The dialectics of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump
Lest we forget, Donald Trump did not start the conservative resurgence in the Republican Party. The multi-billionaire who often thinks himself as the smartest invention since Coca-Cola, was a joiner. Sarah Palin, the onetime governor of Alaska was at the starting line. You may even be right to say the former governor of Alaska set the tone for the resurgence for which neither niceties nor civility count.
Mrs. Palin often featured at the Tea Party in the beginning to stoke the fire, rail on Obama, immigration, race or taxation and everything that caught her fancy. She was there at the vanguard when the movement brewed its toxic notions on who is a real American. Remember, that odd debate on the un-Americanness of some Americans grew strident as the inevitability of Obama presidency dawned on the ultra-Right crowd.
Sarah Palin mysteriously grew larger as the poster-girl of the Right despite her copious gaffes and unpretentious naivety even well after the McCain-Palin ticket lost to the Obama-Biden. Lest we forget, the Palin’s world is a wild, weird world. In that world, power and responsibility run amuck and diplomacy is monochrome, taken straight from John Wayne’s Westerns. Race reigns supreme in Sarah Palin’s thoughts and America has all rights but few responsibilities. There, Washington is licenced to shoot or bomb its way out of every situation and it takes no prisoners. The Palin worldview should be repugnant to decent circles but it is music to the Tea Party adherents.
Mrs. Palin attempted to re-write history the other day when she claimed that Blacks were responsible for the 400 years of slavery in America. In that queer narrative, the slaves carried the blame for their own miseries in the antebellum days, the White folks who worked them to death in the cotton plantations were as innocent as doves. Alex Haley’s Kunta Kinte could as well be a piece of fiction and Jim Crow an invention of liberal imagination. Palin thoughts naturally comes across as product of extreme ignorance but the logic on slavery is the most ridiculous of them all. Blaming slavery on Blacks is like blaming the Jews for Auschwitz and Treblinka and for Dr. Josef Mengele or the Nazi pogrom.
Now with Trump in this mix, it is tempting to think that the billionaire is the only reason for this raging rascality in the Republican Party. Nothing could be farther from truth. The Party of Ronald Reagan has strayed from reason since 2008 when it was hijacked by the ilk of Palin and Paul Ryan. Things got worse for it in 2010 when Tea Party members got elected in droves to Congress and public offices. The victory of ultra-Right in that Congressional elections gave it the confidence to assume that fearmongering and divisive politics could have great rewards.
Surprisingly, Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Marco Rubio, both front-liners in the Tea Party ideals are now frontline critics of Donald Trump. They accuse him of trading insults and for making irresponsible avowals. But it is ironical that these men Trump calls “Lying Ted” and “Little Marco” are offended by unsavoury diction. They are also obviously frustrated that the conservative base keeps rewarding Mr. Trump even as he hits them below the belt and tears into the soul of the party. “Lying Ted” and “Little Marco” themselves had sailed into the US Senate on the winds of such extreme lingos. Remember, they called their opponents unprintable names, and averred that Obama is a Muslim usurper. Racial profiling was the rule of their game just upped by Donald Trump.
Trump has evidently taken fear-mongering into new levels in building on the foundation of the Tea Party. Think of it, when he speaks of erecting a wall across the Mexican borders he was weaving on the Tea Party tapestry who first muted the idea. Trump just pushed the envelope by avowing that America could in fact make a sovereign state pay for a wall it neither wants nor can actually afford. Now, doesn’t that read like a scene from a John Wayne movie?
It is unfair to pretend it was Donald Trump that invented the lexicon of hate for the party of Sarah Palin. When Trump painted all Mexicans as criminals, he echoed the xenophobic patent of Sarah Palin and her ardent believers in collective guilt. Remember that “Lying Ted” also painted all Nigerians as e-scammers sometimes ago in a usual moment of loose talk? Trump took the dialectic of bigotry further because he knows that gutter talks resonate with the base. It is therefore not surprising that the raging Republican civil war has further degenerated into spousal abuse, as the party feed on its own innards. It is appalling how the party of Henry Kissinger, George Schultz and Collin Powel had descended into this slough of bigotry in the national space.
Republicans badly want the White House despite their pontifical avowals but the party is farther away from power now than it was in 2012, for the obvious reasons. First, it is more divided now than it has ever been in living memory when the occasion actually calls for unity. Republicans love to flaunt religion and Christian piety but have consistently refused to heed the admonition of Christ that a house divided against itself cannot stand. They will therefore be heading into the coming election dangerously fractured.
Paul Ryan hinted on the trouble ahead when he averred that the current Trump lead would not translate into automatic ticket for the man in the coming convention. Stripped of political-speak, the message of the Republican House Leader to Mr. Trump is clear: “Perish the thought on support from the Establishment. We will surely work against you at the Convention, whatever your numbers” That was radical statement from a party leader and it would be interesting to see how the party deals with a scorned Trump in the aftermath of the convention. Nobody expects Donald Trump would hug the nominee from that process, neither would he head peacefully back home. How do you handle the Trump base that has come to believe the billionaire is the greatest invention since Coca-Cola?
Secondly, Republican victory is farfetched now because it would have to contend with the Trump baggage even if it capitulates and fields the billionaire in the coming election. Think of it, Trump had trampled on all conceivable toes and gored every horse. He said all Blacks are lazy, all Muslims are terrorists and all Mexicans are criminals. He even threw misogyny in the mix when he tweeted about Megyn Kelly, the anchor at Fox News, as having “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” You may say it was a deserving comeuppance for Megyn Kelly but many voters would remember the Trump insults as they head for the polls next November.
It is amazing how the Republican Party pretends it is still the same lily-white, blue-eye, middle-class voter from the Ronald Reagan days. Except unforeseen winds come the way of the Democrats in the coming campaigns, this class of Republicans is about to find how dangerous it has become for a political party to be tone-deaf.