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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Michael Gerson speaks truth to fear about Trump GOP impact

"This is crossing a lot of lines in the Republican Party. I think it’s quite serious and I think it could damage the Republican Party for decades to come to be associated with this approach," Michael Gerson, The Washington Post.

Michael Gerson
Michael Gerson is an op-ed columnist for The Washington Post
Republican pundit Michael Gerson gave News Hour's Judy Woodruff a noble headline. He gave her a quote that's probably going to be overlooked by zealots, particularly those who cringe in fear of Donald Trump's  vitriolic retaliation.

New Hour interview, Friday August 21, 2015 with Michael Gerson and Mark Shields
JUDY WOODRUFF: So let’s talk about Donald Trump. 
As we said, he’s holding up in the polls.
Mark (Shields), now that we’re a couple of months into this (GOP campaign). Do we know more about who Donald Trump is as a candidate, about what he really believes? Do we understand better what’s going on here?

I’m not sure, Judy, to be very frank about it, how much we know about him.
We know what he’s publicly emphasizing. I mean, there’s a strong sort of Howard Beale cast to his — Howard Beale being the anchor in “Network,” the movie, played by Peter Finch, who coined the phrase “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore” — there is a lot of that to him. And he is to an electorate, particularly a Republican electorate, but electorate in general, that by a 2-1 country think the country is headed in the wrong direction, thinks their children’s future is not going to be as bright as their own, and many in the base who are concerned about the changes in the country, and its racial composition and its social mores, the acceptance of same-sex marriage.
There is a dissatisfaction, an anger, an unexpressed anger. And I think Donald Trump has — is addressing that. And he does it in a flamboyant, sort of unbossed, unbought way that is beholden to nobody, seemingly, no interest groups, except his own interests.
So I’m not sure. There is a lot of sense — the perception is there, but I’m not sure there’s a core.
Do you feel, Michael, we have got a better handle on what he’s trying to say?
MICHAEL GERSON: Well, what we have seen is his first policy initiative. He set out an immigration policy. It was thin, six pages. It was not very detailed, but it included changes to the protections of the 14th Amendment on birthright citizenship and mass deportations.
So this is a person, Trump, who, three years ago, which is not very long ago, criticized Mitt Romney’s self-deportation plan as maniacal and mean-spirited. And now we’re going to from self-deportation to forced mass deportation.
This is crossing a lot of lines in the Republican Party. I think it’s quite serious and I think it could damage the Republican Party for decades to come to be associated with this approach.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Does he explain how he’s made that turn?
MICHAEL GERSON: I don’t think he — there’s no explanation

In other words, from Maine Writer, the Republicans have allowed the rise of Donald Trump "the Chump", nurtured by the toxic political environment they've created to destroy voter confidence in our government. Now, the mainstream Republicans are "shocked-shocked!" to see how Donald Trump "the Chump" is continuing to build political momentum in his campaign to become (God forbid) President of the United States.  

Michael Gerson is brave to speak truth to the fear created by Trump, who verbally attacks his critics by demeaning their inflated egos. Nevertheless, in fact, it was right wing Republicans who gave rise to the unpredictable Trumponian vigor.  

If the Washington Post had been more aggressive questioning the logic of right wing racism, anti-immigration phobia, stupid "birtherism" theories and other creationist craziness, maybe the nation would be in a better position to evaluate the Trumponian phenomenon. Although I'm sure The Washington Post would object to being accused tangentially  of exploiting right wing paranoia, the fact is, there has been no credible leader to push back on all their government conspiracy theories.  

Hopefully, Michael Gerson's thoughtful, reality check, quote with Judy Woodruff, can help to turn the tide on Trumpmania and bring some sense of sanity back to Grand Old Party politics.  

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