The significance of the GOP’s attempted purge of Donald Trump
The GOP is trying to oust Donald Trump from the Presidential campaign trail. Numerous GOP officials and corporate media reports have indicated that Donald Trump may drop out of the race. Curiously, the news comes just weeks after Trump walked away from the Republican National Convention with the nomination. No other candidate came close in total number of delegates in the state primaries and the proposed roll call from dissenting delegates failed to bring results. The attempted ousting of Trump reflects both the fracturing of the Republican Party and the rupture of the two-party corporate duopoly generally in this election cycle.
This isn’t the first time establishment Republicans have attempted to push Trump out of the race. When Trump began picking up momentum earlier in 2016, many well-known Republicans refused to endorse him. Republican Mitt Romney made a video appearance at the Democratic Party National Convention to warn of the dangers of a Trump presidency. The Business Round Table, a collection of corporate executives, also warned New York Times readers of Trump’s possible Presidential victory. Even the Koch Brothers are sabotaging Republican Party supporters of Trump by pulling their funding from his supporters in Washington.
The reason for the ruling class’s fear of Trump is clearly articulated from the source. Trump is unpredictable and his message uncontrolled. There are times when Trump speaks to working class anxiety by repudiating trade deals and calling to re-regulate the financial sector. There are others when Trump is easily baited into traps set by the Democratic Party. In recent weeks, the Democratic Party has attempted to frame Trump as an unpatriotic traitor. Trump has reaffirmed his support of Russian President Vladimir Putin and refused to take back remarks regarding the heroism of a Muslim American soldier who died in combat in Iraq.
While power struggle between the Democratic Party and Republican Party is nothing new, Trump’s impact on the two-party corporate duopoly should not be understated. Trump has destroyed the GOP’s infrastructure. His rhetoric has inspired emboldened racist elements of the working class as well as legitimate class grievances among the Republican Party base. Trump has occupied a vacuum that its corporate-backers have refused to fill. No longer can the Republican Party operate as it did in the past without losing ground to the increasingly conservative Democratic Party.
For nearly five decades, the Republican Party has positioned itself the party of white supremacy. The Democratic Party has been able to place unions, Black voters, and white liberals under its tent over this period. However, the neo-liberal crisis of capitalism has changed this dynamic dramatically. The gap between Democratic Party rhetoric and policy has widened since the early 1980s. This has forced Republicans to move further to the right in the midst of Democratic Party-led wars, austerity measures, and assaults on civil liberties.
Donald Trump represents an existential threat to the very existence of the GOP. In her speech at the Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton herself admitted that she would be a President for “Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.” She was thus very forthright in extending an invitation to refugee Republicans into her “big tent” campaign. Clinton’s neo-liberal, imperialist agenda is attractive to a Republican Party establishment that has effectively lost its base to Trump. Trump’s erratic behavior only further endangers his ability to defeat Clinton’s strategy and bring victory to what is left of the Republican Party.
A series of interviews on “Democracy Now!” have clarified the depths to which the Clinton campaign seeks to use fear of Donald Trump as its catalyst for victory. In two separate debates, Green Party supporters Kshama Sawant and Chris Hedges confronted Clinton operatives Rebecca Traiser and Robert Reich. Traitser and Reich refused to address concrete policy and instead promoted a Clinton Presidency on the basis of the dangers of Donald Trump. The debates confirmed that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party have become virtuously indefensible. Such a realization has forced the two-party corporate duopoly into a crisis situation, especially on the Republican Party side. Either the Republican Party establishment gets behind Trump or it joins forces with the increasingly conservative Democratic Party machinery led by Clinton to defeat the “fascist” casino capitalist.
The fact the Republican Party has not distanced itself from rumors of Trump’s departure indicates that there is a significant portion of GOP leaders who would prefer a Hillary Clinton Presidency. Hillary Clinton is, after all, the chosen politician to serve the capitalist oligarchy. Clinton has received tens of millions of dollars in donations from hedge funds and various other Wall Street donors. This places Trump at a glaring disadvantage. Yet this disadvantage has been mitigated by the open rebellion both Democratic and Republican Party bases are waging against the establishment.
The conditions that created the revolt of young voters in the Democratic Party and the entire base of the Republican Party are not going away. Trump may step down, or he may continue on in his campaign. Whatever the case, the legitimacy of the two-party duopoly will remain tenuous at best. Millions of people are sick and tired of war, austerity, poverty, and a system that represents no one but the elite. A mass break with the two-party system is on the horizon and Trump’s campaign has played a significant role in speeding up the process. So the conversation about Trump should not be confined to his personality or his reactionary character. It should center on the root causes of his rise to the GOP nomination and what that means for the future of US political landscape.
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