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We Need to Talk About Donald

Let's not elect this dude
Let’s not elect this guy to anything

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In July, The Huffington Post puckishly announced that it would put its coverage of Republican presidential wannabe Donald Trump in its “entertainment” section, because, for all the noise he was making, they considered his campaign little more than a “sideshow.”

Yesterday, in the wake of Trump’s alarming call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” Arianna Huffington reversed that decision, declaring that she was “no longer entertained” by Trump’s campaign, which has “morphed into … an ugly and dangerous force in American politics.”

Huffington is not the only one who’s taking the threat of Trump more seriously these days, and for good reason. I find myself wondering, quite seriously: is this how Fascism in the US will begin?

And I don’t think I’m Godwinning myself here. While Trump isn’t a true fascist ideologue, I don’t think, there are definitely fascistic elements to his campaign, and to his popular appeal; it’s not for nothing that the neo-Nazis I sometimes write about on this blog are almost to a man big Trump fans. Indeed, the rather frighteningly popular Daily Stormer — a site that gets far more traffic than any manosphere blog — responded to Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration thusly:

Islam – 0/5 would not allow.

Get all of these monkeys the hell out of our country – now!

Heil Donald Trump – THE ULTIMATE SAVIOR.

While all this is a little bit outside the purview of this blog, I thought I would share some of what I’ve been reading about Trump and his relationship to the “f word” and open up a discussion on the subject. Because this guy isn’t going away any time soon.

Donald Trump Is a Fascist

In Slate, Jamelle Bouie, drawing from a classic Umberto Eco essay on the essence of fascism, argues that the f-word “is the political label that best describes what the GOP front-runner has become.”

Donald Trump May Not Be a Fascist, But He is Leading Us Merrily Down That Path

In a long and thoughtful post examining the fascistic elements of Trump’s campaign, investigative journalist and long-time right-wing watcher David Neiwert argues that

Donald Trump may not be a fascist, but his vicious brand of right-wing populism is not just empowering the latent fascist elements in America, he is leading a whole nation of followers merrily down a path that leads directly to fascism. 

This is an absolutely essential read, filled with links that help to put Trump’s campaign in a broader perspective.

It’s not just Trump: Islamophobia in America is spiraling out of control

In a long and chilling post on Vox, Max Fischer chronicles the recent spread of Islamophobia in the US, arguing that

Trump is just the tip of an iceberg that runs much deeper than many Americans would like to believe. America’s climate of anti-Muslim hatred and fear, a form of bigotry known as Islamophobia, is rampaging out of control. And it has very real and legitimately scary implications for the millions of Americans who follow Islam.

95,000 Words, Many of Them Ominous, From Donald Trump’s Tongue

Two New York Times writers, with the help of several academics, analyse a week’s worth of public utterances from Trump to understand the patterns in his demagoguery.

Donald Trump is the Gamergate of Republican politics

An interesting comparison from the Washington Post’s Alyssa Rosenberg.

18 Real Things Donald Trump Has Actually Said About Women

To return to the main theme of this blog, a little collection of some of Trump’s more misogynistic quotes.

Discuss.

 

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Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 years ago

Trump is dangerous. As a frenchmen, I can’t say he is the worse politic men out there, but he is one of the bozo who is dangerously close both to nuclear weapons, to another war, and to the end of human right as a concept.

And sorry if I used a clownist insult.

lightcastle
lightcastle
4 years ago

The Neiwert piece is excellent. I used to read Orcinus regularly back in the early Bush years (I drifted away over time) and his understanding of the history of right wing extremism and fascist movements is deep.

Shinobi
Shinobi
4 years ago

I can’t believe that the right wing is letting this opportunity to call something Unconstitutional pass them by. Because everything he is proposing about muslims is just that.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

Oh hey, I love that Umberto Eco piece.

I just love Eco generally, in fact.

KathleenB
KathleenB
4 years ago

My sister said that she would happily vote for Trump if he is ‘willing to do what it takes’ – meaning kill civilians who have anything to do with DAESH. I think she just found her candidate, and I just found a reason to keep holiday visits SHORT. I cannot believe that I’m related to her!

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

@Ohlmann: My condolences on the recent elections in your country. My young lady is French and she’s despondent about it.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

I was about to pen a fantastic commentary on the dangers of writing Trump off as a joke who’ll never actually be selected; because of his effect on the tone of the campaign as a whole and the shifting of the debate, then I noticed someone in The Guardian had already done that….

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/08/donald-trump-bans-muslims-us-comment-bigotry-racism-isis

My version would have had fewer ads

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 years ago

@EJ : yes, the result is frightening, as is the left-wing policy after the 13th november.

It’s really the same thing as Trump : lite fascism that seduce people. I do hope France won’t become the new 1939 Germany. Nor America for that matter. I guess the good news for the USA is that the democrat aren’t completely destroyed by their politic yet.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 years ago

I meant the left-wing party policy. Which is, for thoses who didn’t heard of it, saying shit like “coud we please suspend human right ?” to try to dogwhistle the far right people.

Matchstick
Matchstick
4 years ago

Absolutely terrifying story, but at least the notifications of stories on the new site is working now.

Not much of a positive I agree, but frankly after reading that ^ I’ll take what I can get…

guy
guy
4 years ago

Honestly, once Trump began calling for monitoring a Semitic minority as a threat to national security I became completely comfortable with outright calling him a Nazi. I mean, he’s not calling for their extermination, but Hitler took a while to work up to that and Trump hasn’t been elected yet.

davidknewton
4 years ago

From the nine years I’ve spent in America, I’ve seen that Americans (particularly conservatives) exaggerate the slightest things – describing health care as socialism/communism, the merest hint of gun control as how the Nazis got started, and so on.

Which leaves no room to move when something happens that IS how the Nazis got started! Even though there’s no way that this laughably obvious wig with an idiot hanging off it will win the election, his presence has been an absolute gift to the racist population, and awoken an even more frightening side of America than ever before. From their point of view, he’s saying what other politicians are afraid to – while in reality, other politicians don’t say what he says because it’s (a) wrong, and (b) stupid.

Lisa C
Lisa C
4 years ago

Has anyone read this article?

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/12/donald-trump-just-called-complete-shutdown-muslim-immigration

In light of the awful things that Trump said against women, I find it all the more appalling that one of his arguments favoring the shutdown of Muslim immigration is harm against women.

msexceptiontotherule
msexceptiontotherule
4 years ago

Trump is a perfect example of why I vote: I know I only count as one person, but abstaining out of apathy or feeling like ‘one vote won’t do anything’ adds up the more people give in to that kind of thinking, and I don’t want to have someone like Trump in charge. That and if one doesn’t vote they have no right to complain if everything goes to hell in a hand basket, if they wanted differently then maybe they should have voted, that would indicate they at least *tried*.

Johanna Roberts
Johanna Roberts
4 years ago

Wow, the comment thing really changed here.

Any one else completely stop getting email updates when the Mammoth plods on? I had to resub.

That being said, The Donald needs to stop. It wasn’t funny when it started and it def isn’t funny now. Just racist, sexist and scary as all hell.

Nequam
Nequam
4 years ago

I think he’s fascist, but less Hitler and more Mussolini.

http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–RzhpXr-7–/qsbjwxtckur3wfdwyqeb.gif

And I say that not JUST because “Il Douche” is a perfect nickname for him.

[Well foofies– why won’t that image inline?]

maistrechat
4 years ago

What’s more frightening to me than Trump’s rhetoric and expressed opinions is the number of people who seem to think that they’re correct.

It reminds me of the way the right talks about gun control. “If you take away the guns from the good guys then only bad guys will have guns”. Trump and his supporters seemed so invested in dichotomous thinking that everyone who overlaps with an a priori “bad guy” must be a bad guy too.

How many times can we repost that Mitchell and Webb “Are we the baddies?” clip and have it still be relevant?

@Johanna Roberts
I had to resub too.

ETA:

I can’t subscribe to comments anymore. When I post a comment with “subscribe to comments” checked I get an e-mail asking for confirmation. When I hit “confirm” I get an error message and nothing happens.

RosaDeLava
RosaDeLava
4 years ago

If Im not mistaken, someone mentioned a while back that several countries (The US among them) are going through a “phase” (I don’t remember the exact words, but I guess this term would be appropriate) in which conservatism becomes more popular. (And this is a bit unrelated, but they didn’t mention my country, and I’d like to add that Brazil is going through something similar).

The extreme right-wing movments seem to be gaining traction lately, and I’d wager it’s an attempt to push back social change (especially since this is being discussed more openly and by all sorts of people), and Trump’s campaign not being treated as a joke is, I think, a reflection of this phenomenon.
I think it shows that social changes are happening in a measurable way, which is great, but depending on the reaction of the populace, we can expect some regression…

I’m not sure if I’m making any sense, but that’s ok, since I’ll be hanging out in moderation for a while!

Bob Dole
Bob Dole
4 years ago

It’s worth noting that the libertarians seem to be skeptical of Trump; with his neo-mercantilism and super-restrictive border policy, why wouldn’t they?

Even putting aside the aspects that are usually referred to when discussing fascism, Trump’s idea of improving the American economy does appear dangerously close to the economic ideals that Mussolini said defined fascism.

Republicans turning on the free market, whoda thunk it?

Miss Andry
4 years ago

Dark Enlightenment types seem to adore him. Especially after his speech to that group of Jewish Republicans. Folks on /pol/ think he’s their Fuhrer.

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
4 years ago

Lisa C,
Right wingers love to do that. They don’t care about women but will invoke feminism to justify Islamophobia. They don’t care about black movies but will invoke racism to sell the idea that abortion is something white people are doing as a black genocide. They only care about the oppression of one group when they can use it justify oppressing another.

It sickens me.

Film Runner
Film Runner
4 years ago

Does anyone know if Trump actually believes he could ban Muslims from the US, or if he’s just bullshitting to gain votes?

DreadFluffyRises
DreadFluffyRises
4 years ago

The worst part about Trump is he probably personally believes less than half of what he’s saying, but he’s so wound up in the idea of his personal power that he’d say anything to anyone with no filter just to reinforce it. When he loses Iowa, he’s going to go full brownshirt, I can feel it.

Christine
Christine
4 years ago

It’s getting scary, and it’s not just America.

I am from Canada, and our last election, the old prime minister who was defeated ran his campaign based on Islamophobia. Glad we voted it out, but he knew he could use that to drum out a few votes… and the damage is done, Islamophobia is rampant in Canadian politics now. Analysts say that if the election happened after the Paris attacks, the old guy probably would have been re-elected.

In Europe, the far-right is rising, and they just won an election in France.

I have a feeling we are going to head to a large war soon.

lightcastle
lightcastle
4 years ago

DreadFluffyRises, that’s the question I have. About the only thing really missing (besides the fact he doesn’t really seem to be too invested in the ideology, he just wants attention) is the organized violence. Sure, there has been violence at his events, and he’s sort of encouraged it tacitly, but we don’t really yet have your paramilitary squads and the like. We don’t have the brownshirts actively working to support him violently.

Not yet.

guy
guy
4 years ago
Reply to  Film Runner

Does anyone know if Trump actually believes he could ban Muslims from the US, or if he’s just bullshitting to gain votes?

I’m torn. I’m pretty sure he’s aware that banning Muslims from the US would violate the First Amendment, but it’s entirely possible he intends to do so anyway and thinks he can rally enough popular support to pull it off regardless of what the law says. Until this past month I would have thought that would be impossible; I still do but I’m not as certain as I had been. I mean, I’d have thought he’d suffer a collapse of support when he openly proposed a Muslim registry and couldn’t explain how that differed from Hitler registering the Jews, but he’s just kept going. He’s so far past where I thought the line of things you could get more than 1-2% of the population to openly support was that I’m no longer willing to predict what constitutes going too far.

guy
guy
4 years ago

Issue with comments: If you click “reply” in the subscription email, it’ll put the new comment directly after the comment you’re replying to rather than in chronological order.

mockingbird
mockingbird
4 years ago

Even though there’s no way that this laughably obvious wig with an idiot hanging off it will win the election,

I just don’t know.

I was alarmed back in the early summer when it appeared that people were taking him somewhat seriously, but all of my friends said, “Oh, he’s just a joke! He’ll never gain traction.”

And here we are now.

There are way too many people out there who either (a) agree with everything he says or (b) agree with only some of what he says but like “his style” (and only kinda-sorta disagree with some of his other stances…like, they might not directly advocate for them, but they’d let them happen).

There are a number of individuals who I…well, who I at least didn’t think we’re raging idiots who earnestly support Trump.

It’s been a disappointing few months.

mockingbird
mockingbird
4 years ago

re: Godwin-ing: That’s what my husband’s said, too.

“I know it’s cliché to compare someone to Hitler, but he’s actually acting like a Nazi.”

Mike
Mike
4 years ago

I wanted to ditto what davidknewton said and also add: I think the danger with Trump isn’t that he’ll reach elected office (it’s possible, but I doubt it), but that he’s moving America’s discursive center further and further to the right. Like, many (hopefully most?) people find it ridiculous to suggest that Muslim American citizens who travel abroad should be barred from coming back home, as Trump has suggested. But maybe in a few years, when a mainstream politician suggests that we should simply bar all Muslims who aren’t citizens from entering the country, it’ll feel much more palatable to the public at large.

Also worth noting that Trump’s die-hard supporters aren’t just white supremacists and neo-Nazis, but also ISIS/Daesh supporters and their ilk. Daesh, Nazis, and Trump are all united in their desire to see a stark dividing line drawn between Muslims and the western world.

bluecat
bluecat
4 years ago

This from Michael Rosen seems apt.

Fascism: I sometimes fear…

“I sometimes fear that
people think that fascism arrives in fancy dress
worn by grotesques and monsters
as played out in endless re-runs of the Nazis.

Fascism arrives as your friend.
It will restore your honour,
make you feel proud,
protect your house,
give you a job,
clean up the neighbourhood,
remind you of how great you once were,
clear out the venal and the corrupt,
remove anything you feel is unlike you…

It doesn’t walk in saying,
“Our programme means militias, mass imprisonments, transportations, war and persecution.”

http://michaelrosenblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/fascism-i-sometimes-fear.html

guy
guy
4 years ago

I really didn’t think Trump would still be under serious consideration as a primary candidate in September back when the first debate happened. I figured he was just in it to look like a sufficiently serious threat as an independent that the GOP would toss him a billion dollars to shut up and go away.

I’m now in the camp that we can’t really afford to dismiss him as a joke or assume he can’t possibly win. He’s kept his streak going far longer than anyone thought possible already. I still think that as the other Republican candidates drop out, their supporters will largely rally behind people who aren’t Trump and the consensus establishment candidate will win, and if that doesn’t happen he’ll lose in the general, but he’s proven that he can’t be dismissed lightly.

Nequam
Nequam
4 years ago
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his pronouns)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his pronouns)
4 years ago

I can’t believe that the right wing is letting this opportunity to call something Unconstitutional pass them by. Because everything he is proposing about muslims is just that.

Ah, but you see, the Constitution is for Americans, you know, white, able-bodied, neurotypical, middle-upper class, christian conservatives.

I mean, Muslims aren’t even people to these assholes, but some strange, foreign force. Obviously that isn’t protected by the Constitution. :/

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his pronouns)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his pronouns)
4 years ago

Also, I just wanna ask, do you guys remember all those months ago when I started freaking out about Donald Trump running for president and ya’ll dismissed it?

Yeah.

YEAH.

I think maybe now I wasn’t overreacting, for some reason. ಠ_ಠ

Vanir85
Vanir85
4 years ago

It’s weird watching a nation-spanning hate-mob at work. And the mob is the real issue; DT, himself, would be just another right-wing opportunist if he didn’t have whatever “mojo” it is that gets him so much support.

Problem is; we’re getting close to a no-win scenario – it will be absolutely disaster if he wins… obviously. An “alfa-male” manchild stomping all over the american constitution to carry out a fascist, racist, bigoted, agenda. But if he looses, many of his followers might become violent. As in; *really* violent.

There is no good ending, here, only a lesser evil.

The whole thing is almost absurd. Like a comic book plot where hypertime something-something causes 1935-1940 Germany to resonate with the modern US. With contemporary people just sliding into the role of monsters we though long since defeated.

Nequam
Nequam
4 years ago

The whole thing is almost absurd. Like a comic book plot where hypertime something-something causes 1935-1940 Germany to resonate with the modern US.

Well, it’s not as if the US didn’t resonate with Nazi Germany:
http://www.cracked.com/article_23252_5-awful-ways-america-influenced-hitler-without-knowing-it.html

PinkiSyddyKitty
PinkiSyddyKitty
4 years ago

If Im not mistaken, someone mentioned a while back that several countries (The US among them) are going through a “phase” (I don’t remember the exact words, but I guess this term would be appropriate) in which conservatism becomes more popular. (And this is a bit unrelated, but they didn’t mention my country, and I’d like to add that Brazil is going through something similar).

The extreme right-wing movments seem to be gaining traction lately, and I’d wager it’s an attempt to push back social change (especially since this is being discussed more openly and by all sorts of people), and Trump’s campaign not being treated as a joke is, I think, a reflection of this phenomenon.
I think it shows that social changes are happening in a measurable way, which is great, but depending on the reaction of the populace, we can expect some regression…

I’m not sure if I’m making any sense, but that’s ok, since I’ll be hanging out in moderation for a while!

RosaDeLava;
I agree, though I do try to see the silver lining. The reason all this wingnutty insanity is popping up is because progressive values are being accepted more and more and the regressives HATE it. The fact that the wingnuts are on the warpath is a sign that Progressivism and Liberalism is working.

I also feel that more progressive voices need to speak louder, tell people not to give in to their fears (and hand over their freedom to fascists). Getting people to be so scared witless enough to hand over the government to wingnuts is the oldest trick in the totalitarian ruler’s playbook. People need to stop falling for it.

Regardless of the upswing in wingnuttery, I know the majority is still sane. Sane people need to vote a lot more. Voter-apathy is the worst thing ever! Hopefully, in 2016, seeing that it’s a Presidential election year, sane Americans will do their darndest to hit the polls in droves.

Who knows? Trump might even be an asset to the progressives. Seeing his insanity and the general insanity of other GOPers might be a huge motivator for non-wingnuts to vote more than usual.

Non-Islamophobes need to speak out and educate the public about what real Islam is and that what “Islamists” follow is not legit Islam, but Wahhabism. Wahhabism is the enemy, not Islam. We in the West need to reach out to and embrace our Muslim citizens.

I feel bad for France. I hope they come to their senses. I’d hate to think such a progressive, secular nation would just hand over their country to fascists like that. Maybe they have voter-apathy issues as well. Maybe sane French people will work harder to take their country back from the fascists. They also need to learn about and accept their Muslim citizens.

Regardless what happens, I feel it’s just the growing pains before a new and better, more progressive world. Sometimes Gaia needs to purify herself every so often. Sometimes it takes a crisis for humanity to wake up.

It is also a great pleasure to be here and I hope to be a regular commenter. I like this website and think it’s awesome.

Wetherby
Wetherby
4 years ago

His comments about my native London are so demonstrably untrue that they compelled the Metropolitan Police to issue a rare public statement:

We would not normally dignify such comments with a response, however on this occasion we think it’s important to state to Londoners that Mr Trump could not be more wrong. Any candidate for the Presidential election in the United States of America is welcome to receive a briefing from the Met Police on the reality of policing London.

…and the Prime Minister’s office added:

For the second time today, we have to completely disagree with Mr Trump. His comments are totally inaccurate.

…and London Mayor Boris Johnson said:

As a city where more than 300 languages are spoken, London has a proud history of tolerance and diversity and to suggest there are areas where police officers cannot go because of radicalisation is simply ridiculous. I would welcome the opportunity to show Mr Trump first hand some of the excellent work our police officers do every day in local neighbourhoods throughout our city. Crime has been falling steadily both in London and in New York – and the only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.

It’s worth noting that the last two identify as conservative politicians, who are as keen to distance themselves from him as are the more moderate Republican candidates.

PinkiSyddyKitty
PinkiSyddyKitty
4 years ago
Reply to  Wetherby

When other conservatives think a right-winger is nuts, that means something.

I commend the fine people of London.

guy
guy
4 years ago

I think some of this is the Super PACs coming back to bite the Republicans; it’s given them an electoral advantage but severely weakened the central party’s control over the individual candidates.

For foreign readers, Super PACs are a fairly new thing in US politics. The US has election laws significantly restricting political contributions by individuals or corporations; direct contributions are limited to $2,600 to an individual candidate, with somewhat higher limits for contributions to parties or Political Action Committees, but still fairly limited. This generally meant that a lot of funding went to the central party committees and they spent it on individual candidates who looked promising.

However, in 2010 SCOTUS ruled that restricting spending on political advertisement by organizations not affiliated with a campaign violated the First Amendment. This created what are known as Super PACs, which are completely exempt from contribution restrictions but are banned from actually coordinating with the candidate. There have been quite a few accusations of violating that ban. The Republicans went in big for using it, the Democrats have spoken out against the concept but have largely said that right now it’s legal and is simply too tactically valuable to refuse to use as a matter of principle.

Anyways, this means that a small number of wealthy people may effectively fund major campaigns independently, so they don’t need support from the party committees. So there’s now a strong element of the party that tends to be backed by Super PACs and doesn’t listen to the central leadership.

It’s ironically also been providing evidence that money doesn’t seem to have as much impact on elections as we used to think; now that people don’t need broad popular support to raise a ton of money high campaign spending is suddenly much less correlated with election outcomes.

Wetherby
Wetherby
4 years ago

Not sure whether this counts as brainbleach, but #TrumpFacts on Twitter is good for a laugh right now.

Snork Maiden
4 years ago

I stopped finding Trump funny a few months ago. Now I keep thinking of that scene from The Dead Zone:

nparker
nparker
4 years ago

I was just reading BBC News, and I saw a list of prominent US Politicians and their reactions- Hilary Clinton says Trump’s comments are ‘prejudiced and divisive.’ Chris Christie says they are a ‘ridiculous position.’ Marcio Rubio says they are ‘offensive and outlandish.’ Even Kasich says they are ‘outrageous divisiveness.’ Ted Cruz, on the other hand, simply says they are… ‘not my policy.’ Really, Cruz? Really?

@ Wetherby
That comment from Boris Johnson is hilarious, not to mention a complete crushing of Trump’s lies! I laughed a lot. I’d rather not go anywhere there’s the slightest chance of meeting Trump…

Walter
Walter
4 years ago

The right has been crazy for a decade. It’s not surprising that they would want Trump.

msexceptiontotherule
msexceptiontotherule
4 years ago

There may be parts of London where the more modest of income cannot AFFORD to go (and live) but Trump should quit talking about other cities and countries if he can’t do it without sounding like he’s never traveled beyond the city limits of someplace like Odessa, Texas or Fargo, North Dakota. (And like he has a tv that only gets Faux News channel.)

ColeYote
ColeYote
4 years ago

I’ve never been a fan of the Republican party at the best of times, but this election cycle’s just been disgusting me. Their frontrunners are a borderline fascist who can’t go two days without saying one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard, a creationist who can’t go two days without lying or getting something simple wrong, and a Canadian who can’t go two days without befriending someone who wants to make homosexuality a death penalty offence. It’s a race to the bottom to see who can be the biggest bigoted loudmouthed idiot, and they’re not showing any signs of slowing down. And half the country still supports this party.

dlouwe
dlouwe
4 years ago

@Walter

Calling people “crazy” is not okay. This is very clearly outlined in the comments policy.

C.S.Strowbridge
C.S.Strowbridge
4 years ago

Cruz was ahead of Trump in a Iowa pull, which is good news, as once Trump starts losing, he will not act gracefully and that will alienate independents even further. Unfortunately for the GOP, the people most likely to vote are the … how to put this … less stable members of the party. The ones who will beat up a homeless person, or as Trump called it, “Passionate”.

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