Something seems to be missing from the Republican candidates’ campaign. Wits may figure such things include “dignity”, “good taste”, and “not humiliating your family.” But what’s missing is Christian Values.
Yes we hear talk about Christianity, especially in the realm of finding new ways to screw Syrian refugees and ways to hate Muslims. But there’s not as much talk about Values, morals, principles, etc. The old Holier-Than-Though that we got used to for so many years seems to be gone. The Values talk is secondary or tertiary.
I’ve almost got a bit of nostalgia for the old times. Theres’ just not as many pronouncements on the evils of homosexuality by obvious closet cases (Oh, Lindsey Graham, you could have stayed in). There’s little pretend humility from egomaniacs. There’s much less discussion of Christian Values by rich snobs who don’t care for the poor. You almost miss the “Christian Values” pronouncements, if only for the lost entertainment Value.
I put this on the shoulders of Donald Trump and his campaign.
Trump is about anger and rage. He taps into the anger of people who feel economically disempowered by the elites (despite Trump being one). He taps into the rage people project onto other races and cultures (despite any of his past statements and alliances). Trump has tapped into something ugly and angry and incoherent and easily channeled as it can’t channel itself without a vehicle.
And he’s got a lot of support – from people who felt unsupported.
This isn’t new. The Republican party’s played a dangerous game with religion, money, and anger for years. The party’s cultivated its own alternate media and alternate reality. It embraced conspiracy theories and sensationalism. Trump calls on that heritage without using the religious catchphrases and pretensions that we may have once seen. Others built the system – he learned how to flip the switches and run the machine.
He’s shown us where the party is now, a party where a good chunk is just upset anry people without even paying lip service to some kind of values or morals or principles.
I give Trump a 50% shot at the Republican nomination – and a 90% chance to become a 3rd party if he doesn’t. He won’t go away, but he won’t be president.
But when he’s off to wherever, why should we assume the Republican party will ever talk values as they once did? If they try, how can they in light of having once had so many people support a candidate like Trump?
I think we just witnessed a transition in Republican culture and strategy, but not everyone realizes it.