Posted by: minnow | March 5, 2016

Americans Believe in Rambo

Why is Donald Trump doing so well?  The answer is simple, really–Americans believe in Rambo.  Even when, or maybe especially when, Rambo is the lone soldier who goes up against the strongest military power in the world–America herself.  Of course, in the Hollywood version by movie’s end our hero receives undeniable confirmation that his is the righteous cause and the mission will succeed!! Drumroll please.

We seem to see a new theory everyday trying to explain Trump’s success.   Some suggest, he appeals to the racist, sexist, xenophobe.  And, perhaps he does.  Much of the verbiage spewing fourth from his mouth encourages distrust, blame, isolating self-protection, and greed.  All attitudes which fit the theory   But surely, those prejudices alone cannot account for the huge numbers supporting him at the polls. Others argue he’s popular he says what he thinks, what others want to say but are too afraid to say for fear they’ll be fired or vilified.  Again, this theory can only partially account for his success.  At least as many people are embarrassed by his bluster and bluntness as are impressed by it.  His unfounded and unwarranted attacks, every time someone disagrees with him, outrage and alienate at least as many people as they attract.  besides, as was clearly pointed out by the moderators during the most recent debate (3/3) he has been speaking out of both sides of his mouth so speaking his mind is a bit unsettling. A third theory gaining ground suggests Trump’s self-made man persona charms the voters. We all know–because he’s told us so often–that his campaign doesn’t cost the voters a dime.  He is paying for the whole thing himself.  With all the talk about special interests buying elections it’s no surprise voters like the sound of a guy spending his own money.  In fact, some like it so much they’ve been sending the billionaire contributions–to the tune of $7.5 million dollars. And Mr. Trump, if you can believe the complements he’s handed out to himself in every single debate, is just too gallant to send it back. When we look a little closer, however, we discover that most of Mr. Trump’s campaign contributions have come from a series of loans he made to himself, a little more than $17.5 million dollars.  These are loans his campaign is allowed to pay back to Mr. Trump so long as it happens before the election.  In other words, Trump hasn’t actually paid his own way; he’s borrowed it.

Still, none of these theories explain Trump’s allure quite as well as Rambo.  All our feelings of anger at having been wronged (by someone–our boss, the education system, the government, our healthcare providers–anyone) ; our fierce independence (The national version of: I can do it myself.  I’ve always had to do it myself.  And no body needs to help me.  I’m just going to get ‘er done! Damn it anyway!); the need to be seen as GREAT, and strong, and a hero; our desire to take back what’s been taken away (Our rightful place as # 1 to begin with, even if it’s only in our heads. And our sense of security for another thing).  All of these find expression in blindly seeing Trump as Rambo. Of course he’s crude he’s got too much to do, to worry about nice words.  Of course his talk is tough.  He has to regain our rightful place on the world stage.  He can’t waste time worrying about the feelings of the little guy.  The little guy better thank him for saving the day or get out of his way.  RAMBO TRUMP now there’s a man who can gets things done! And we want something done! Enough talk.

The trouble with Rambo is he’s make believe.  He cannot succeed without a willingness to suspend reality on the part of his audience and  a great deal of help from the special effects department in Hollywood.  Trump obviously has the former in those who are voting for him but he doesn’t have the latter.  Even if we were able to set aside his sexist and racist drivel and fear mongering Donald Trump simply cannot deliver on his promises.  Trump has nothing the other guys need.  Mexico is not going to build a wall for us.  Putin isn’t going to suddenly become Mr. Trump’s BFF.  ISIL will use anything we do to flex our muscle in the Middle East as their next recruitment tool.  And our honorable men and women in the US military are not going to commit war crimes because a egomaniac becomes offended.  Trump must be stopped.  If it doesn’t happen from within.  If the saner voices in the Republican party don’t overcome this windbag before their Convention this summer, then Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders MUST stop him in November.

Trump fancies himself a fighter.  So,the best way to stop him is to quit getting in the ring.  Don’t take the bait, don’t pick up the offense.  Simply step out of the ring.  A fighter has got to have someone to spar with in order to make himself look tough.  The rest of the Republicans should refuse to debate him.  He refused to debate them once but got right back in the ring because he was useless on his own.  Just imagine it–Trump on the stage by himself trying to answer questions about issues and policy.  It would be a disaster.  Ratings would plummet and the audience would start channel surfing at the first commercial break.  You simply couldn’t pay me enough to have to get on stage with the man and behave as if he deserves my continued consideration.  legitimate Republicans ought to be embarrassed and the news media that keeps giving him airtime ought to be ashamed.





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