The Republican Party today seems astonished by the fact that Donald J. Trump is their party’s nominee in this election. The Republican establishment acts as if Trump is an unfair hand they have been dealt with, without any of their own actions contributing to his success.
There is a general outrage that the party has chosen an individual who is expressing hateful and vile judgements about various groups of potential voters. However, there should be no surprise that Republican voters applaud Trump’s ideas such as the “Great, Great Wall” and “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” when the party has spent years telling immigrants they are not welcome here through “self-deportation”, the anti-Dream act, and anti-refugee rhetoric. The Republican Party has relied on fear mongering as a tactic for years by establishing suspicion of Latinos and Muslims long before Trump.
Republican lawmakers express shock when Republican voters cheer at Trump’s inappropriate derision and actions, even as they themselves deny our president common courtesy, for instance, by not standing during a state of the union address or by not giving a fair hearing to a supreme court nominee.
Republicans have no justification for their surprise at the rise of Trump considering that they have been laying the foundation over the last seven years for such an authoritarian and egotistical candidate. It all began when Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, said in an interview to the National Journal, “It is our top political priority over the next two years to deny President Obama a second term”. The Republican Party at that point decided to block all legislation and policy on all issues regardless of urgency or merit, with examples including: Veterans Affairs Funding Bill, Infrastructure Bill, Equal Pay for Women Bill, Student Loan Forgiveness, Bring Jobs Home Act etc… The greatest absurdity, however, is the fact that Republicans claim to back policies that support the former bills and acts, but since, it was President Obama who supported those policies, the Republican establishment couldn’t respect it.
In the seven years that President Obama has been in office, he has been filibustered over 500 times. For some context, Lyndon B. Johnson had two filibusters during the same time period. President Obama has also had 79 nominee blocks during his administration, versus 68 total for all of the other presidents combined.
That same disrespectful, uncompromising and dictatorial nature is exemplified in Donald Trump’s oratory, with examples such as, “Because you’ll be in jail” as he threatened his opponent with jail time or “You have to take out their families” referring to how to deal with terrorism through war crimes; clearly showing no respect for the judicial process.
The party is now reaping what they have sown. The Republican establishment prioritized the happiness of its right wing voter base rather than approaching the issues that mattered to the majority of Americans.
The Republican Party has not moved from that model. Even after condemning Trump’s policies, most Republican lawmakers have endorsed Donald Trump due to fear of their political futures. Until earlier this month, respected Republicans such as Paul Ryan and John McCain had backed Trump, even after Trump refused to denounce an endorsement from the leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
Republican leaders supported Donald Trump through comments that denigrate Latinos, Blacks, Muslims, disabled, and now women. Even now, the Republicans who are now abandoning Trump are doing so because his comments about sexual abuse affect their predominantly white right-wing voter base.
The Washington Post sums up the situation: “Trump is the GOP’s Frankenstein monster”. Conservative leaders through their words and actions demonstrated that government, politics, and political parties were institutions that did not deserve respect, and now it is their own nominee who is taking advantage of those perceptions.
Conservatives leaders have incited nothing but fear, hate, distrust, and resentment in their most avid supporters; therefore, it should be no surprise that they have nominated Donald Trump, a product of their own actions.
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