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GOP Reaps What It Sows: Donald Trump

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 11/03/2016 Mary Ellen Harte

Republicans have used savvy marketing to successfully pad the pockets of their rich supporters over the past several decades as they misled the remaining majority. In doing so, they've created a duped, angry electorate that now threatens our democracy. 2016-03-11-1457713636-7961901-theonepercentownsUSmapSourceonepercenttakers.comccr319.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-11-1457713636-7961901-theonepercentownsUSmapSourceonepercenttakers.comccr319.jpg Source
Using emotional social issues in their campaigns to unite their voters, successful candidates subsequently revised the tax code (with some help from democrats) and promoted policies that concentrated wealth among the top 1% as it propagated poverty among the broad working class, much of it Republican.

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Once in power, GOP administrations disastrously misused dwindling governmental assets on a costly draining war begun on false evidence, and on unregulated capitalism, enabling overseas flight of US capital and jobs for the benefit of the top 1%. The result? GOP leadership oversaw rises in unemployment and poverty, and financial crises based on fraud.
Ultimately, such con games fall apart when reality can not sustain them. Reality:

  • Taxes are needed to run a country, a collaborative social enterprise; as that enterprise grows, so do taxes. Cutting out a large part of the rich tax base cripples that enterprise.
  • The base of the economic "food chain" is the working class; sending them into poverty endangers the whole chain.
  • Regulations are needed to prevent financial, social, and environmental fraud. Climate change is a real result of such fraud, and is now a major threat worldwide.
2016-03-11-1457713407-6070861-extremeweatherbcompositedroughtheatwavestormwildfiremehccr290.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-11-1457713407-6070861-extremeweatherbcompositedroughtheatwavestormwildfiremehccr290.png The Faces of Climate Change
  • Despite the denial by most Republican leaders, climate change is a reality that is increasingly costly and destructive to our economy and country.
  • Finally, religious and social freedoms and equality, and an informed electorate are essential to a successful, stable democracy.

Ignoring such truths eventually undercuts the stability of all, both rich and poor.
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Most Donald Trump supporters do not know/care about his financial failures, his legal difficulties or ethnic hatred. Trump simply empathizes, and assuages them with reassuring flattery and forceful bravado.
The strong, successful long-term marketing of nonsensical ideas has created an electorate that now endangers our democracy in two ways :
  1. By making forceful, unrealistic promises, the GOP party prepped its electorate to be angrily disappointed when GOP failed to deliver.
  2. By emphasizing ideology over ideas, the GOP also encouraged its electorate to rely on ignorant faith rather than the critical thinking crucial to an informed electorate, increasing their gullibility.
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The resulting disaffection with the GOP establishment and spoon-fed gullibility among its electorate has helped Donald Trump gain their support.
Indeed, both factors created the prime conditions for his successful campaign: intense disaffection combined with a faith-based electorate primed to believe in the best marketed candidate, facts be damned. © Provided by The Huffington Post Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster/Salon
Stunningly, the unfolding of this current electoral campaign was predicted 80 years ago in a now little known book.
Disturbed by the rise of the German demagogue Hitler by an angry, disaffected, and gullible electorate, in 1935 Sinclair Lewis wrote "It Can't Happen Here" (read it here). His novel describes a possible scenario of the 1936 US election: a disaffected, uninformed electorate is charmed by an ignorant but savvy demagogue, and eschews his socialist rival, an uncanny avatar of Bernie Sanders. The parallels to the present are incredible.
Luckily, a very different campaign scenario unfolded in the real 1936 presidential election, which Franklin Delano Roosevelt won.
2016-03-11-1457713558-7255554-votingccr242.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-11-1457713558-7255554-votingccr242.jpg True American Heroes: Informed Voters who take the time to base their votes on a critical assessment of candidates' positions, ideas, characters, and experience.
But can Sinclair's scenario unfold this year? In 2016, we can only hope that a majority of thinking, informed, patriotic American voters will rise up on election day and save our democracy from that dark prophecy.

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