Most Americans realize that candidates, no matter the office, will say anything to get elected to office. This is very evident with the 2016 presidential campaign – especially with Donald Trump.
Trump’s most outrageous statement to-date is calling for a total, but temporary, ban on allowing any Muslim to enter the US of A – which would be patently unconstitutional. But reaction from his supporters is, “Do it!”
Trump is tapping into the phobia – irrational fear – of anyone who happens to be followers of the Islamic faith. It is not unheard tactic in US politics.
George Wallace, in this third party bid in 1968, used it. He garnered 13.53% of the national vote and won five Southern states giving him 45 electoral votes.
But – he lost the general election.
Trump and his supporters should take note.
The rhetoric on the campaign trail can be harsh, can be borderline insanity, but can also cause rifts and scars on the American psyche. The words spoken can pierce to the marrow of the American spirit.
Most Americans surely know by now also that what candidates say and pledge when faced with the reality of governing usually come to naught.
Take for example President Barack Obama, then Senator, vowing to close the military prison at Guantanomo Bay, Cuba. With a year left to be President, Obama has finally admitted Gitmo will not be closed on his watch, if ever.
What one promises on the campaign trail and what one is able to do once in the job often become empty words spoken in the heat of the race.
Should Trump emerge as the Republican nominee to run for President in 2016, if history is an indicator, the GOP will hand the keys to the White House to the Democrats in an unprecedented outcome.
Should Trump defy history and be elected, he will learn quickly as did Obama, that being President and running for President are worlds apart.
From the Cornfield, while I strongly denounce much of what Trump has said, I also know that the institution of the Presidency will and can survive even a Donald Trump. It has survived and will survive a Barack Obama.