On July 21, 2016. Donald Trump accepted the nomination of the Republican Party. He promptly gave one of the darkest acceptance speeches that I’ve ever read or heard. There was some debate after Trump clinched the nomination whether the media was complicit in the rise of Trump. This gave undue credence to the media, in my opinion. I think the nomination of Trump was the natural consequence of the Republican Party going down the path that they have gone down since at least 1960. I think a Trumpesque nomination was inevitable and what’s striking is that we’re largely ignoring it while trying to normalize his candidacy. A lot of effort is being used to show that Trump is so far out of the mainstream of the Republican Party that it’s ridiculous that he got nominated. I think he is very far out of the mainstream and I think he is dangerous. But more importantly, the groundwork by the Republican Party over the last 50 years has led me to believe that Trump’s nomination was not a mistake but an inevitability.
Over a series of posts that I think I may be able to stretch out until Election Day (the good Lord willing), we’ll explore various elections and politicians as their work into building Trump as a candidate. Finally, we’ll look at what, if anything can be done to repair the Republican Party and why so many progressives are interested in saving it. The stories and analysis in these posts may be out of order chronologically because I’m working on them as I get the research completed.
Yes, we built it
The title of this series refers to the reaction of the Republican Party to a speech that Barack Obama gave in 2012. Obama gave a speech about how someone helped you get to your success. This wouldn’t normally be controversial. But Obama has become such a polarizing figure (as we’ll explore in greater detail) that anything he says must be distorted and argued against. I don’t think it was the correct choice of words since he didn’t finish his train of thought. I think the context makes it fairly clear what he is saying.
The Republican Party seized on these comments to make it a theme in their convention. When I went to see Barack Obama speak in Iowa in 2012, there were a number of protesters holding signs that said,”we did build that.” Most of this stuff hasn’t left the political lexicon, yet. We can still remember most of this happening, I would hope.
Like Obama’s comments, I don’t think the Republican Party necessarily had to go down this path and they’re not the only ones responsible for it. I think along the way the Democratic Party and the media have contributed to the Republican Party reacting the way that they do. But like Obama said, the success was found with our own individual drive and ambition, the most important contributing factor were individuals within the Republican Party and voters within the party.