Saturday, March 12, 2016


Donald Trump's rally in Chicago yesterday had to be cancelled. The tensions between his supporters and the growing anti-Trump camp had to be contained to avoid nefarious consequences.  Similar occurrences will happen in the future, and the protest rallies will multiply.

This Republican candidate is an arsonist.  His campaign is an anti-intellectual ritual which reminds one of certain events in the '30s in Europe. In playing on the frustrations and alienation of too many, Trump has opened floodgates which  threaten the American party system as a whole and put into question Tocqueville's workings of democracy in America.  Two factors have contributed to this unsavory development. The Republican hatred for the President verges on the paranoid, but unfortunately Obama's own disdain only aggravates the negative factors which propel Trump as forerunner, for now.

It is hard to foresee the future. Trump might play the martyr--a surreal role, given his persona--or he might finally be seen in a less favorable light, given his boisterous, rude response to events.  He acts more and more like the frog in La Fontaine, who aggrandizes himself until he explodes.  The problem is that explosion or not, American politics will pay a price.  If he were to be the Republican nominee, the consequences might be unforeseeable. The Sanders camp might grow incrementally on the Democrats' side. The Dow Jones would catch a cold and the world, foes and allies, would be left gasping.

Far from me to venture into the hagiography which has marked Mrs. Reagan's demise, but one has to admit that the class of yesterday's funeral was infinitesimally superior to Trump's brass aberrations. It was almost embarrassing to try to compare the mourners in the Reagan Library with the brawl in Chicago.  Despite the customary low-calorie attempts for humor under stress (remember "The American Way of Death" by Jessica Mitford?) the memorial service was dignified and the audience representative of a Jamesian/California blend.

"Anyone but Trump" is less a rallying cry than an admission of a general political breakdown.

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