The first debate is over, and the 2016 Republican Nomination race is in full swing.
Donald Trump, is leading in the polls, although latest reports have his lead shrinking, and his popularity declining, and some other candidates are moving up, notably, including Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson.
The one characteristic about this race, so far, is the seething anger, much of it from Trump supporters. Now, I have to sympathize here momentarily. I understand their anger. Mainly, they are angry, not so much at the current administration, but more so at the current Republican leadership in Congress who were elected on big promises, but, once in office, failed to deliver on them, and caved to the Democrats at almost every opportunity. In fact, I will gladly state, that I am angry right along with them. To say I am pissed off at the current state of affairs in Washington is a bit of an understatement.
Anger aside, however, the viciousness with which Trump supporters attack their opponents, is, I think, a bit overwrought. Yeah, fine, he’s your candidate, but he’s not the Magic Man, and he certainly isn’t this nation’s savior. Trump critics everywhere meet criticisma like this with expletive ridden, factless bombast anytime anyone comes out against The Donald. Over at Red State.com, Erick Erickson, who runs that site, dis-invited Trump from Red State Gathering 2015, that took place in Atlanta back on August 6th-9th. He caught much in the way of the above described vitriol. He describes some of it in this post here. He also admits that his dis-invitation of Ben Carson was a mistake. (I get the Trump dis-invite, but not the Ben Carson one, but he explains it, and admits he is wrong, so that’s good enough for me) The contrast between those who disagreed with his Trump snub, vs, those who disagreed with the Ben Carson snub is, as he stated, “…..and the reaction about Trump was 80% expletive filled rage.” . There is passionate disagreement, I know, I can be that way, when it comes to things I am passionate about. But, blind, anger filled rage, aimed at someone just because they disagree with, or don’t like someone that you put on a pedestal, serves no purpose, and actually does little to advance an argument.
I may be among the angry, but I am not among the Trump supporters. Several reasons. First of all, he has no solutions. He has soundbites and slogans. Second of all, he is not a conservative in any way, shape or form, and was never a Republican. In fact, it is documented that he was a donor to Hillary’s senate campaign. He is here to play spoiler, and that is about it. Furthermore, I am thinking this is a bit of dust up as well, and as the dust settles, so will Trump’s poll numbers. Additionally, his appeal comes from the fact that he is talking about sticking a thumb in the eye of the political establishment in Washington, and right now, that is what many voters want to hear, and are rallying around the guy whose thumb is extended, and is just looking for a target.
But, what about all of those angry voters? Well, they are there, and they are, for the moment, rather vocal about it and don’t care who knows. But, what is driving the anger? For starters, it is the fact that many are tired of the Republicans saying one thing, and doing another. They are tired of a President who seems more concerned with golf, celebrities and vacations, than the serious business of running the country. Many are tired of what appear to be threats to their rights, and their way of life As I have said before, these political times are like nothing I have experienced in the 35 years or so, since I was old enough to understand the political process. What will happen to the anger? Well, that remains to be seen. Anger can only sustain a candidate, and their base of supporters for so long. Clear, well thought out statements on their plans should they get elected need to be forth coming. Because when everyone is done shaking their fists, the angry voters are going to start thinking, and then they are going to have serious questions for not only “their” candidate, but all of them. The candidates that are going to rise to the top, are the ones that are going to have clearly articulated goals, as well as be brave enough to take on the establishment, both within in the party, and within the opposition. Once that candidate comes to the fore, then the voters will find common ground. However, that candidate is going to need to be strong, as well as clear, articulate as well as “angry”, and will have the American people’s back. All of us. Because right now, across many segments of our society, people feel betrayed by Washington, their party, and their politicians.