Editor’s note: this article was originally three (3) pages long but apparently ppl were having a hard time finding the page tabs because this theme hides them all the way at the bottom. I’ve removed the tabs and will just have to ask smart phone users to bear with me for the screens of text. I’d really like folks to read all of the article and it seems like I’m left with one choice or the other unless I want to change themes – NI
There comes a point, in every hard-drinking middle-aged gambler’s life when she must stop and assess her methodology; preferably before some savage, unhinged bookie starts asking around about her whereabouts over delinquent football wagers. I mention this now because it has become time to state the increasingly obvious truth – Donald Trump, the current frontrunner and all but presumed 2016 Republican presidential candidate will not, in fact, win the GOP nomination this year.
Yes, I say this despite having spent roughly the last six months telling anyone who would listen (the number of which was miniscule before February, I assure you) that Trump would win the nomination, and being quite pleased with myself for accurately predicting the rise of both populism and American fascism in late 2015. Frankly, at this point I still stand by everything I said about the GOP nomination on Twitter; including all the reasons why Trump was attracting people who hadn’t voted in more than a decade and why he’d ultimately take the nomination on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention. As recently as twelve short days ago, the Donald was still closing in on victory like a fat puppy honing in on a warm french fry – a fact that had become so obvious even traditional GOP propaganda outlets like Fox News were reluctantly coming around to the idea that Trump would be nominee shortly after the RNC opened on July 18th.
So what in the name of all that is unholy went wrong for America’s favorite champion of bigots, misogynists and neo-fascist hate rallies everywhere? How did Trump blow the biggest primary season upset in modern history when he had it all but signed, sealed and delivered? By being Donald Trump of course – let’s take a look at a few of the biggest reasons for America’s favorite short-fingered vulgarian’s staggering fall from grace:
Brown kids punched the bully in the mouth – I want you to think back for a moment, way back to March 11th, 2016 when the Donald was cruising so far ahead in the polls his rallies had become must-attend events for aspiring fascists across the country. That fateful Friday is important, because it will be forever remembered by writers, scholars and critics as the day someone finally told Trump to sit down and shut the fuck up with his bigoted nonsense.
After a heavily-protested rally in Missouri almost went sideways on him; the self anointed Fuhrer-to-be descended towards Chicago – only to find thousands of activists from dozens of organizations and student groups waiting to shout him out of town. The bloviating bastard didn’t even have the minerals to get off the tarmac! Trump’s Chicago rally was cancelled before it even started, causing sporadic violence to break out between disappointed Trump worshipers and galvanized protestors.
The optics were actually so bad for Trump that he openly lied about who cancelled the rally later that night on a television phone in interview; claiming that the Chicago Police Department had cancelled the event when evidence would later make it clear that the cowardly billionaire had pulled the plug himself out of raw, unadulterated fear. Who, pray tell, was it that finally stood up the Neanderthal bully having his way with the American political process? Was it the cloistered, vapid and corrupt “elite” liberal media? Of fucking course not! They were too busy lecturing protesters about Trump’s first amendment rights (which were never violated) and the need to play respectability politics so that terrified white people wouldn’t hand the election to the Donald! This was enlightening for two primary reasons:
- The First Amendment doesn’t contain a “hurting Trump’s feelings” clause but it does actually guarantee the right to protest in America
- Even my sixty-year old mother knows that you don’t stop a bully by accommodating him, legitimizing him and attempting to bring him to the negotiating table for mediation. You stop a bully by punching him square in the goddamn kisser and daring his sycophants and flunkies do something about it.
No, it was young people, primarily African Americans and those of Middle Eastern descent who took to the streets for the first time and insisted that the line must be drawn there, in Chicago – that Trump had come this far but he would go no farther. While the corporate, liberal media and even Hillary Clinton herself clucked away in to the night like the worst “White Moderates” that ever opposed the Civil Rights movement in America – the rest of the country watched, and learned that the bully does in fact bleed.
Corporate Media decided to actually do their job – soon after kids and activists made the country’s first real stand against Trumpism in Chicago, a funny thing started to happen in the media. While crying out that Trump wasn’t their fault in the first place, the industry as a whole simultaneously altered how it covered the Donald and his surrogates. One by one, journalists and networks stopped enabling Trump and started giving him the actual fair coverage he deserved as opposed to the artificially “balanced” circus sideshow he was demanding.
Up until this point, Donald had inexplicably (and successfully) used the threat of barring “all access” to his campaign to prevent reporters from “treating him unfairly;” which on its face was of course patently fucking ridiculous because Trump had been relying on the media to give him free coverage and campaign exposure from the get go. Despite all of Trump’s rhetoric, he’s actually been running his entire primary campaign on the cheap and he could no more afford to cut the media off then sever his own right arm – not that the sheer implausibility of this threat prevented corporate media from using it as an excuse to keep chasing the sweet, sweet ratings Trump coverage brought, mind you. After Chicago however, all of that changed in a heartbeat.
Suddenly, Trump and his campaign functionaries faced hard questions, damning critiques and a media apparatus no longer being instructed to “balance” the coverage by hiding what a bigoted, ridiculous pig the candidate actually was. At first, this effort focused almost entirely on Trump’s campaign functionaries; a mic cut here, a get off my show there and soon the newly minted populist-right movement that had grown around Trump was running scared. When the Bigot in Chief himself waded back into the fray, he found a growing legion of journalists desperate to finally take the fight back to the candidate who’d embarrassed and humiliated them with one hand tied behind his back while playing under corporate “balance” rules.
So, it is that finally, we can look back on the end of March and find Anderson Cooper snarling at Trump that his arguments resembled that of a five year old – when only a two weeks before PBS had aired a feel-good story about a family volunteering for Trump without even mentioning the goddamn white power tattoos scrawled all over one of the featured staffer’s arms. For the next twenty some odd years, you’re going to hear members of the media whine that they were “just doing their jobs” by ubiquitously covering Trump this primary season – don’t believe it for a second. It was only when the media actually started to do their real jobs, instead of treating the election like a prizefight they were being paid to promote, that the Donald finally came to heel.
The Donald is taking on heavy water – actually, if we’re being objective, this is a ridiculously blithe understatement; the truth of the matter is that Donald Trump is disintegrating faster than a goddamn pop can trying to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere in a beer huggie. While this should probably come as no surprise to longtime Trump-watchers, the simple truth is that he actually did come within inches of grasping the Republican nomination purely with savage hatred, implacable anger and sheer, wicked spite. One on one, Trump is a formidable enemy for even the most prepared opponents; impervious to truth, openly campaigning as if his ignorance of the political process were an asset and effortlessly tapping into the terrifying zeitgeist of white American rage, he’s capable of running over your average pampered beltway insider like a monster truck skips over a goddamn speed bump. This was never more evident than in the early portions of the Republican Primary debates, when Trump identified and then shredded each of his perceived primary opponents one at a time – while walking corpses like Ben Carson and Rand Paul starred on in petrified horror at the sheer atavistic savagery of it all. No sane person wants to step into a steel cage with a goddamn animal like Trump and for good fucking reason; he’s a psycho fucked up butcher who likes to show off his trophy kills on camera for christ’s sake.
Unfortunately for Trump (and fortunately for the rest of the world) however, he’s no longer fighting one on one battles against petrified stiffs who brag about serving up sick burns on Twitter but wouldn’t last three hot minutes playing The Dozens on a street corner in Michigan. Now he’s taking on the entire political apparatus of the country, an absurdly powerful media juggernaut with global reach and even prominent world leaders who have begun to speak out against him. Staggering and bleeding from the mouth, the cantankerous billionaire has become like a political version of ISIS; fighting so many major conflicts against so many different enemies that it must be mentally exhausting for Trump just to keep track of them all. Under assault from virtually every media outlet on the planet and increasingly isolated as one by one his allies are proving to be liabilities in front of the camera, the Donald has become completely encircled by his opponents. Nobody, not even a narcissistic creature of obscene privilege like Trump can survive fighting essentially the entire world completely unscathed and as a result he appears to be slipping into a Citizen Kane-esque breakdown right before our very eyes. Day by day, the Donald has become more physically haggard and emotionally inscrutable; his puffy eyes and sallow face a confused mask of rage and betrayal as he vacillates rapidly from policy position to policy position.
Of course, this phenomenon can be difficult to see for liberals and progressives who have quite literally always considered Trump completely crazy; the difference now is that Donald’s “insanity” is no longer a condition of strength, but one of weakness. Before Chicago touched off the war against Trump, his narcissism and blatant disregard for social norms served as a battle cry for an angry tsunami of white men whose hearts burned for revenge against a country rapidly trying to leave them behind. All of the Donald’s snarling accusations, his preening and even his absolute refusal to accept basic truths unpopular with his proudly bigoted supporters acted as a mighty, seemingly-impenetrable shield for his burgeoning revolution of vicious, cowardly racists. By simply refusing to acknowledge that anything he said could possibly be wrong and suggesting that all contradictions in his campaign were the result of a corrupt, liberal media out to destroy the American way of life, Trump allowed his followers to revel in their basest instincts while simultaneously blaming the resulting blowback on the same forces of liberalism the Donald so openly mocked. Then, Trump did something that may well go down as the single biggest error by a frontrunner in the history of American politics – he started changing his mind on core policy positions and buckling openly under pressure. First it was immigration; then Trump started vacillating on which Muslims could and couldn’t stay once America was great again. The final straw however was when Trump managed to alter his position on abortion a total of three times in one single interview; including a memorable exchange where Donald changed his mind mere seconds after answering a question from MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. With each blundering, demoralizing reversal, the perceived invulnerability of both Trump and his movement began to rapidly vanish. A fascist/nativist like Donald Trump can afford to be many things and still retain his terrible sway over a groveling mob of worshipers- but weak, is not one of them. Trump’s power remained unstoppable only as long as he absolutely refused to back down from any fight, no matter how ridiculous; once he started to compromise it was the beginning of the end for “Casino Mussolini.”
If Trump’s reversals began his demise however, it’s fair to say that his bizarre behavior these past two weeks have served to hasten his fall. From threatening to sue the Republican Party to issuing four conflicting explanations in support of a campaign manager who’s currently being charged with battery, Trump’s public statements have taken on a desperate, unhinged quality that openly suggest his campaign is in complete disarray. We are after all talking about a guy who decided to run for President without knowing (or hiring anyone who did know) how to acquire state delegates in the Republican Primary. At one point this past week, in that same interview with Mathews, Trump openly mused about deploying nuclear fucking weapons in Europe before eventually walking it back as a mere “negotiating tactic;” something that no doubt thrilled the USA’s allies on the continent to no end, I’m sure. Three months ago, Trump would have reacted to the developing Corey Lewandowski/Michelle Fields assault scandal by immediately declaring that what we’d just seen on camera wasn’t assault and suggesting the media fuck off before he had his security rough them up just for asking about it. This week he instead lied about what was on the tape (a tape the entire viewing public had seen already) twice, openly suggested that Lewandowski’s actions were justified because Fields had a pen in her hand and therefore might have been an assassin, before finally settling on “that’s not assault” many hours later in to the night. At this point, it’s clear to all but the most star-struck, fascist sycophant that Trump’s shield of invulnerability was a mirage and all that remains is an arrogant, nativist windbag who has absolutely no goddamn clue what he’s doing but still wants to be president.
Trump is Kurtz and the GOP is waiting on Captain Willard – in Coppalla’s classic film, Apocalypse Now (or Konrad’s Heart of Darkness if you prefer) the unspoken but unmistakable truth about the US military’s relationship with the monstrous Col Kurtz is that government wants him dead not because of the terrible atrocities he committed – but because those atrocities no longer serve the Army’s purpose and represent a staggering public liability as political moods in America shift against the war. So too, we see in the 2016 Republican Primary race that the GOP has been largely prepared to tolerate a ignorant barbarian like Trump so long as they expected to get something out of it – namely the US Presidency, juicy tax breaks for wealthy corporate donors and a nationwide rollback of anti-discrimination policies. Now that the Donald is spinning out of control and exposing new cracks in his armor on what seems like an hourly basis, the Grand Old Party is clearly starting to have second thoughts.
As previously mentioned, Trump is currently going into the fight of his life for state Republican delegates completely blind and without experienced campaign staff to help him navigate the process. This is probably the least of his delegate worries however because recent reports suggest the GOP has outmaneuvered the bumbling billionaire in terms of naming who his delegates at the Republican National Convention will actually be; primarily because the Donald’s staff had absolutely no clue that the Republican Party could even do that. The end result is likely to be hundreds and hundreds of delegates required to vote for Donald Trump on the first ballot in a contested convention but absolutely dead set on voting against Trump if he doesn’t clear the nomination on the very first ballot!
Further widening the Republican Party’s growing fissure with the Donald is Trump’s no doubt infuriating habit of using plain English to explain long-held GOP policies in a way that makes it utterly impossible to deny their true discriminatory purpose. Take for example his recent statement that if abortion were to become illegal, “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who have an abortion procedure. This is of course a completely rational conclusion about a proposed hateful and irrational law but it represents a severe problem for the Republican Party. Why? Because they’ve spent the past twenty years couching their assault on reproductive rights in terms of “protecting women’s health” and by aggressively going after “evil” abortion doctors who trick unsuspecting mothers-to-be into having sinful medical procedures so they can sell baby parts to, umm, someone. Loose lips, sink ships and even though he later walked that statement back as well, Trump’s desperate attempt to march in step with standard Republican policies served only to expose the true misogyny behind the Party’s anti-abortion rhetoric.
Look folks, I can hardly claim to have a direct line to Republican Party headquarters; but anytime Anne fucking Coulter, the neurotic, neocon, queen of mean herself, is suggesting you’re out of line and may well be slightly fucking bonkers; you have a serious goddamn image problem both inside and outside of the GOP. It’s easy enough to dismiss this phenomenon as part of Trump’s larger unpopularity problems but the honest truth is that he’s now severely damaging his credibility with voting blocs he abso-fucking-lutely needs to win either the nomination or the Presidency. He was never going to win many votes from lefties or minorities of any kind; but if he loses greedy professionals & old white women – Trump is literally finished in this election. This phase of Trump’s demise hasn’t been about people coming out to stop him so much as people who once supported him realizing he’s a dangerous, incompetent fool who has absolutely no chance of becoming President.
You still can’t rough up pretty white girls in American politics – while all of the factors we’ve discussed have no doubt heavily contributed to Trump’s impending RNC doom, perhaps the final nail in the Donald’s self-constructed coffin has been the ongoing battery case involving campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and former Brietbart reporter Michelle Fields. Initially, when it was a question of he said/she said between the notably vicious Lewandowski and Fields, Trump was able to weave together enough gross lies and some top quality gaslighting into a convincing enough tapestry of bullshit to get Fields fired from the cowardly conservative rag covering his campaign in openly fawning tones. Once the police charged Lewandowski and released clear security camera footage however; the jig was up for the entire Trump campaign. The whole country instantly became aware that Lewandowski had bullied, lied about and even attempted to mentally destabilize Ms Fields because he just couldn’t keep his goddamn hands to himself in the face of a question he didn’t particularly like. Donald Trump had precisely one opportunity to immediately denounce Lewandowski and distance himself from the incident and like the ignorant, narcissistic jackass he is, he absolutely failed to do so.
Instead Trump doubled down on calling Fields a liar, then insane; then, incredibly he suggested she might have been trying to assassinate him, before finally settling on the idea that she was merely exaggerating the extent of the assault. All of this played out over several hours on social media, but by the end of it there could be absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that Trump had committed one of the few mortal sins known to all levels of politics, from student councils up on to the presidency – never, ever, get caught bullying the goddamn pretty white girl. You can be a radical Christian fundamentalist, a bigot or a liar and still survive in politics. You can be an open racist, an ass clown who has no idea what he’s talking about or the kind of sick fuck who mocks the disabled. Hell, you can even abuse women and still stay afloat in this corrupt political system; provided that they’re the right type of women (aging wives and minorities for the most part). What you can’t do is rough up the pretty white girl half the viewing audience would consider selling a kidney for a chance to date.
Worse still, the moment Trump decided to re-affirm his support for Lewandowski he might as well have dropped from the race entirely. Women all over the country, even those who ostensibly would consider supporting Trump, instantly (and justifiably) turned on him in anger. When even conservative columnist Jen Rubin is describing you as like a “domineering ex-husband” who “never lets you get a word in” and is “always putting you down,” it’s safe to suggest you can pretty much write off all but the most dedicated neocon voters among women in the country come November. The polls are already backing this up frankly, with a recent Reuter’s survey suggesting Trump had an unfavorable rating with a dream-crushing seven out of ten women surveyed. There is simply no coming back from that kind of staggering unpopularity my friends and it means that even if Trump were to somehow secure the Republican nomination; he is all but assured to be absolutely devastated in the fall general election.
In light of all this, it seems prudent to assume that by hook or by crook(s), the GOP will use the July 18th, Republican National Convention in Cleveland to wrestle the nomination out of Trump’s stubby, tiny, little fingers and bestow it on a less obviously odious candidate – someone like Paul Ryan, or perhaps even Jeb Bush.
There will of course be many who assume that any mutiny against Trump will simply result in the nomination falling to Cruz, but these people would be ignoring Ted’s staggering unpopularity even within his political party, his own plummeting approval ratings and what may well be a career-ending sex scandal if it turns out he was availing himself of the infamous DC Madam’s services while pretending to be a righteous holy-roller. The simple truth is that once the GOP has decided to bend the rules so they can fuck Trump out the nomination, there’s absolutely no reason they can’t do the same thing to Ted Cruz in the process. In fact, I’d be inclined to suggest that all of the party support flowing to Cruz now is entirely about forcing a contested convention in July; which is also why John Kaisch didn’t drop out immediately after winning Ohio. All three candidates will walk into Quicken Loans Arena with no promises whatsoever but only John Kaisch has any chance of winning the nomination at this point and even then, that chance will only exist if enough people in the party fail to realize Paul Ryan is a better version of him in every single way after the first ballot.
This outcome will surprise many, but the truth is, it really shouldn’t. Anyone who’s followed the belligerent billionaire’s career knows that Trump has never been good as good at finishing as he is at starting; even his most celebrated deal, the acquisition of the infamous Taj Mahal was only consummated when Trump submitted an absurdly high, panicked offer – overpaying a dying Merv Griffin for the hotel-casino against the advice of his money men and assistants. Throughout his entire life Donald Trump has always been about the over-hyped, glitzy and sensational opening, but rarely has anyone more famous for “closing the deal” actually been so goddamn poor at it. If I were the wagering type, and I think you know that I am; I’d bet you a shiny new nickel that Trump spends three hours of every day for the rest of his life turning this primary season over and over in his mind – trying to figure out how he lost the momentum when victory was so fucking close he could practically taste it. If we’re lucky, right before he finally dies, that bully bastard will stare deeply into the abyss he, himself created and say “the horror, the horror” just before the lights go dim.
– Nina Illingworth