Trump’s poll numbers have actually swelled since the debate. Executive management at Fox News reached out to Trump to officially kiss his gold-plated kiester and ask him to keep it up. The TMZ of broadcast journalism is now drowning the Republican nominating race by cultivating a political version of the Swift/Minaj feud. It’s great for ratings. I can’t wait to see the product placements at the next debate.
One might express concern at a clownish entertainment figure ruining a serious political institution, but that complaint doesn’t carry very far. With or without Trump this was never going to be more than a circus. Almost all of the candidates are there to promote their book, solicit speaking engagements, audition for a TV show, or to sell Uncle Huckabee’s Down-Home, Biblical Cures For What Ails ‘Ya.
In the first poll after the debate, 51% of Republican respondents were supporting Trump, Carson, Cruz or Huckabee. Let that sink in for a minute. If that is even remotely accurate then Republicans aren’t merely losing the White House, they have lost their everloving minds, never to find them again, not even with help from their grandkids. There is no way for a remotely credible Republican candidate to drive around that 51% boulder in the road. Trump isn’t the problem.
Have we, as a culture, simply lost our interest in civic engagement? Are we too self-absorbed, insulated and isolated from one another to muster the minimal energy required to give a shit?
More and more I find myself thinking of Mike Judge’s box office bomb, Idiocracy. At the time I thought it was crude and over the top. It is starting to look like a documentary.
By the way, for all the smug Democrats out there convinced that this is merely a Republican problem, hopefully you’ve been following the outbreak of leftwing hand-wringing over Bernie Sanders’ supposed lack of racial sensitivity. The courageous act of defiance by a ‘Black Lives Matter’ activist in shutting down Sanders’ Seattle appearance is just a foretaste of what’s coming on your side of the aisle. To top it off, one of the organizers of the incident is a Tea Party supporter and Sarah Palin fan. Keep in mind too that Alan Grayson is running for Senate in Florida and he might actually win. Have fun, guys.
Can we survive and thrive after electoral politics has become irrelevant? What will America look like under the leadership of a Congress full of right and left-wing Ted Cruz’s and a President worse than George W. Bush? Can we function effectively if our public sphere is maintained only by a professional bureaucracy and our corporate leadership? Is there a backlash from sane citizens in the works somewhere? If so, how can I join?