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A Bull In A China Shop

Sunday, April 03, 2016

I had a great meeting this morning with a group in my church aptly named: "Playing With Ideas."  On the first of the month the topic is always 'Current Events.'  As one might imagine the focus of conversation centered on the GOP nomination contest and Donald Trump.  What I found interesting was the variation of ideas offered to define his appeal to certain groups based on personal vignettes and local readings of Florida primary results in and around regional counties.  What fascinated me was the different number of reasons people attributed to his appeal to a specific demographic whether it was a localized upper income group or a generalization based on what would constitute a 'low information' voter.

Driving home I realized that the main reason Donald Trump has a large enough appeal to be in contention as a nominee was the fact he was something of a blank slate if you will.  A blank slate one could use to make any justification they wanted for him to be worthy of their support due to fact they hate the status quo and what they current make up of the GOP represents:  an inability to act on the agenda they've had since the Gingrich years in the 1990's.

I keep hearing in various social media and mainstream media outlets a meme that really came home to me on my pensive drive home.  The GOP rank and file voter detests the current make up of the GOP and what it has become and Donald Trump represents that feeling no matter what he says he represents issue wise.  He is the strongman to effect change on a party that has become moribund in intransigence at the expense of compromise to be purist in their beliefs that range from privatization of most government functions to the eradication of what they define as 'entitlements.'  Donald Trump represents someone that will remake that intransigence through tactics that represent authoritarianism and an ability to 'get things done' on sheer will.

Unfortunately for his supporters our system of government not only doesn't work that way, it was designed specifically not to.  Unless his supporters find a way to fundamentally change the way our government works as a representative republic it is not possible for a Donald Trump like political entity   My fear is there are people out there that tire of our system of incremental change through a deliberative process.  Their goal is to change our system of government that favors authoritarianism and the ability to exact change on a dime without thought out deliberation from a representative body.  History is filled with examples of what they want and as usual it never ends well for either the strongman they envision for the people that put them their in the first place.