The GOP needs Trump

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It’s become evident that Donald Trump is essential to the continued viability of the Republican Party.

Here’s why:

The buffoon-in-chief’s antics fire up the folks who attend Trump rallies, especially in the South and Midwest. They love the show. They continue to demonstrate their support and to keep up the chant “Build the wall”, and “Lock her up!”

Trump is charismatic. He may be illiterate, but he is loquacious and knows how to read his crowd. He reflects his audience’s simplistic views (or hopes) about everything from immigration to race relations and foreign policy. His base buys his bluster and lies because they want to believe that simpleminded approaches can solve complicated problems.

On the other hand, establishment Republicans look with glee at what Trump actually does, not what he says. They and their big money donors are thrilled. They’ve seen cutbacks in regulations meant to protect the environment, public health and worker rights. As a result, there’s more profit in running a business, especially a big one.

And establishment Republicans love Trump’s singular legislative achievement – passage of the so-called “tax reform” bill. That trickle-down measure boils down to an enormous tax cut for the rich and for big corporations -- and peanuts for the rest of us, including Trump’s supporters. And to top it off, it will cost our children one and a half trillion dollars.

Trump touts that the stock market is soaring. Well, it should. Everything the Trump administration and the Republican Congress have done so far benefits corporations and the rich who profit from them, not most of us.

Trump also touts a drop in the unemployment index. Let’s remember that Trump hated the index before he loved it. He complained that it tells us little. It doesn’t address wages, or the number of folks who have given up looking for a job, or the condition of workers who are employed. In addition, Trump has, with Republican congressional connivance, gutted measures which were enacted to insure safe working conditions and fairness to workers. Moreover, funding for the public schools that workers’ children attend is on the block. Also, millions of working poor will lose health insurance coverage.

The bottom line is – the fat cats that constitute the base of the traditional GOP could not take over our government without help. They needed an alliance with Trump’s following. They needed Trump’s white nationalists, gun rights nuts, and sadly, folks who suffer from today’s changing economic reality. These folks, many of whom are victims of job off-shoring and automation, think Trump speaks for them. He doesn’t. He speaks at them. Let’s hope that his outrageous antics don’t keep them forever distracted from the reality that he is failing them. Michael G. Busche


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