Trump towers over Republicans and Democrats, Beltway goes ballistic
Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. He is the author of 'Midnight in the American Empire,' How Corporations and Their Political Servants are Destroying the American Dream. @Robert_Bridge
Trump’s stunning success in public opinion polls - he has about twice the likeability of his nearest rival - required no huge sums of money, no inordinate political flair or genius and no Karl Rove to launch him straight into the hearts and minds of Main Street, USA, which is still awaiting reimbursement for Obama’s Hope & Change Show that never premiered as promised.
So how did Trump, who gave up hosting The Apprentice television program so he could, in his own words, “save America,” shake the US political system to its very rotting foundation? With nothing more sophisticated than child’s play, that’s how. Personal charisma and humungous ego notwithstanding, Trump simply tapped into an active volcano of anger and frustration many Americans are feeling over Washington’s astounding failure to shut down the border with Mexico - kind of like children taking a principle-based stand when tough kids from another neighborhood invade their sandbox. It’s really that simple.
But not simple enough for the Obama administration, it seems. Once safely across the Rio Grande, millions of Mexican line-jumpers are being feted at hundreds of ‘sanctuary cities’ across the country, all funded by Joe Taxpayer, of course. Not surprisingly, Americans have protested the nation’s slow-motion crack-up, yet not a single wannabe presidential candidate from the Democrat-Republican business cartel has addressed the issue. Nor has the obsequious media pressured the powers-that-be over it. So - surprise-surprise - gross political negligence and media complicity opened up a yawning vacuum for somebody like ‘The Donald’ to stand in as political midwife, delivering the baby of illegal immigration kicking and screaming into the public domain.
Naturally this begs the asinine question: Why wasn’t this glaring problem resolved before? What modern nation - to say nothing of a nuclear-armed superpower - would grant millions of illegals (11 million by Washington's conservative count) rite of passage into its territory? Why is it that US forces can patrol halfway around the world along the Afghan-Pakistan border with drones, satellites and Special Forces - even obliterate bin Laden one messy morning - yet the Mexican border is somehow mission impossible? So was anybody really surprised when the Obama administration’s revolving-door border policy culminated in a series of deadly tragedies across the country involving illegal aliens with criminal records and innocent Americans?
Earlier this month, Kathryn Steinle, 31, was shot dead in San Francisco as she strolled with her father along the waterfront area, a popular tourist destination. Police arrested the suspected murderer, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a Mexican native who had accumulated seven felony convictions since 1991 and had been deported from the United States on separate occasions (!).
San Francisco authorities had just released Lopez-Sanchez from prison in April after failing to convict him on drug charges, and despite a request from the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, that he be deported (a sixth time) to his native Mexico. Are the Feds spending so much time and energy hyperventilating about Islamic jihadists - more Americans die from lightning strikes each year by comparison - that they are ignoring a far more serious problem just over the horizon?
Trump is now pointing gleefully to such tragedies as proof that Mexico is intentionally pushing its most dangerous outlaws towards the American prairie.
One American who certainly agrees with Trump is Jamiel Shaw, whose 17-year-old son was gunned down execution-style in 2008 on the way home from the mall by an illegal alien. Shaw has taken the podium alongside Trump at rallies across the country, where he describes how his son, a promising high school football player, was taken by “invisibles” – those who are in America illegally. Shaw tells crowds that he smiled for the “first time in years” after hearing Trump’s pledge to close the border if elected.
“I felt happy for the first time,” Shaw said. “When that happened, I felt good. I felt hope. This is the hope that Obama thought he was gonna get. That was false hope.”
So with the billionaire magnate performing the political equivalent of a smash the backboard slam-dunk, it may seem natural that every establishment lackey on the East Coast is lining up to throw a cheap shot at Trump.
The popular comedian Jon Stewart, for example, has been bashing ‘Trumpizy’ regularly on his satirical political show, while giving the real estate mogul zero credit for dragging the immigration problem into the limelight. Instead, Stewart feigned shock when Trump said that many of the Mexican illegals were "criminals and rapists."
“Why is anyone acting surprised about Trump?” Stewart asked. “The only reason you liked this guy in the first place was because of the terrible things he was willing to say about Obama.”
Trump’s meteoric rise amid a crowd of political has-beens comes as a surprise only for that out-of-touch breed of Washington insiders who have no idea what the American voter wants and needs. For example, Senator John McCain, who also found himself on the receiving end of one of Trump’s no-holds-barred verbal barrages.
"The reality is that John McCain the politician has made America less safe, sent our brave soldiers into wrong-headed foreign adventures, covered up for President Obama with the VA scandal and has spent most of his time in the Senate pushing amnesty," Trump wrote. "He would rather protect the Iraqi border than Arizona's."
Trump initially attracted the ire of Republicans after saying he could not qualify McCain - a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War who spent five years as a prisoner - a war hero “because he was captured.”
If Trump can survive a steady onslaught of Stewart-style disparagement (my 50-cent prediction: he won’t; the multi-pronged attack against him will be simply too overwhelming even for Trump to withstand), then America may emerge from its political paralysis and become great again. But like so many wealthy outsiders (Ross Perot, for example) who attempted to change the US political system beyond the fiefdom of corporate power, Trump will most likely come up short in the greatest gamble of his career.
The real loser, however, will be the American people, who desperately need a progressive outsider - far beyond the rusted Beltway and corporate America's corrupting purse - to put the country back on track.