Saturday, March 12, 2016


Interesting times.

There's plenty enough blame to go around. A Party (A) that demonizes it's opponents and encourages - and justifies - a culture of violence and intimidation backed up by a mass media that enables and condones the worst behavior of it's constituents and engages in the same hateful rhetoric as the worst actors of Party A.

Another Party (B) that has engaged in enabling some aspects of the Party A's agenda and, if not condoning, at least keeping silent in the face of Party A's hateful rhetoric and violent tactics, all while helping to demonize a good chunk of it's own base and working to ensure that there is no outlet for legitimate expression within Party B.

A portion of the electorate that is marginalized and represented, really, by neither major party; frustrated and angry.

A campaign that engages in "forceful" rhetoric attracts these people who are justifiably, IMO, angry and are in no small part ready to return fire for treatment they've had to endure.

Does Trump's rhetoric incite? Not directly. No. Some of the people who have been attracted to Trump's campaign are involved in the process this time only because of Trump's clear and forceful calls for what needs to be done and his breach of the "PC" etiquette that has kept people from even being able to talk about problems that are obvious, except among themselves. Yes they're angry, and angry people do what angry people do, which is to lash out at the people who have done violence - literally and figuratively - to them.

I understand it and I sympathize. Moreover, it's something that needs to happen.

Cruz gets this half right; the rhetoric is part of the problem. The tone of Trump's campaign has attracted and encouraged the angry and marginalized and disenfranchised. I'm not sure if Trump himself understands the tiger he is riding. That the tiger exists isn't on Trump.

Cruz's constituency and Trump's are two heads of the same coin. Principled, religious - and not so religious - constitutionalists have been a political outgroup for more than a century. They've attached themselves to one candidate or another from Party B and have made minor inroads and influenced Party B's rhetoric, if not much more. Party B's leadership have little more than disdain for them, and barely even try to disguise it. It's entire election strategy this cycle has been to marginalize and inoculate the process from constitutionalists while saying just enough nice things about us and Trump's supporters to keep us on the reservation come election day.

Cruz's own supporters aren't any happier about where they are than Trump's, but they've been trying to make change from the inside, and that's right and necessary and so far futile. Sure, a small win here and there, but no meaningful change as the people they manage to elect routinely sell them out.
I'm cynical enough to believe that Trump will revert to form. He's part of the establishment and always has been. His supporters are due for a huge letdown; I'd like to be wrong. I've not been wrong very often. I'm hopeful that Cruz will do as he says he will do. He has a track record of pretty much exactly that; it's the only reason I support him.

I'm realistic enough to know that, ideally, we need Cruz's supporters and Trump's supporters together because we are all in the same book, if not on the same page. The time is coming, faster than you think, where we will either have to stand or fall together. All of us, whether we support Cruz or Trump, are considered enemies by a good chunk of our countrymen.

The want to villify us for what we think. They want prosecute us for what we say. They cheer as our peaceful protestors, or those of us who just wish to be left alone, are harassed or killed. They work against our best interests and against the country's best interests. They hate us.

Well, guess what? The feeling is mutual.

I don't want to see what's coming. But it comes nonetheless.

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