Voters in the Republican Party nominated one of the most public haters of the President they could have selected. Wild-eyed do-nothing Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) simply didn’t hate President Obama hard enough and Trump beat him. The person Republican voters selected, birther-King Donald Trump, has now turned and made professional haters of Hillary Clinton his closest advisors. Five years after been embarrassed and joked on by the President at the Correspondents Dinner on May 1, 2011, Trump simply could not contain his ego. Now having witnessed the full scope of Trump’s grotesque and petty low-life personality, it’s clear ego was a prime motivator.
Trump’s rise was predictable after voters were given every conceivable variety of Republican to chose from in 2016. But who did they chose? For eight years straight, the starting point of conversation coming from so many in the GOP is not about ideas or policy, it’s about what they hate and who they want to stop. What were the choices after Trump? Hater Cruz or empty-suit Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) who spoke more on Obama than the current nominee Hillary Clinton? Once being a “real conservative” meant running campaigns on “stopping Obama” the voters landed on Trump.
The GOP has been transformed from a party of policy ideas to a party galvanized around “who we want to bring down.” It’s unrecognizable as compared to the presidencies of George H.W. Bush or Ronald Reagan. Despite scandals, paranoia and lists of enemies, even Richard Nixon was generally policy driven. That Republican Party is gone. Republican voters nominated a candidate whose most dominant public act was lying about the first Black President of the United States’ birthplace in a relentless effort to undermine Obama’s authority and legitimacy in the name of ego. Trump couldn’t get his mind around the fact that a Black man in America has ascended higher than himself. Trump’s effort has 300 years of legacy behind it and it was given oxygen by many in the GOP universe.
The results were predictable. With people by his side who have spent years of their lives doing nothing other than building hate campaigns against someone else, Trump’s campaign continues. Trump’s short list of advisors in the room include professional haters David Bossie and Steve Bannon. Irrational hater Roger Stone was a former advisor. Predictably, Republicans hit their lowest point as a party since Watergate on October 8, 2016, as many top Republicans finally realized that the chief Obama hater they nominated for the presidency is in fact unfit to be their nominee. The only question is: What took so long for that tipping point to arrive?
Trump’s claim, on the very first day he began his presidential campaign on July 18, 2015, that Mexican immigrants were “rapists and murderers” didn’t do it for many in the GOP and that’s how Trump started. True, it was early. Perhaps no one took him seriously. That was 2015. But in December 2015, Trump called for a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S. — a ban on all members of a religious faith. That pronouncement barely produced a peep of protest from Trump’s supporters.
In February 2016, Trump was unwilling to disavow former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke. Most Republican elected officials said absolutely nothing. In another episode of white identity politics, June 2016, Trump’s clear racism against Latino Judge Gonzalo Curiel didn’t damage his reputation with Republican voters or electeds either. Trump’s attack on a Gold Star family in August didn’t motivate droves of Republican electeds to disavow him. His blanket racist statements on Black communities branding them to violence and mayhem didn’t make anyone flinch. Trump’s claim on October 7 that the Central Park Five were guilty, though they were completely innocent, didn’t do it either.
What finally “did it” is in no way connected to morality, a stance against racism or a blanket condemnation of those in a religious faith — and that speaks volumes about he modern GOP. What “did it” was pure self preservation. Trump’s statements caught on audio, defining what would be felony sexual assault if acted on, is a clear threat to the future of the Republican party and a threat to every Republican running for office in a close seat. No political party can survive without the votes and support of women.
What brings Republicans to this moment is what they created in 2009 when the GOP decided the strategy against Barack Obama would be obstruction. Hating Barack Obama and “stopping” him was what Tea Party Republicans campaigned on in 2010. It was marketed to voters for eight years. The plan started on the first night of the Obama presidency. Who was in the room for that meeting? The toxic Newt Gingrich and the current House Speaker Paul Ryan. Hating Barack Obama became the party brand. Tom Cotton won on that brand. A health care bill was re-named “Obamacare” with that brand in mind. There were no jobs bills and endless investigations. Eric Holder was punished. Does anyone believe obstruction would have been the plan if Sen. John McCain or Mitt Romney were elected president? Obstruction was a wildly successful. And now the GOP has been eaten by the Barack Obama hate monster they created.