How 'bout we just put the whole post below the fold.
Steven has a post that deserves reading (though comments there are now closed). He pretty much nails a lot of the reason that Trump is getting so much support...the base has been lied to and betrayed. They are sick of being talked down to and by golly they are going to pick the guy that pisses off their establishments shivs the most. This is a solid and largely accurate assessment of the situation.
Where the analysis falls down is in assuming that Trump is a viable and even defensible outlet for this frustration.
Pointing out that Trump eluded military service (like so many of his fellow rich kids) is not a smear. It is an important thing to know about the character of someone who would lead our troops. The use of H1b Visas to hire foreign workers is indeed an innovation that gets around an issue that has been dogging American businesses for 151 years. That issue is the 13th amendment...you see if one hires an American, said American can report maltreatment, negotiate a higher raise or quit, walk down the street and find work elsewhere. With the H1b visa, the employee can.....well, if they give any lip the company (which is their sponsor for visa purposes) will just renounce their sponsorship and get them deported...hiring someone else equally desperate. This is the crux of Trump's appeal to the people who have been shived by the Republican leadership on this issue. The reports of his abuse of the program proves him to be quite sympathetic to those he claims to oppose. The conviction he got for using actual illegal immigrants to build Trump Tower is rather more damming. More damming still...his harassment of Veterans who had the temerity to set op shop within sight of his lovely edifice..
The fact that he supports imminent domain on behalf of private businesses (beyond a VERY narrow applications for things like utilities) should be a categorical disqiualifier.
The fact that Mr. Trump will be standing trial for FRAUD in July should raise concerns about how having a courtroom as a campaign headquarters will affect his ability to electioneer effectively. If one has scruples then it should raise all manner of other concerns.
The fact that he's a jerk, a bully and a thug should be disqualifies in any event, but to a large contingent of people, their fully justified anger at their situation and their sanctimonious overlords has overwhelmed their judgement. They have been betrayed, or not served by the Republicans too many times and they have shifted from a reform movement to a FUCK YOU ALL movement.
Jacksonianism is a dark undercurrent of american politics. It is a miasma of resentments and notions of entitlements that bursts forth from time to time. It tends to ignore the rule of law. Andrew Jackson ignored a Supreme Court decision...that the Cherokee had a right under the constitution to their land and were entitled to be admitted as a state...in order to placate his own bigotry and a constituency that felt (rightly) that they were getting a raw deal....with the land of people who were enthusiastically trying to join the U.S.A....the result was a million 4,000 dead indians and a terrible precedent as they were forcibly moved elsewhere. In other times, it manifests itself as strange fruit adorning southern trees, which in turn reminds one that the lovable Mr. Trump should REALLY know to denounce David Duke.
Trump represents the breakdown of faith in society and the rule of law...and that tears at the fabric of the republic. That the rage his followers feel towards their self appointed aristocratic tormentors is justified...that the establishments diffidence and perfidy towards them are the cause of this mess does not make their decision any less dreadful.
The most frustrating thing about this?
There is someone the establishment hates even more than Trump...who is completely unwilling to discard the constitution and indeed has spent his entire carreer going to great lengths defending it... with considerable success .
Here is the best endorsement I could find for that fellow:
Like all humans, Cruz is imperfect, he's more of a so-con than even I like and his lack of executive experience is a point of concern. However, he is by far the best constitutional conservative in the race. He is a rock solid defender of the first amendment and religious freedom. Additionally, in a stark break from much of today's politics, he also uses reason and facts to persuade....
...as opposed to bullying, threats and tantrums.
Tomorrow promises to be a very consequential day in the history of this great nation. We might react to the pernicious influence of lobbyists on our politician by cutting out the middleman and putting a lobbyist in charge so we can get our suck wholesale and in bulk. This would finally eliminate the back and forth between the stupid party and the evil party by putting them both firmly on the same page.
Or we might...perhaps...continue to strive for reform of this great experiment in human governance.
Tomorrow night may well determine which way we go.
Ted Cruz is my choice tomorrow, but I would say that even though everything you've said is accurate, Donald would still be better for this Republic than Rubio or Jeb would have been, much less Hillary or Bernie. Kasich is unhinged and Carson, who would make a solid cabinet secretary, is not a good fit for the top job.
It really is pathetic what our political class has become.
Posted by: StargazerA5 at Mon Feb 29 23:27:39 2016 (5YSpE)
Will vote for Cruz. I would take Trump over Hillary, but if the Democrat candidate is Bernie that would be a tempting option. A Sanders Presidency, I suspect, would be nothing but screaming, gridlock and vetoes.
Posted by: Ben at Mon Feb 29 23:43:15 2016 (DRaH+)
As it stands right now, I'm casting a write-in vote for my toenail fungus for President. Maybe not a lot of personality, but at least you know where it stands.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Tue Mar 1 01:04:17 2016 (KiM/Y)
The body-count from that Jackson refusal to enforce a Supreme Court decision is off by about four orders of magnitude - there weren't a million Indians east of the Mississippi in the 1820s, let alone Cherokee. Not that it made Jackson any more of a principled man for refusing to do his constitutional duty, but facts are important...
Which is why Donald Trump would be an utter catastrophe for the party and the nation, in that chronological order. I will *not* vote for that man, I'll vote Libertarian or Constitutional Party first. (There is still a Constitutional Party, isn't there?) He lies like he breathes, he's an aspirational Mussolini, a practitioner of frauds, a buyer of politicians, a pimp, a serial bankrupt, adulterer, and a generally vile man.
Posted by: Mitch H. at Tue Mar 1 14:19:39 2016 (jwKxK)
Deaths seem to have been in the vicinity of 4,000 or so for the Cherokee alone, and may have approached 10,000 for the whole of Jackson's administration (though that may be a tad high). Still, it was a horrific crime that set terrible precedents.
Yeah, as I said, Cruz is where I went. My problem is that the base keeps looking for a damn savior, and there's no such thing. It's a recipe for a demagogue, and it looks like we're going to get one...