Sophia Tesfaye has said in a Salon article that “Trump is radicalizing his followers”. This is just another example of the bad habit of the apologists of American politics to invert the order of explanation to protect the debacle that the American body politics is from seeing the shadow of its now morbidly obese underbelly.
The is a loose association of radicals who have become quite mainstream. Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Cavutto, Sean Hannity, Ms. Piro, Sara Palin, Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, Megyn Kelly, Laura Ingraham, RRush Limbaugh and so on and so forth.
For the better part of the past 15 years these people have been peddling, alternatively, ethnic cleansing, internment, Mccarthysm, forced conversions, torture, summary executions, the suspension of constitutional guarantees, the imposition of religious law, the murder of activists, the murder of progressives, the destruction of programs of scientific literacy, the destruction of the state and its institutions, racial profiling, the execution of gays, the segregation of sexual minorities, rape and then some.
So no, Trump is not radicalizing anybody. Rather it is the media that has given space to these brutes, monsters and abominations of common decency who have been instrumental in radicalizing the GOP base. And while the main culprit is indeed FoxNews, it is by no means the only one. Anyone who has given a platform to anyof these characters is responsible for the current state of affairs. Trump is merely the latest–and the most effective–specimen of this bestiary to surf the wave of american political dementia.
The wonderful thing about Trump is that he is the true reductio ad absurdum of the GOP. The party is little more than an expression of the worse of American reactionary stupidity. He is not an extreme. He is the mainstream of the American GOP and his success and the abysmal performance of other candiadte shows that they are all competing for the same prize, to wit, the crazies articulation of American identity that can be mustered.
What makes other candidates much more dangerous is that they are capable of appealing–in different degrees–to more sensible voters. Yet, their program is exactly the same.
Trump will not win a general election and this is what makes him a wonderful wonderful gift. If the GOP manages to vomit him out, he will most certainly run as an independent taking a massive slice of the GOP pie with him. This could be the end of the current version of the GOP which would be a good thing for everybody. Especially for those of us who believe that a new version of conservatism purified of religious fundamentalism and reganite libertarianism is of the uttmost urgency.
The next president will be a democrat. Let’s just hope that democrat in question is the republican standing furthest to the left. Hint: her name starts with the letter Hillary.