I know the race for the Republican nomination is a shit show to end all shit shows, and I am doubly-sure of the idea that if Donald Trump were to win the nomination and the White House it would be crazy bad for the country. But while I only want him in the Oval Office if he’s posing for a picture with the real president, I hope he stays in the GOP primary until the bitter end.
It’s clear as day now that regardless of who eventually wins the GOP’s nomination this year, Trump will have exposed the Republican base for everything it has become — namely the Tea Party. All Muslims are suspect, all immigrants are “illegal” and from Mexico, and all poor people are poor because they choose to be, not because of any external force that they had no control of prior to being born. And he’s also proving to be quite good at exposing the Republican Party in general for what it has become.
I still not cannot get a reading on just how genuine his rhetoric is, but watching Trump troll the Republicans in the New Hampshire debate made me realize how much I missed the bewigged fuckface in the Iowa debates. Because as much as I agree with probably 1-2% of what comes out of his mouth, the entertainment value of watching Trump call the debate crowd — who was booing him — a bunch of insurance company stiffs who have bought and paid for the rest of the candidates on stage was fun as hell.
There was a Republican, or someone playing one on TV, telling Republicans at home they need to think about what happens if Obamacare is simply repealed with nothing in its place — dead people in the streets. It’s a touch hyperbolic perhaps, but considering that most of the other candidates up there were talking about repealing Obamacare as if it would have no impact on people, you have to give the orange-tinted moron credit where it’s due. If the audience really was stacked with insurance lobbyists, no wonder they booed him. But even if he was pulling that out of his cavernous asshole, no one can deny that the insurance lobbyists are in the pocketbooks of politicians on both sides of the aisle, so you have to give The Asshole Formerly Known as Trump some real credit for going into the lion’s den and speaking that particular truth, even if not a single other one came forth from his lips.
Then there was the exchange with Jeb Bush where he actually “shushed” Captain Exclamation Mark. Trump seems to be the only one to deal in reality with Jeb. That reality is that his brother did such a horrible job as president that the entire family’s legacy is tainted and there isn’t a whole of respect that people give the Bush clan anymore. The Iraq War, Katrina, and the handling of the economic crisis has soured a lot of people all over the political spectrum on his family ever being in the White House as anything other than guests again.
So as much as it’s horrifying to think of Trump in the White House, it’s triply as horrifying imagining a Republican Primary without him. Because while you may not like the overwhelming majority of what he says, the fact is that he will be the only one willing to call “bullshit” on anyone. Sure, he’s an Islamaphobe I want nowhere near the Oval Office, but I want and need him to keep shining a light on the fact that nearly every single other Republican candidate holds and espouses those exact same views, which is really why Trump is so vital to this year’s race.
When you get right down to it, Trump is doing the country a favor by running like he is. He is forcing the “regular” contenders to either blast his talking points — which are crafted to fit right into the base’s wheelhouse — and risk angering people whose votes they need to beat him in the primary, or to agree with him on some level. And those who agree with him will be pummeled in campaign ads for it in the General Election.
Trump is the poison pill that the Republican Party has no choice but to swallow, and as long as he’s in the race, those of us outside the Republican Bubble should just sit back and enjoy the turbulence.