologize. Slapping a woman made him feel awful.
Donald Trump is also an entertainer turned to politics. When he was pressed last night about his blustering Twitter feed and misogyny on his TV show he was quick to say it was all in fun. Reagan and Trump aren’t being compared by me politically, although. Both men were blunt in their own ways when it came to making their points. I cite this because Trump may have an argument when he claims he was treated poorly by Fox during the first Republican debate. Reagan, to my knowledge, was never pressed about slapping women because it was understood the screen character isn’t the working actor.
Aside from the attempt at grilling Trump the builder and media mogul also got much more time to perform than many of his stellar rivals. So it may be a victory. We can also argue the worst may now be over for Trump. We could see a drop of 5 points in polls but then he’ll still be well ahead of conventional media wisdom. The developer and TV star will also have months to restore his early and wide lead. Now he knows what to expect and he can reply he has already answered the questions. It’s my hope he stays in this race for a very long time.
Simply, 24 million people watched the debate 15 months before an election. Counting both Fox debates Thursday more than 30 million sets of eyes watched 17 candidates. Rand Paul and Ben Carson may feel left out but 5 minutes in August 2015 with nearly a tenth of the country watching (and likely a massive percentage of the electorate) they got face time. I do like a great many of these candidates but some likely are just as beholden to their corporate sponsors as are the leaders in both parties in the House and Senate. Trump will force some of his rivals to break free. If he chooses to go the third party route then so be it! There are no constitutional provisions for a two party system or any parties for that matter. Considering the recent actions of Republicans in Washington what are the main differences between the GOP and Democrats? Can you tell the difference between Boehner and Pelosi? McConnell and Reid? Did George W. Bush shrink the size of government?
Long about ten years ago I read a scholarly essay about our major political parties. The writer maintained they were really just shades of one. The Empire Party was the description. Our current President has slowly been reducing the empire. Even if you don’t like the idea a nation with a serious and heavy debt-load it can’t sustain military installations around the world and still bankroll Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Obamacare. Voters know this, right? You’re a fool if you believe someone will wave a magic wand and the debt will vanish and the factories will suddenly re-appear as if straight from a manufacturing Brigadoon. The writer of the essay predicted once the empire was gone so also would the Empire Party be finished.
The longer people like Trump and Bernie Sanders stick around they’ll herald the growth of smaller parties with distinct platforms and possibly much better at keeping promises made during campaigns. Some may still get their beaks wetted by Goldman-Sachs and other large entities attempting to control government policy for narrow benefit, however. The devolution or dilution of the Empire Party will spread campaign contributions among a wider political spectrum. It breaks the power of the oligarchical special interests. Gosh, you’d think I’d gone all lefty but you must understand the Tea Party is just as much suppressed by the Empire Party as was the dormant Occupy Movement. The establishment demands you shut up and vote for its false choices. We’re starting to witness the dawning of a new paradigm. Massive blocks of voters suddenly realize they’ve got some muscle. Trump is just the current hammer a frustrated segment of voters are using against the castle walls.
In a few short years we may finally put an end to fiat currency and deficit spending. Just remember, the old guard won’t go down without a fight. Be prepared for difficult days ahead. They may decide to get rough. Then I think we need to call their bluff. Outside a few big coastal redoubts they don’t have much clout. Just yesterday a rumor circulated in one Idaho town about the V.A. planning to seize firearms from a Navy veteran. Neighbors and local Sheriff Deputies put a cordon around his home. Street level nullification and it must be exhilarating. Like breathing in the morning air after an overnight thunderstorm. There’s a new dawn.