Cheap Seats 2016
By Rich Trzupek
By the time this edition of The Examiner hits your door, I will have cast my vote in the Republican primary for Ted Cruz. In my not so humble opinion, Cruz is the smartest candidate in the race and has the most personal integrity. But, unlike many people in both parties I have no fear of a Trump candidacy or a Trump presidency.
It says much more about the wimpy state of Americans it does about the reality of Trump that so many people absolutely freak out over the style of rhetoric a politician chooses to employ. Depending on who’s doing the judging and what they’re referring to, Trump has been variously accused of being a bully, an adolescent, a boor, hateful and even a modern-day demagogue whose tactics bear a frightful resemblance to those of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party.
The Republican establishment, including many a conservative, are as responsible for these characterizations as any Democrat. I’m not a Glenn Beck groupie, but nor do I mind the man, but Beck’s freak out over Trump’s popularity dropped my respect for the commentator by several notches.
I find it difficult to equate extremism to the spoken word. Extremism, in my view, is about action. I find the pronouncements of a knucklehead like Al Sharpton stupid, mean-spirited, counter-productive, dishonest and ill-informed. But, would I condemn Sharpton’s shtick as “extremism”? I would not. I write it off as self-aggrandizing idiocy and leave it there. The term “extremist” should be reserved for people who actively try to murder and enslave other people in the name of their religion and the like.
In Trump’s case, you’ll find much more extremism among his fanatically-determined opponents than among the candidate and his supporters. Trumps fanatic opponents are stupid, angry people just begging for an opportunity to vent their anger and a billionaire Republican candidate who says whatever is on his mind without filtering his phrasing for political-correctness is their dream come true.
Thus, when Trump points out the rather obvious fact that people crossing into American illegally, without any background checks, will inevitably include a lot of bad guys, including rapists, the opponents hear “Trump thinks all Mexicans are rapists”. Even conservative commentators condemn Trump for sloppy phrasing in that case. I say: “screw sloppy phrasing”. Trumps meaning was clear and if you’re such a thin-skinned idiot that you can’t discern that meaning, or believe there’s some kind of sinister hidden message contain in his words, then there’s no point in having any further discussion with you.
In their desperation to “stop Trump” before his jack-booted legions goose-step down Pennsylvania Avenue, the extremists are ready, willing and able to engage in obnoxious behavior up to and including physical assaults in order to achieve their goal of shutting up a candidate whom they disagree with. Lovely.
The fact that Trump was forced to cancel his rally in Chicago last week is a disgrace that should be laid at the feet of his extremist opponents. No matter how much you disagree with someone’s views, no one should ever be bullied into remaining silent.
America is a nation where you can be a Nazi and where you can be a Communist. Hell, America is a nation where you can not only be a socialist and run for President, but you can also have a fair chance of winning nomination by a major party, especially if your opponent gets indicted halfway through her campaign. Think what you want, so long as thoughts don’t lead to actions that violate the law.
For example, I think that Sanders’ concepts about governance and economics are about as simple-minded and potentially ruinous as anyone who has ever sought a major party’s nomination for President. Yet, I have no fear of a Sanders’ Presidency. He is so very far removed from reality that there is zero chance he would ever be able to implement his agenda. He can imagine his socialist paradise all he wants, but America will never agree to that particular experiment.
And so it goes with the Donald. Could he build the wall? Very possibly. Would his plan to restrict Muslim immigration survive legal review? Not likely. The list goes on. If elected Trump, like every other President before him, will be forced toward the center by our system. In an ocean-liner as big as the United States, one cannot change course on a dime, but only slowly, carefully and with the consensus of the governed.