By Billy Roper
A lot of ink has been spilled agonizing in recent months over whether Donald Trump really believes the things that he says, or if he has any intention to maintain a principled position on any of the issues he has taken controversial stances on, thus far. Is he just a master of shock and hyperbole, or a genuine maverick outsider?
I believe that debate misses the point of his campaign. When I ran for public office on the state and national level as a write in candidate, I didn’t do so with the sincere hope of winning. On the contrary, I wished to, and did, in fact, use the campaign process and the election cycle’s debates and media attention as a platform for my message, to reach more people with my own political views. That’s actually what every third party campaign does, including Gary Johnson’s and Jill Stein’s. Sure, they both will take some votes away from Hillary, but probably not enough to be spoilers, nor is that their intention. They, too, just want their voice to be heard, espousing their pet cause. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Donald Trump is that ideologically motivated, as opposed to merely being driven by egomaniacal demagoguery, but it’s not the intention of his campaign which will matter in the long run, as much as its effect. That’s true of many things in politics, as well as life in general.
It is also true that some racially conscious Whites sincerely see hope in Trump, but only those not sophisticated or informed enough to know that his connections are to the same backers and puppet-masters, as a tribe, who Hillary answers to, ultimately; or those who don’t understand how and why that matters more than wall-building campaign rhetoric. Just ask The Donald’s son-in-law. Most of the working class White demographic who overwhelmingly support Trump, and are likely to continue to all the way up until November, regardless of what he says or does, don’t know or care much about politics, per se, or how the system works. They are, not to put too fine a point on it, grassroots populist reactionaries, rather than revolutionaries.
However, whether he’s sincere or a clown, Donald Trump’s campaign has sown some very potent seeds in the minds of that section of society which had previously long been apolitical: working class Whites, his core constituency. They don’t know what it is, but their Overton Window has been shattered just as thoroughly as the Democrats think they’ve fractured the ultimate glass ceiling. He leads Hillary in that demographic by a greater than two-to-one margin. Their support was enough, collectively, to win him the primary vote, even against the wishes of the controlled media and the Republican establishment, itself. Whether they will be enough to win the general election depends to a large extent on the turnout produced by the coalition of nonWhite and other minority interest groups who support his rival. I personally have my doubts. But what this election has done, the purpose which Trump’s campaign has served, has been to carry two messages to his core constituents. Whether you agree with these two points doesn’t matter. What matters is that millions do.
First, he has planted the seed of the idea that “the system is rigged”. Inferred by this is the allegation that their concerns cannot be assuaged through the ballot box. The electoral process, it is said, no longer works in the best interests of the people who founded the nation. They might not couch it in the same terms as their Founding Fathers used, but what they feel is closed to them is a means to petition the government for a redress of grievances. This isn’t completely new, Kennedy beat Nixon because Mayor Daly’s machine fixed the Chicago results for him in 1960, with Jack’s dad having greased the wheels with his wealth. The motto in many elections became “Vote Early, Vote Often!”. And, we all remember the controversy over the ‘hanging chads’, and whether or not Florida should have went to Al Gore in the 2000 election re-count. But this is something, in the minds of those who are becoming disenfranchised, which is now more pervasive, and more permanent. The release of Democratic National Committee e-mails demonstrating conscious collusion to fix an election, and to manage media coverage of candidates in that election, weighed into that, as well.
In the last election, where there were Voter ID laws, Obama lost. Where there were not Voter ID laws, Obama won. In one Ohio County, Obama won 108% of the eligible voters. Palm Beach County, Florida, had a 141% voter turnout. In St. Lucie County, Florida, there were 175,574 registered voters, who cast 247,713 votes. In Wood County, Ohio, 106,258 people voted in a county with 98,213 eligible voters. Republican election judges were illegally kicked out of polling places in 21 districts in Wood County, where Obama received every single vote cast. In 59 voting districts in the Philadelphia region, Obama won every single vote cast. Really?
After the anti-government radicals threw the tea into Boston harbor, the British parliament passed the Coercive Acts. As you can tell by their name, they weren’t meant to gently bring the colonists back into line. In 1774, the newly formed Continental Congress petitioned King George directly for help. They still had a faint glimmer of faith in the system, see. They hadn’t yet reached that tipping point where they thought it was truly rigged against them. The chairman of the committee which drafted that petition was Richard Henry Lee, whose cousin would make a similar decision some eighty-seven years later.
Closely tied to this belief is the second observation; that the controlled mainstream media is almost in lockstep in their support of left-wing policies and candidates in general, and Democrats and Hillary Clinton, in particular. The two growing distrusts combine, and alienation from the government and from the most prolific sources of information being seen merely as propaganda shills for the establishment, does not bode well for the future of the American republic. The United States was born in bloody revolution which was actually more a civil war than anything else, and it might very well die that way, as well. The disaffected may not be enough to win a general election. They may just be thirty to forty percent of the population. But that’s ten times more than the three percent who supported the idea of independence from Great Britain before that conflict became uncivil, and already a higher percentage than the number who supported what we came to call, because they won, the patriot’s cause, even at the height of the Revolutionary war.
The best trained, best equipped, most professional army in the world, the largest superpower on the planet, lost because a significant portion of the people whom they governed lost faith in the system to represent them. Remember, “no taxation without representation”? When they didn’t feel represented by any officials, elected or otherwise, they stopped feeling allegiance to that government entirely. It didn’t happen overnight. The Sons of Liberty had to agitate and push and rabble-rouse and stage political theater. They had to propagandize and trigger massacres and excesses by British soldiers. It took years to ferment. Eventually, through the government attempting to arrest anti-government political agitators like Samuel Adams, and confiscate military grade weapons from civilians at Lexington, things reached a tipping point. Many former British officers joined the rebel side, as did many former British soldiers throughout the colonies. In fact, most of the colonial militia leaders were veterans of the French and Indian War, on the British side.
The Declaration of Independence lists twenty-seven reasons why the colonists wanted independence from Great Britain. Taxes aren’t mentioned until number seventeen. The one they saved for last, the deal-breaker, the mic drop, was “He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”
With a bit of suspension of disbelief, and some loss of entropy, could secession or balkanization ever happen again? It could, if those whom Trump have awakened, to use the ebonic vernacular now so popular, “stay woke”.
Or, they may lose, or not have the strength of will to fight at all. If that happens, then the dialectic struggle will continue to shift further left, totalitarianism will grow, freedom of speech will be curtailed, and the U.S will become more like Brazil. Look for “hate speech” laws on the Federal level, with fines and jail time as punishment, accompanied by national firearm registration and incremental limitations on the type and variety of weapons citizens may legally possess, just to make sure that they can’t take the boot off of their throat. The newly announced Black Lives Matter platform, including reparations for slavery and the legalization of prostitution and drugs, will be on the table, too.
In an alternate universe, the colonists might have decided not to fight, or very easily may have failed, as well. George Washington would have been hung as a traitor, and Benedict Arnold celebrated as a hero. Such are the vagaries of fate, perhaps.
Regardless, the status quo will not stagnate as it is. No matter who wins or loses in November, I believe there’s not enough bread and circuses in Washington to make Trump’s core constituency forget how their deepest, most cynical suspicions have been crystalized, given voice, and confirmed. The steam pressure release valve of electoral gladiatorial contests might seem blocked, and if so, the system may again burst asunder.
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