I live across from a beautiful park. In that park, there’s a small man-made lake that attracts a rich assemblage of wildlife.
Everywhere you look, there’s a clear signage that asks visitors “Do not feed the animals,” as feeding wild animals human food not only harms the animals but also has serious repercussions on human beings, such as overpopulation, animals becoming aggressive for food, and fecal pollution.
Sadly, despite the numerous signage, too often, I see visitors who delight and marvel at the sight of squirrels, a flock of seagulls or ducks chasing after their leftovers.
Never mind that the squirrels are three times the size of normal squirrels, and the ducks are so big that it’s difficult to differentiate them from geese, people’s need for amusement seem to supersede all logic, and as bystanders delight at the sight of squirrel snatching French fries from their hands, they are removed from the reality that their actions are slowly destroying our ecosystem.
Then, the irony is the surprised look on their face when evolution takes over and the animals become aggressive. The five pound squirrel that bites the empty hand that’s stretched out to pet it. The flock of geese that chases a small child with a cracker. People are shocked that animals behave, well, like animals.
This, too, is a predicament that the Republican Party is finding themselves in, the reality of Donald Trump, a five-pound squirrel, becoming their Presidential candidate. Like the evolution of animals, Trump and all his outrageous racist antics were many years in making.
The GOP has been slowly unraveling since Richard (Dick) Nixon, who, in attempt gain Southern white votes, decided to implement shrewd strategy that catered to their racist sentiments.
For five decades, the GOP propagated ideology that pinpointed and blamed various ethnic groups for societal woes. In almost every election since, the Republicans played the race card in dog-whistle fashion to smear the Democrats. The GOP never attempted to repeal civil-rights legislation but sought cheap ways to undermine enforcement and remind whites, South and North that the party was on “their” side.
In no other Presidential election was this bigotry more evident than in 2008. As Americans faced the possibility of electing our first black president, grassroots conservatives concocted and circulated all sorts of bizarre rumors to ignite fear and hatred towards Barack Obama, who was then the Democratic candidate.
The pinnacle of the circus was the emergence of the Birther Movement, instigated by no other than Donald Trump, and even as President Obama was being sworn into the White House, Birthers claimed that he was not a natural-born U.S. citizen, thus questioning the legitimacy of his presidency.
At this point, most sane politician or a person for that matter would denounce such cockamamie theory. However, most Republic candidates, including Mitt Romney did nothing to refute such crazy notion. Instead, Romney along with the GOP accepted Trump’s endorsement and proliferated malicious strategy and assaults on President Obama.
As the saying goes, “If you lie down with the devil, you will wake up in hell,” and that’s exactly where the Grand Old Party is at right now.
Donald Trump is the physical manifestation of five decade of racist, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-everything-else-that-doesn’t conform-to-conservative-religious-beliefs rhetoric. Except that instead of Republican party drumming up support from racist whites with dog-whistles, Trump is using a bullhorn.
Early on in the primaries, when Donald Trump began his campaign with a sole strategy of spreading message of hate and fear against the Hispanics, Muslims and Afro-Americans, the Republican Party leaders did nothing to deter his hate-filled rhetoric. And now that it’s becoming apparent that Donald Trump will be the GOP candidate, watching the shock and horror of the Republican Party leaders is like watching the faces of people when a five-pound squirrel bites the empty hand that tries to pet it. What did they expect, I wonder.
We can keep laughing about his buffoonery and make fun of his Cheetos-hue tan and freakishly tiny hands, but tragically, in few months, the entire nation is going to have to face the reality and the possibility of Mr. “You’re fired” becoming the 45th President of the United States of America.
For the past 50 years, the Republican Party relied on their apocalyptic redemption story to influence and win votes. Their “divide and conquer” politics filled with divisive rhetoric not only perpetuates hate and fear and pitted Americans against each other, but also, it disregards facts and reality.
Now, Trump is simply following the formula, and Republican Party will have to take a long hard look at itself and the monster it has created.