Reprinted from Wallwritings
Super Tuesday performed as predicted. Hillary Clinton won six southern states with considerable African-American backing. She narrowly won Massachusetts. Sanders won Vermont, Oklahoma, Minnesota and Colorado.
The major message from this particular Super Tuesday is that Donald Trump has emerged as an even more threatening nightmare to both political parties. It is a nightmare which will only grow in intensity.
Trump's success is rooted in the political toxins of fear and hate, symbiotic emotions generated by a political process whose dominant generating force is the manic desire to gain power and control wealth.
That force is so prevalent that a disturbingly large and expanding number of voters do not respond to the current political culture with the agonizing "scream" displayed above in the iconic composition by the Expressionist Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.
Instead of screaming in horror, those voters thrive on fear and hate, toxic forces that landed with the pious Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock.
After the Pilgrims and their successors conquered and slaughtered the indigenous people of a not-so-new land, a new republic grew into an empire, but at what a cost. "We reap what we sow" is the harsh reminder of how we got to this moment that demands a "scream."
In our current political incarnation, Republicans are directly responsible for Trumpism, while Democrats assisted in creating the cultural soil in which Trumpism was born and raised.
The Democratic Party developed a softer brand of fear and hate through its militant neoliberalism. That softer brand is now embodied in the campaign of Hillary Clinton, carrying forward the Clinton brand her husband shaped and polished in his two terms in the White House.
Nicholas Kristof describes the current Trump phenomenon in polite New York Times language when he writes:
- Advertisement -"The most likely Republican nominee for president is a man who mocks women, insults Latinos, endorses war crimes like torture, denounces party icons and favors barring people from the United States based on their religion.
"He's less a true-believer conservative than an opportunist, though, for he has supported single-payer health insurance, abortion rights and tighter gun measures. Lindsey Graham says he's 'crazy,' Jeb Bush says he would be worse than President Obama, and the conservative National Review warned that he is a 'menace to American conservatism.'"
Donald Trump is "smarter than critics believe -- he understood the political mood better than we pundits did -- but I can't think of any national politician I've met over the decades who was so ill informed on the issues, or so evasive, or who so elegantly and dangerously melded bombast and vapidity."
Kristof asks the question we will hear increasingly over the next nine months, "how did we get to this stage where the leading Republican candidate is loathed by the Republican establishment?"
His answer is direct: "Republican leaders brought this on themselves. Over the decades they pried open a Pandora's box, a toxic politics of fear and resentment, sometimes brewed with a tinge of racial animus, and they could never satisfy the unrealistic expectations that they nurtured among supporters."
Peter Wehner is a self-described evangelical Christian and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He served in the last three Republican administrations. He speaks from the GOP side of the political spectrum and the conservative side of the religious spectrum.
The question that troubles him is why is Donald Trump "the candidate of choice of many evangelical Christians?" He probes for an answer in a recent New York Times column he wrote before Trump's Super Tuesday victories: