National Commentary

The GOP & Its Frankenstein

nfbenton-mugThis Super Tuesday, when indeed for all intents and purposes the die was cast for this year’s U.S. presidential election, I was reminded by a friend of a quote from the late great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“History will have to record that the great tragedy of this period of social transformation was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”
While the GOP and Democratic front runners – Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton – extended their leads this Tuesday to the particular and deepening mortified consternation of the Republican establishment and its puppet masters, the real challenge presented by the outcomes was the marked contrast between the levels of turnout by Republican (way up) compared to Democratic (way down) voters.

This poses the real challenge for anyone who wants to stop Donald Trump. The biggest mistake about him so far is to consider him to be the problem. No, as distasteful as he is, he’s only the face of the problem.

The root of the phenomenon lies with those in the nation’s rank-and-file who are so adamantly backing him. Until this is fully understood and effectively addressed, Donald Trump will not be stopped. He will not be stopped!

It’s been shown that none of the other GOP candidates satisfy the hunger, the fear and the anger that is fueling the Trump campaign. Ted Cruz is too ideologically strident and crazy, more dangerous than Trump, actually.

Trump backers want promises that they can imagine would satisfy them, not fundamentalist purism. Marco Rubio is too adolescent. Besides, his name ends in a vowel, which is anathema to many of the racist backers of Trump.

What a remarkable state of affairs for the GOP! The train is out of the station, and Trump is virtually unstoppable now. He’s the perfect manifestation of Frankenstein’s monster that Mary Shelley wrote about 150 years ago.

The GOP and its Wall Street and military industrial complex backers started cobbling together their Frankenstein’s monster years ago, in the summer of 2009, just six months after President Obama was first inaugurated. That was when Dick Armey’s Washington, D.C.-based so-called “Freedom Works” sparked the angry national base of the Republican party which had just lost to the first-ever African-American president in the midst of the GOP-instigated Great Recession.

A Wall Street insider only months before had coined the phrase, “Tea Party,” as the title for this fabricated insurrection, which was made real by a combination of the panic that had been set loose in the land with the Crash, and residual and very real racist sentiments.

This “grass tops” movement – it did not spontaneously arise from the grass roots, but was orchestrated from the top – was unleashed against Obama’s efforts at health care reform in a wide series of ugly quasi-violent interventions at congressional town hall meetings that summer of 2009.

Now, that “Monster of the Id” (remember “Forbidden Planet?”) has evolved to a new level, animated and orchestrated by a man with the dark talent to manipulate it effectively. That man is Donald Trump.

The GOP, with all its lying efforts to unleash the worst, most regressive elements of an aging rural white male demographic against Obama, the animating core of this monster, rightfully fears all this which it has created is turning against it and coming back to kill it, and the more it is attacked by the “establishment,” the angrier it becomes.

Democrats, who’ve been the victims of this unsavory concoction for the last seven years, could just sit back and smile, watching this monster eat its creator. But there’s a real problem with that, namely that such an untamed force could actually take over the country.

The horrifying prospect of this actually happening truly needs to light a fire under anyone who’s against it. Anyone and everyone.

The Democrats’ voting numbers were down Tuesday because rather than a real clash, the Clinton-Sanders choice is more between aspects of the party’s identity, not seriously clashing with it. That said, Democrats had better be gearing up for the battle of their lives later this year.