“When you get the s*** kicked out of you for long enough, and long enough, and long enough – you have a tendency to say what you really mean. In other words, you have all the pretense beat out of you.” – Charles Bukowski
Don Trump has done it again. Chicago has decided that he’s no daisy, and they are correct. No matter the time, place, or context, Old Don has inspired action, both salty and sweet. I’m not sure if such a unique campaign has ever been run in the history of America (certainly not in my lifetime). I’m also not sure whether it’s good or bad. I am sure, however, that Mr. Trump has turned the feel of this young campaign into the equivalent of a heavily touted UFC fight. Tonight, the fight came to a head when ten-thousand protesters, wailing like banshees, broke out in (mild) violence during an otherwise counter-productive left-winged effort. If the goal was to prevent Trump from speaking, they were about as effective as The Bay of Pigs. Within the current state of affairs, Trump has found a way to be as loud when his mouth is closed as he is when it is open. Meanwhile, CNN (the so-called unbiased network) is on a savage search for any piece of minutia they can find that might serve to spill the blood on Donald’s hands. Unfortunately, the proverbial glove does not fit. Trump responded in sound political accord by cancelling the rally, claiming that he didn’t “want to see anyone get hurt.” From the perspective of political spin (which is the dominant whole of a presidential election), these protesters have done to Donald Trump what a home-run derby pitcher would do for “The Sultan of Swat,” and Old Don was gifted with nothing shy of a walk-off home-run. Cruz and Rubio, meanwhile, are left picking at the media scraps, each choosing to respond in predictable fashion, claiming that the antics of these scorned protesters should be attributed to the candidate for whom their mob mentality is directed.
Trump, in spite of a bout of unusually graceful politicking, remains steadfast as not only the leader of the GOP race, but also as the most highly touted prospective economic savior. “People are tired of losing jobs to Mexico, and China, and Japan…” I suppose he must be correct in his remarks, but I have recently decided that there is cause for concern when considering the ostensible strength of Mr. Trump’s economic proposals for solution. As much as one can agree with his take about the hard-working Americans who are fed up with jobs being sent over seas or being filled domestically by illegal immigrants, questions must be asked: Who will fill the domestic jobs that are currently being done in large part by Mexican illegals? How much will it cost to cover the domestic wage standards to cover the production of goods that are currently being manufactured over seas? Will the owners of these companies simply pay higher wages to American workers without raising the price of their products? How will consumers really be affected by such a seemingly pro-American attitude toward improving the domestic state of economic affairs?
In the words of Mark Twain, “There is nothing sadder than a young pessimist,” and taken a step further, nothing more hopeful than an old optimist. Donald Trump fits neither bill, but somehow, he has shaken in titanic fashion the political grounds upon which the American government prefers to walk. For that, I appreciate his efforts. After all, when you are walking in the wrong direction, a step backward is a step in the direction of progress.
Matthew Thornton is an Austin-based artist and a history teacher. Originally from Corpus Christi, his wide-sweeping artistic interests range from writing and film-making to photography and painting. His work and studies explore patterns within the endless nuance of life as he remains constantly in search of the so-called, “big picture”.