Donald Trump has changed the 2016 primaries in so many ways. He has been like a deus ex machina who popped up in an enormous list of GOP characters with little to differentiate one from the next. He did not fit the mold but he was no more acceptable to me than any other Republican.
I didn’t think I could be shocked after six years of disrupters in Congress making ignorant suggestions to women that would set the culture back 50 years if heeded. I was afraid when the Supreme Court did not uphold the most essential section of the voting rights act, the requirement that certain states get clearance before changing their voting laws, but still I did not foresee how quickly the states would “celebrate” their “freedom” by repressing votes. Watching states break the law in respect to Roe v Wade by imposing bogus rules to close clinic after clinic seemed quite shocking enough, especially when courts backed them up. I had expected the courts to say “whoa Nellie” (because that’s the way these guys talk – remember the one who recommended that women practice birth control by putting an aspirin between their knees and keeping their knees closed around it). The courts did nothing. That’s when I realized how many Conservative judges had been appointed to courts in many of our states.
I could go on but my point is actually that Donald Trump managed to drive my “no they didn’t” reaction up several more notches. His remarks about Mexicans, about the “wall”, about China, deporting undocumented immigrants, Megan Fox, about women in general, about Muslims – well, you were there – you heard it. Then there was his apparent comfort with a physicality that we usually avoid in American politics. We usually use our words. His behavior made the shock waves of the Republican heresies over the past six years pale by comparison.
As we know the other Republican candidates did not seem any happier with Donald’s injection of himself into an already crowded race. He had been a Democrat. Conservatives who had been making a big point about GOP purity tests had to move over and include this famous person who had certainly not been tested for purity. And he was winning, pulling large crowds, taking up all the space on a 24/7 media that usually could be captured only temporarily by a particularly audacious act. Ted Cruz had attempted frequent newsworthy nonsense, but Donald did it practically nonstop.
However, Trump has also served as sort of a buffer between the Democratic primary race and the rest of the Republican slate, getting picked off one by one before our incredulous eyes. We expected to worry about Scott Walker and Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, but instead every eye and ear was on Donald. For the most part, Hillary and Bernie were left alone to run their own race.
Trump’s presence in the race has also allowed Ted Cruz to take up the second position on the GOP side. He expects an open convention and he expects the coveted Republican nomination to eventually fall to him. I have watched Ted Cruz throughout the Obama administration and he made me very worried right from the first time I set eyes on him. In fact I wrote an article called Ted Cruz: Sinister or Cartoonish about my initial observations. I have predicted to myself that somehow he would “worm” his way into the White House and I have tried to speak out against this whenever possible. He is closer to the White House than he has ever been. He is intelligent, if inflexible, and he is strategic. He believes he is a genius. As geniuses go I can think of several I would prefer over him.
If Donald had not inserted himself into the primary would Cruz have made it this far? I don’t know, of course, no one does. But if I end up with Ted Cruz as my President in 2017, I will blame Donald. Who will I blame if we end up with Donald Trump in the White House? I will blame the Democrats. Hillary, there is a lot resting on your shoulders because if you win the nomination we are counting on you to beat the chosen one of these two guys and Donald has sort of fogged up everyone’s view. Ted Cruz is advancing almost under the radar, a stealth campaign.
By Nancy Brisson