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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/5/16

So what to make of the "Donald"?

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So what to make of the "Donald" in the latest edition of America's presidential nomination sweepstakes?

Andrew Bacevich in a recent article [1] put it this way, "In contemporary America, celebrity confers authority and how Trump has grasped its implication. How else to explain the host of a 'reality' TV show instantly qualifying as a serious contender for high office?"

Mitt Romney in a televised speech on Thursday spoke of the urgency of stopping Trump saying it would be a disaster for the Republican party if he gets the nomination. But judging from comments [2] made on Friday to Romney's appeal rank and file Repub. voters weren't buying it.

A 71 year old woman from Louisiana reacting to Romney's appeal said, "I personally am disgusted by it- I think it's disgraceful. You're telling me who to vote for and not to vote for? Please." A caller to Rush Limbaugh on Friday put it this way, "We know who Donald Trump is and we're going to use Donald Trump to either take over the G.O.P. or blow it up". Another man interviewed in Flowood, Miss. said, "I want to see Trump go up there and do damage to the Republican party". How's that for voters rage this year. Such comments reveal voters are feeling condescended to by party elites and are indignant about being told what to do.

Here's my take on Trump.

His "people"-mostly white, poorly educated, from rural small towns and cities- in America believe they've been lied to by their "government". That it doesn't care about them. The "system" is rigged against them. They feel abandoned and scorned. These last 8 years under Obama have been horrible. Trump's tapped into their nativism, racist tendencies and resentment of "others"-all who don't look like them.

He comes along vowing to make America "great again" aka return of white supremacy. He'll build a fence and keep out Muslims and other "minorities"-code word for Latinos. He won't let "refugees"-all potential ISIS terrorists- into the country. He advocates killing terrorists family members and "we should go tougher than waterboarding" on terrorist suspects.

Significantly Trump isn't part of the political establishment. Never before run for political office, he's viewed as a political outsider, a self-funded billionaire who doesn't need take money from super PAC's and other outside sources-though in the recent past he's admitted giving to candidates of both parties saying he expected something in return. He's not beholden to anyone-which makes him especially dangerous to the Republican political elites, insiders and pundits.

What seems to be telling is the more criticism he gets his following only gets stronger. He appears immune to the criticism, says what's on his mind, defiant as ever.

But at the same time he's also made some sensible remarks. As president he'd be "neutral" regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict not blaming either side. That he could work with a Vladimir Putin, that George Bush was wrong to invade Iraq and what exactly are we doing in Syria?

Such "blaspheme" to the usual orthodoxy have made the neo-cons apoplectic including his Repub. nomination rivals senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

But Trump has the momentum seeming to revel in the attacks against him.

At this juncture after his 7 Super Tuesday wins in Ala., Ark., GA., Mass., Tenn., VT., and VA., there's caucus's in KS, KY and Maine along with a primary in La. today, primaries on March 8 in Mich, Miss, Idaho and a caucus in Hawaii. Then on March 15 primaries in N.C., FLA., Ohio, ILL., and Missouri. With his momentum gaining it appears he could win enough delegates in the Repub. primary process that the convention in July will have no choice but to hand him the nomination.

Sure he's a charlatan, an egotistical, self important narcissist, huckster, con artist and schlock show host. So what? His supporters love him.

As to his personal fortune, millions were inherited. His business acumen, particularly his casinos? According to a report at the time-admittedly long forgotten as to the source- he apparently should have faced bankruptcy in the 90's. His debt to the banks was badly in arrears yet they chose to rework the loan payments simply because they would have lost money if they forced him into bankruptcy. The average Joe, he's a couple of months in arrears on his mortgage payments and the bank is ready to foreclose on him. Not Trump, he got a pass.

The thing is truthful revelations don't seem to matter. Serious discussion of problems and issues aren't on the table-save for Bernie Sanders and he's being marginalized by the Dems. power brokers all but handing the nomination to Hillary way before she's actually won the nomination. Serious trouble lies ahead for the Dems. if she's seen as getting the nomination handed to her by party insiders.

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