Trump is the right-wing Frankenstein’s monster

In truth, I was sick of Donald Trump about 13 minutes into the first episode of “The Apprentice” and changed the channel. It’s only been three days of class, and I’m already sick of hearing about him and tired of being asked about him. So, for my own personal sanity, I’m getting this Trump thing out of the way now, and hopefully for good.

I am absolutely euphoric that Trump is running for president, and no, I’m not being sarcastic. I didn’t think I’d ever be overcome with this type of excitement every time I see a Trump headline, but let me explain. Trump is the beast created by the far right money machine that has been cranking at high RPM for the decade or more and it’s a dish best served cold to see them try to slay this beast. He is the ultimate be-careful-what-you-wish-for maxim. After John McCain lost the presidency in 2008 we heard a quiet rumble blaming the loss on his pragmatism and practicality. Many on the right started to think he had lost because he was too moderate; somebody more conservative (think Sarah Palin) would have done better. Then, as Obama began his term, the push further and further rightward accelerated. The next election in 2010 saw a sweep into office for the Tea Party. Many took this as proof that the rumbles had been correct. The far right ignored demographic and voter trend data and insisted the only way to win was to nominate a “bona fide” conservative, not a Republican In Name Only (RINO).

Despite this, Mitt Romney won the 2012 nomination. When he lost three years ago, what had been a quiet rumble erupted into an outright roar. The Republican Party, they thought, was never going to win with a RINO. This set a perfect stage, created by the right wing media to capitalize and profit from the collective anger, for a fringe candidate.

Jeb Bush, one of the few Republican candidates who would have a chance at taking the Whitehouse, is the perfect example of just how far to the right Republicans have shifted. When his brother was running for president, Jeb was considered the conservative standard bearer as governor of Florida. From Terri Schiavo to gifting much of the Florida pension to Lehman Brothers, Jeb was a right wing hero. Now he is mocked for being not nearly conservative enough. Jeb Bush hasn’t changed; his party’s base has.

Enter “The Donald.” After his disparagement of illegal immigrants he shot to the top of the polls. Call it racism if you want (you might be right), but nothing has been able to knock him off. He insulted soldiers — sacred to conservatives — when he said prisoners of war, like John McCain are not heroes; took on Fox News — the untouchable standard for the right — and even called Megyn Kelly, one of the most popular Fox personalities, a bimbo; promised to raise taxes on the rich — heresy for a Republican; reneged on his promise not to take big money (more on that later); and has yet to answer for his former support of universal healthcare — more heresy. Yet at the end of all of this he comes out on top of each poll, and the “Trumpublican” base just seems to love him more.

It is all too entertaining to watch the Republican Party, Fox included, panic and scramble to take down Trump. His winning the nomination would be so disastrous that even the most solidly conservative states, like Utah, would become competitive for Democrats. But it’s too late. The shift rightward has been so far, so fast that in order to stand a chance the Republican Party must slay this beast, and hope to come out alive to fight a Democrat afterward. Even then, they must pray the beast is not resurrected as an independent candidate to steal away their (do I say racist here?) radical base.

But there is an even more important reason I cheer on the Trump candidacy: the money. Since Citizens United in 2010 there has been a series of court decisions, mostly backed by Mitch McConnell, that have opened the floodgates for money to enter elections. The Presidential race alone will be a multi-billion (with a B) dollar ordeal. This is a disaster for democracy. Trump is the perfect ensign of a system where rich people get what they want, leaving you and I to wonder why nothing ever gets done in D.C. He openly admits that the system is rigged; rich people like him just have to write a few checks and the political elites are in their pockets, ready to do their bidding. He admits to having readily participated in this racketeering.

Until now the only voice conservatives have heard on this is Mitch McConnell’s and people like him, who argue that money is free speech. Yes, money is free speech, but the Supreme Court has long held that free speech can be limited if there is a compelling interest to do so; that’s legal jargon meaning that severe harm is done if it is not restricted. If money is free speech, rich people can speak more freely than poor people. Money in politics has left our democracy in question. America already too closely resembles a plutocracy, if ever there was a compelling interest to limit a Constitutional right, this is it, and Trump proves it.

Does Trump have a legitimate shot at becoming President? No, but at least his campaign is entertaining. Here’s to hoping he rides the message of money corrupting democracy all the way to the bitter implosion. Raise your glasses to “The Donald.”

Matt Young is a journalism and political science senior. 

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