Tuesday, April 05, 2016

April 4, 2016--Trump Is Post-Peak

A friend wondered if Donald Trump has peaked. 

What with his various stumbles last week--

His campaign manager being charged with assault and battery;

His reckless comments about encouraging Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia to take up their own defense, including developing nuclear weapons;

And his being lured into acknowledging that if abortion becomes illegal, becomes a felony such as manslaughter or even infanticide, which he now supports, of course doctors who perform them would have the be "punished" (Trump's word) but so would women who take the first step in initiating this "crime" when they schedule an appointment and then undergo the procedure.

This latter thought--that women would also need to be "punished"--unleashed such a storm of criticism about Trump's misogyny and outrageous views that he felt the need to "walk it back" as well as change his position at least four times since Friday after stepping in it during a brilliant, badgering interview conducted by Chris Matthews where this "punishment" kerfuffle began.

One would have assumed that this outrage directed at Trump would have come exclusively from those on the political left who believe fervently in a woman's right to choose.

And though the chorus of criticism came mainly from that source, a great deal of it was from those on the right--anti-abortion conservatives, including Ted Cruz, who gleefully joined in the vilification of Trump.

Cruz, in his usual weasely way, said: "Of course we shouldn't be talking about punishing women. We should affirm their dignity and the incredible gift they have to bring life into the world."

Cruz and his ilk were delighted to see Trump blunder into further trouble with female voters though, like Trump, they too want to criminalize abortion but claim that only the doctors should be punished. Calling for the prosecution of women seems to them too Scarlet-Lettery. Or, closer to the truth, too politically risky.

In an email back to my fellow progressive friend, here's what I said about Trump's peaking--
Trump is post-peak. 
Among other things the Trump phenomenon is a classic media tale--build him up then delight in tearing him down. The usual mix of entertainment, distraction, ratings, money, and blood sport. Bread and circuses. Everything about this is just so hypocritical and cynical.  
My favorite thing at the moment is how Trump stumbled into revealing the ugly truth about abortion. A truth GOPers don't in general want to hear or acknowledge-- 
Trump really favors abortion but to pander to the base and have a chance to win the nomination he flip-flopped and became pro-life.  
But what are the implications--to ban it, to make it illegal, not only must the doctors be "punished" (T's word--interesting choice) but also the women. Anti-abortion people have focused on punishing the doctors (including winking at murdering them) but see women opting for abortions to be victims.  
This is more sexist regression--women again perceived to be victims. But, of course, it is women who choose and thus to be consistent in a lunatic, anti-abortion environment, they too must be punished. 
Which is what Trump said.  
And as a result got massacred by the Republican establishment who are afraid to state the full implications of their heinous policy (to ban all abortions with no exceptions) because that would drive even more women than at present away from supporting GOP candidates.  
They've been hiding from this truth for years but Trump ripped off the scab. Or, if you prefer, revealed what's under the rock. 
He may be crazy but in his unpredictability and version of "truth"-telling he's dangerous to Republicans. That's the real reason they hate and want to get rid of him. Not that he's a loser and would bring the party and its current candidates down. 
But because of what Jack Nicholson said, "They can't handle the truth." 

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