Will the Country Really Go Along with the Alabamification of America? –
By Glynn Wilson –
Mainstream news organizations, conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats alike keep trying to make an issue of the fact that Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump refuses to release his tax returns.
Do they simply do not realize that antipathy toward even paying taxes is exactly why libertarian independents and working class Republicans whole-heartedly support Trump’s candidacy in the first place?
Trump’s last public tax filings show he paid no federal income taxes by taking advantage of a break often used by developers, according to The Washington Post.
A 1981 report by New Jersey gambling regulators, apparently the last time Trump’s returns were made public, said the real estate tycoon claimed that his total income for 1978 and 1979 was negative $3.8 million, so he didn’t owe taxes, the Post reported.
So far he has refused to release his tax returns, saying he won’t until the IRS completes an audit. The IRS has said that there is nothing that prevents someone from releasing their own tax information when they are being audited, according to The Hill newspaper’s website.
Trump also says there’s “nothing to learn” from the filings, according to The Hill and other news outlets. But that has not stopped politicians and pundits on both sides from calling for their release.
Mitt Romney, the Republicans nominee in 2012, has said it’s “disqualifying” for the businessman not to release his returns and that there must be a “bombshell” in them.
Hillary Clinton has repeatedly attacked Trump for refusing to release his returns. She made more than 30 years of hers public. Her campaign recently released a web video suggesting Trump could be hiding something. Could it be that he’s not as rich as he claims? Maybe he doesn’t want the people to figure out that he’s not paying his “fair share?” Perhaps he doesn’t donate much to charity?
But apparently Trump’s supporters don’t consider this an issue. He appears to be popular among libertarian Republicans, who don’t like paying taxes themselves. He is also popular among working class whites, including a majority of union workers, a fact lost on every news organization in America.
Trump’s most formidable opponent in the Republican primary, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, even went so far as to call for eliminating the IRS. That may have gone too far.
Echos of George Wallace
Others apparently like Trump’s penchent for attacking pretty much everything and everybody, including blacks, Latinos, gays, women and especially the media, even Fox News. Can you hear the echo of Wallace’s “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” and his attacks on “pointy-headed liberals” and the national media?
Maybe some support Trump because they think he can beat Hillary Clinton, while the other Republicans in the field may not have been as competitive against her.
The latest polls show Trump very competitive with Clinton. Averaging all the polls together, Real Clear Politics has Clinton leading 45.8 percent to 42.7 percent, a lead that is close to the average margin for error. In other words, it’s too close to call.
The same set of polls averaged together show Bernie Sanders beating Trump 50.6 percent to 39.4 percent.
So much for the conventional wisdom that a majority of the American people would never vote for a socialist. All the polls together show about 51 percent of Americans of voting age willing to cast a vote for Bernie Sanders — if he is the Democratic Party nominee. That’s a big if. But it’s amazing in and of itself, proof his campaign has had a HUGE impact across the land.
As long as he is on the Democratic Party ticket, Sanders could have a chance, although the most recent primary numbers show Clinton with a clear lead, 1,775 pledged delegates to Sanders’ 1,485. She also leads with 525 super delegates to Sanders’ 39. Most commentators think this lead is too formidable to overcome with the primaries and caucuses left, although they have been wrong all along. It will be interesting to see what happens in the June 7 California primay.
But there are other issues people need to consider in this race before jumping to conclusions and electing a megalomaniac like Trump as president.
The Post also ran a column recently from Robert Kagan, a conservative with the Brookings Institution, claiming this is how fascism comes to America.
Then, former New York Times columnist Frank Rich may have explained it best in a column he wrote for New York Magazine. While he pretty much destroyed the idea that mainstream media pundits know what they are talking about, he revealed something I’ve been trying to convince New York editors of for many years. Trump’s role model and political mentor is the populist and racist demagogue George Wallace, whose long-time campaign manager was Charles Snider.
George W. Bush and Karl Rove learned their scorched earth politics from George Wallace’s Alabama. Donald Trump was clearly watching and listening. He has just taken this Dixie Strategy far past Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and both George Bushes. Clearly, the “politics of race” — which is not just about race anymore but also includes issues like gay marriage and bathroom-gate — still has a grip on a sizable percentage of the American public.
Will the mob rule come November?
Will the vox populi come down on the side of Trump?
Believe it or not, Bernie Sanders may hold the most important key in this election. By running as a Democrat, Sanders and his followers now have a real chance to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
If he is not nominated, will he split the Democratic Party and run as an independent and hand the country to Trump?
Or will there be some kind of a compromise allowing Sanders delegates to join the inner ranks of the party by taking over the platform committee and having a long-lasting influence on the future of the Democratic Party, keeping the important, key domestic economic issues he’s been talking about at the forefront?
In an attempt to head off an ugly conflict at its convention this summer, the Democratic National Committee plans to offer a concession to Sanders — seats on the important convention platform committee, according to The Post.
Everybody who was elected as a delegate to the convention in Philadelphia has a chance to get involved in the Democratic Party for the long-haul and make a real difference for the next generation. If they walk away and refuse to support the party’s nominee, or even worse, support Trump, all may be lost. But if hard working people who think like Bernie will actually get involved in the Democratic Party machinery, like the Christian Right did back during the Reagan years, we have a chance to move this party and this country in the correct direction and do something great. Karl Rove wanted to turn the country Republican for a generation. We could turn it Democrat for a generation. Let’s move away from this radical, right-wing, ignorant conservative Republican slide back into the past, and get things moving forward into this new century — away from the politics of race and gender and hate and division.
That really is the issue now. Toss your grenades at will. I am right about this.
Quote of the Day: Jane Sanders: If Bernie loses, we’ll form a new organization.
Hopefully that will be part of the Democratic Party.
© 2016, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.