Sunday, at a pro-Trump rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, political commentator Wayne Allyn Root gave a brief speech that can be viewed as a microcosm of the entire 2016 election cycle.
“Welcome to the Trump revolution!” Root yelled. “The peasants, the surfs, and the taxpayers with pitchforks, jackhammers, and blowtorches are headed for Washington D.C. Can you hear us? We’re putting the D.C. elite on notice. We’re coming to tear it down, we’re coming to rip it up, we’re coming to kick your ass! And we’re coming to put you in prison!”
The crowd cheered like tweens at a One Direction concert.
Root enthusiastically led the rally in a “Lock Her Up” chant. He then continued, noting that “in the face of awful fake polls,” he made a bet on the GOP nominee to win, saying Trump is more than a person, “he’s an idea…a big, beautiful, gigantic middle finger.”
After some raunchy puns about WikiLeaks and Anthony Weiner, Root proceeded to make an unusual analogy:
“The networks have wall-to-wall coverage of a live police chase, and it’s Hillary in a white Ford Bronco. She’s got Huma driving, and they’re headed for the Mexican border. I have a name for the future TV movie, it’s called ‘Driving Miss Hillary,’ and the ending–if we all get our wish, the ending is like ‘Thelma & Louise.'”
This kind of base behavior should frighten even those who believe Hillary Clinton is a career political criminal. The Trump Revolution, as it’s being called, is taking a hammer to rational, measured thinking; it’s tearing down with great force our carefully crafted constitutional republic, and replacing it with mob rule. It’s group-think led by a man who lost any semblance of control a long time ago. Trump is indeed an idea, one that’s overpowered the man himself, and become a monster.
The Trump Revolution is also encouraging paranoid thinking. When the polls are in Trump’s favor, they’re tremendous! When they’re not, they’re rigged! If he wins the election, it was the people’s voice! If he loses, the election was stolen! Hillary Clinton should be locked up because “we the people” believe she’s guilty. Due process just gets in the way.
Donald Trump is not a constitutional conservative, he’s a bombastic vessel into whom a subset of Americans have poured their anger. He’s the Republican answer to the Democratic authoritarianism the Right has for years decried. Unfortunately, it appears that all such protestations on the part of alleged conservatives were, at best, insincere. This election cycle has shown that many Republicans aren’t truly concerned with the rule of law, or the Constitution, they simply want a strongman who agrees with them rather than the Democrats.
Trump is a runaway train.
Yes, Hillary Clinton is corrupt. Yes, many politicians are equally unscrupulous. But Trumpism must not be the answer. Our political system has been warped beyond recognition because of greed, cronyism, judicial activism, and the stunning ignorance of many American voters.
As upsetting as it may sound, the voting public helped create this mess. Now, a faction of viscerally angry individuals have gained power, and seek to destroy the entire system. But it’s not the system that gave us Hillary Clinton; it’s not the system that brought us to where we are today. The system was carefully designed to keep us from ruin. Instead of tearing it down, we need to restore it to its original state, and Trump isn’t the answer.
Trump-style populism is no better than Clinton-style cronyism; they’re both cancers. It’s merely a matter of preference.