Donald Trump represents the eminently foreseeable outcome of Reagan’s Republican bargain: welding together a coalition of racists and religious fanatics with the finance sector and its lobbyists, making two groups who had spent a century cordially loathing each other into one.
Welding big money to big racism was a winning strategy, at first. The finance sector supplied the cash to run campaigns and the megachurches supplied the warm bodies for the polling places. Wall Street’s most efficacious complex derivative, the Republican Party, was able to promulgate policies that made the rich even richer, at the expense of all those turkeys who turned out over and over to vote for Christmas, only asking in return that women be punished extravagantly for seeking abortions, as though the Jesus Christ’s central concern was the Day After pill.
But it was obvious that this situation would rupture some day. Some day, the “base” would notice that though they were being told that lazy, criminal brown people were the cause of all their problems, the actual men in nice suits in DC were doing awfully well, and consistently enacting policies that made their lives worse.
All it would take would be for a candidate to emerge whose only real campaign promise was, “Vote for me and I will make the comfortable elites of this country as miserable as you are.” Donald Trump’s many extravagant and foolish campaign promises — walls, Obamacare, trade, etc — were all obvious lies on their face, but their subtext was something 100 percent truthful: “I, Donald Trump, will be such an unpredictable, vicious, bullying loose…
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