Can It Get Any Dirtier?

Can It Get Any Dirtier?

Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

The only thing absent in Republican politics to date would be if the Brown shirts began handling Trump’s security. With the announcement on Friday of his new hatch man, Chris Christie, joining the campaign, Trump really out did himself. The hope is only that come November more and more Americans will recognize how dangerous a Trump victory could be for the nation; assuming no other Republican can still stop his seemingly inevitable march to the nomination.

Christie joining the team came on the day following one of the ugliest nights in American political history. The language, the expletives, the facial sneers, and the downright name calling left the CNN moderator and team totally unable to control the debate. (It made one wince at the thought of what the fall debates will look like.) Thursday’s performance produced two reactions from those watching, either hurrahs or cringes. It was almost as if the Trump fans were ready to go goose-stepping down the street and his detractors were crying real tears.

So serious has the once illusory Trump nomination become that the Republican Party is in total disarray. They have no more saviors; no more old war horses to wheel out since Dubya is an unlikely leader and Romney is a failed one; and Rubio and even Cruz may well become history after Tuesday.  GOP candidates, office holders, and supporters may well we watching the demise of their party; if Trump were to win in November the country.

It should be assumed that Hillary can coast all the way home now following her big and affirming win in South Carolina. She and the Democratic Party, nevertheless, have a lot of work to do as well. If Hillary lays back or reverts to her earlier style of entitlement, there is no question that she could lose an election with Trump. A Clinton victory over Trump cannot occur alone because of the anti-Trump feeling, but because she gives many of her skeptics and detractors a good enough feeling for her that they will not stay home. In addition, she needs to bring the tremendous Sanders vote, who “felt the Bern, back into the Democratic Party even though they feel crushed by the establishment. Young people across the board—who historically are a very low turnout voting bloc–need to feel her effort to reach out to them is genuine. Similarly, the African American voters must be re-energized as they were by Obama and the Latinos must vote. Sanders will need to support her enthusiastically. He in fact could become Hillary’s attack dog.

American politics has a long history of mud-slinging in political campaigns. Trumps threat to the core values, however transcends merely his style. He poses a genuine threat to the country and it is real. Americans may well be tested as to whether they are pledged to democracy or not.                                                                                                   

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