I don’t know about anyone else, but I let out a giant sigh of relief last night when I heard that Trump did not secure the Republican nomination in Iowa. Literally, phew! And I know people downplay the importance of Iowa, but I don’t care: phew!
Not that I think Ted Cruz is a great choice, and I’ve written about wishing to suddenly find that Joe Biden and Mitt Romney have secured their respective party nominations, but seriously, phew! I’m no fan of this election cycle in general, but I’m fervently hoping a majority of voters participating in the primary and caucus systems can at least agree on one thing: anyone but Trump.
Trump’s candidacy is serving a couple purposes, though — and please let it only be a failed candidacy for party nomination. First, his success in the polls and in getting media attention with his extremist statements and positions is a good justification for letting the 43 percent of voters not registered with either party participate in the primary and caucus systems. Throwing us into the mix would reign in the extremism that dominates the cycle prior to the general election.
It would limit the extent to which extremist personalities, like Trump, would be able to control the discourse on the campaign trail. He choked off more reasonable discourse, which put him in a position to tap into the undercurrent of frustration in America in an unhealthy way. Trump’s ability to control much of the discourse has been detrimental to the other candidates and ultimately to voters.
Any time spent analyzing outrageous statements — like “Ban all Muslims” — is time not spent analyzing the complex issues of terrorism and radicalization in America and around the world.
Trump professes to be swaying independent voters, but this independent voter wants a leader who doesn’t try to be more radical than the radicalized problem that we’re trying to resolve. Resolving terrorism will require almost unimaginable collaboration and critical thinking, not utter thoughtlessness.
Here’s hoping that New Hampshire and a majority of other states follows Iowa’s lead and reject Trump. Then, when all is said and done, we can look at Trump’s campaign as nothing more than a giant redistribution effort, its second purpose. Last quarter Trump spent less than the other Republican candidates but gave his campaign almost $11 million of his own money.
Among those already benefiting from his redistribution efforts are the Latinos at the hat factory producing the infamous red hats purchased by Trump supporters. Eighty percent of the workers at Cali-Fame, a company in California, “are overwhelmingly Latino – a group the candidate has alienated aggressively over the course of his campaign with sweeping anti-immigration policy proposals, including building a wall between the US and Mexico.” The company has had to hire 20 additional people.
If Trump continues to run (and hopefully lose) in all 50 states, he will have effectively sprinkled millions of dollars around the country like some extremist Johnny Appleseed. If it weren’t for the extremist part, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
And seriously, phew!