From the way the mainstream press portrays it, Trumplandia is, at its core, a “basket of deporables” that lives in the darker corners of flyover states with lots of trees, lots of coal and an opioid problem that is out of control.
I call bullshit on this and I think it’s an epic cop-out by NPR types who don’t want to address the more chilling reality: the Trump supporter next door. Apparently a recent report backs me up, too. The report says something like the typical Trump supporter is — surprise! — pretty much your middle-of-the-road Republican who has helped elect Republicans since dirt.
So to put it another way, the real problem with Trumplandia maybe isn’t so much the rednecks clinging onto coal and racism as it is your bedrock Republicans who after Trump won the primaries held their nose and voted for a racist, misogynistic, bigoted demagogue.
Hence, I would lay the blame for Trump more on a broken primary system than I would Jim Bob in his wife beater drinking a cold one and thinking about the good old days when brown people knew their place. That begs the question — what’s wrong with the primary system and how do you fix it?
Just off the top of my head, I would say the primary system as it is now implemented obviously rewards the extremist. So few people vote in the primaries that only the most motivated people — the most hysterical in an already hysterical political environment — are willing to vote in the first place. And, remember, the primary system is almost like a summer blockbuster in nature: who aim to come out strong your opening weekend and worry about the rest later. So, Trump was a momentum candidate who won big and won big early. All of this, of course, doesn’t address issues of dark money.
It seems to me that it was just the Republican’s turn to win the general election as is part of the ebb and flow of history and unfortunately when their time came because of FOX News’ bullshit moutain they were surreally detached from reality. Why anyone vote for Trump in the primaries is — at least to me — a complete mystery and will probably be the subject of any number of books in the years and decades to come. If a nuclear war doesn’t come first, of course.
If I was going to fix the primary system, I might put my hands on the glowing magical orb and say we should have a national primary of some sort. The top two winners of the first national primary would go head to head in a second round two weeks later, maybe. But there are obviously problems with that, too, because that would reward the most organized of candidates, so you might endup with someone like Trump, only more organized.
And even if you did fix the primary system, you wouldn’t fix the tribal politics caused by a combination of FOX News, Twitter and some weird deep-seated hatred of Hillary Clinton that I can’t explain. Something extraordinary happened in 2016’s primaries and it leaves me gobsmacked.
But all of this doesn’t address what the fuck happened in the general election. How did your typical Republican do the mental gyrations needed to come around to voting for Trump and is there anything we can do about that now? It is pretty obvious that Hillary Clinton was a historically weak candidate for various reasons. She thought it was “her turn” to be president and that mentality was a little too close to monarchical for a lot of people. And she was the first woman to get a major party nomination, so she had a lot of people who were fed up with the first black president extremely leery of the first female president.
And that doesn’t begin to address the email hysteria stoked by Russian hackers who may have been colluding with the Trump campaign. And it definitely doesn’t address the Comey letter just a few days before the election itself.
But given that Trump was so obviously an existential threat to the Republic — as it is growing ever more obvious each day — it kind of boggles the mind that otherwise normal Republicans would turn into “Good Republicans” like the “Good Germans” of the Nazi era. That is why you can tisk-tisk Clinton for not giving enough attention to Wisconsin and Michigan and still not explain how she lost the hard fought Pennsylvania and Florida. I mean, what happen there? How did she lose those states given what was going on.
Her losing those states is pretty inexplicable, at least to me. So we’re going to have to address yet again, that we’re screwed now and we live in something tantamount to Vichy America because of the Trump supporter next door. People who are residents of Trumplandia who you would never think would vote for someone so crass, so horrible. But they did. They look at you across your well coiffed yard with the sprinkler system and ATM guard and the voted for someone who now startles us on a regular basis with tweets that are going less and less fun by the day.
The next question, of course, is now what. Will the Good Republicans ever get around to telling the Vichy Republicans in Congress to get rid of Trump, or will they sit on their hands as long as they get their agenda of lower taxes, less regulation and an end to abortion crammed through the government.
It’s all very chilling, at least from where I stand. The fact that otherwise sane Republicans probably _won’t_ demand Trump’s removal because of the very facts I mentioned above should trouble everyone. It’s all very scary. And there are no easy answers.
Pretty much all I got is “Don’t rage, engaged.” It’s the Good Republicans that are the least likely to troll you if they disagree with you. They aren’t alt-Right nutjobs. They’re God-fearing, America loving people just like you who mysteriously when push came to shove voted for a monster.
Shelton Bumgarner is the Editor and Publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com