So that’s it then. Following his big win in Indiana it looks like Trump will be the GOP nominee. The big news of the night was Ted Cruz dropping out, rightfully so, but conspicuously absent from any news coverage I could see was any mention at all of John Kasich. Like seriously, ever since the race thinned out Kasich was treated like Voldemort by the media. Dare not speak his name, lest the unspeakable Terrors be awakened. Of course now it’s safe to talk about him, now that’s he’s gone, but before the most you’d hear is just what a kook he was, how delusional to think he’d ever be president. Fair enough, it’d been apparent for a long time that he’d never win, but that wasn’t the point. Or rather that was exactly the point. John Kasich was a hero. Fighting a fight you know you’re going to lose, but continuing to fight because you believe it’s the right thing to do is something admirable, at least in this situation. Because, really, Donald Trump is an asshole and I don’t understand a world where the one person who saw their country going in a Trumpward direction and decided to fight back is mocked instead of praised. Ted Cruz doesn’t count because in any other year he’d be the outsider asshole, but he was out-assholed this time around.
It’s weird to see. One by one Trump has been able to win over actual, serious, real politicians to his cause and every single time it hasn’t seemed real. It feels like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, watching the world around you get won over by a snake oil salesman; like seeing all of your friends, one by one, fall for a pyramid scheme and do everything in their power to convince you that you’re the one who’s wrong, that you’ll all be rich together and that everything will be amazing. And I’m not talking about his policy, not really. I know many opponents like to dwell on two things: he’s vulgar and he has no plan. Vulgar, fine, maybe, but that’s not a huge deal. And in terms of policy, he does technically have something. It might not be the most thought out, he might not understand the details of it, but it does exist and when he speaks about it he goes into about as much detail as any other candidate.
No, the real issue with Trump is what he represents and what he’s actually doing, has already done, without even needing the nomination of his party, let alone the presidency. Trump has lowered the dialogue of the entire country. Maybe it was a long time coming, but watch the news now and you’ll see more and more people are starting to talk like Trump. They’re speaking in those same stunted, empty sentences he uses, relying on his trademark “witty” turns of phrase, going from analysts of actual facts to soulless, and angry, marketing machines. Say what you will about Trump’s “outsider” status, his clean hands politically, he’s absolutely filthy in his grip on the media and use of marketing tactics to win over votes. Clinton might get called out for sounding overly focus-grouped, but Trump is a man who prides himself on branding. I don’t know when the world decided to roll over and worship the businessman and the advertisement, and the businessman’s advertisements for himself, but that’s where we seem to be at this point. It’ll probably take years to figure out how it happened.
I didn’t like Kasich as a politician, I agreed with basically none of his policy, but I respected him. Because someone had to take a stand against their party being hijacked by extremists and someone, apparently, had to be laughed at for taking the stance that Donald Trump is a bad choice for president. Because here’s the thing: the narrative so far has been that Trump’s support comes from the disenfranchised “quiet majority”, the citizens who feel like their voices aren’t being heard in Washington. Disillusioned because they don’t have a choice. Fine, that’s fair, the political system is elitist and yea, corrupt too. But look at what this attitude has left in its wake, and just stop for a second and forget the last year in GOP politics. Wipe your brain clean of Trump’s brand job and remember what his name used to mean. Bad hair, reality show jerk, shaky-at-best businessman, guy who gets in national fights with Rosie O’Donnell. Now the choice is between that man and Hillary Clinton, who many see as THE problem. There’s no way this isn’t going to be ugly and there’s no way voters won’t lose faith in their system. If people weren’t disillusioned enough over the joke that politics has become just wait for 4 years from now.