American politicians are used to simply running off at the mouth to score cheap political points. They are used to stoking long-held fears and phobias about race, skin color and patriotism to win political office. And no political party has excelled at this kind of dog whistling, negative political shenanigans than the Republican Party. In fact, the party has cultivated and nurtured the ignorance and stupidity of its base -- an aging, old white predominately Southern constituency that longs and hankers for the "good old days."
And ever so often the Republican Party trots out a bunch of unabashed and unadulterated idiots that help define the party as ignorant, out of touch, and racist. The latest incantation is Donald Trump. A rich, intellectually limited man with little understanding of the American political landscape, Trump has now succeeded in defining the GOP as xenophobic, racist, closed and utterly bereft of common sense. He's also succeeded in making over the GOP in his closed-minded image and forced leading 2015 presidential candidates to sand-dance and putter around issues of racism and xenophobia.
Of course, all this is not new to Trump or the GOP. They both have been down that road before. For instance, back in 2012 Trump accused China of "raping," "screwing," and "decimating" the United States. He joined the Tea Party inspired and GOP encouraged "birther" anti-immigrant movement against President Obama. And as Trump developed an acute case of verbal diarrhea and spewed his venom far and wide, the GOP and its presidential candidates remained silent. They tip toed around "the Donald" and his "crack pottedness."
Just as they are doing today. That's because they know that to condemn Trump is to risk the ire of the Tea Party -- the GOP's illegitimate horn child -- that's now way out of control and dictating to its parent. For the GOP, high-jacked by the Tea Party and its cabal of illiterates, bucking Trump is a no, no because he now represents the mainstream of the party. How else can one explain the fact that among Republicans he's reaching near rock star approval ratings?
Trump's attacks on immigrants and President Barack Obama has gained serious traction in the Republican Party. And that's one of the reasons for his great showing in the polls. His xenophobia is not hurting his popularity. Nowadays GOP leaders and presidential hopefuls, who still hold out quickly vanishing hopes of winning over Black and Hispanic voters, sheepishly say that he does not speak for the party. According to Jeb Bush, Trump's "views are way out of the mainstream of what most Republicans think." Trump is not offering conservatism, said former Texas Governor Rick Perry, but rather "Trump-ism -- a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense. And Senator John McCain says Trump has simply "fired up the crazies."
But these measured, tongue-in-cheek criticisms of Trumps -- short of blunt condemnations - explain and demonstrate just how strong he is in the Republican Party. The fact that Fox news gives him near unlimited time and an eager platform to regurgitate his putrid political bile underscores just how he's viewed within the GOP and why he's the darling of the ultra-conservative movement.
But in the end, any analysis of Donald Trump must conclude that he's a very, very limited man intellectually, given to asinine bombast, and lacking in any sort of academic substance. You cannot make your political career on beating up defenseless people -- the undocumented and immigrants -- and not come over as a craven, arrogant coward.
Trump is all of that -- coward, lacking in cajones (balls), vapid and devoid of intellect, loudmouth and sensationalist. He seeks and craves attention as a petulant child whose parents just punished him by taking away his marbles. He's a political wind-bag only comfortable attacking and demeaning those that he knows have no means of responding to or causing him any serious economic or political harm.