In the more than two weeks since then, Donald Trump has practically become unstoppable. With the convincing victories yesterday, Trump and the Party of Lincoln are now all set for a "tryst with destiny", to borrow from the founding prime minister of the old country.Beware the Ides of March, #GOP: Florida and Ohio vote on 15th#Trump Wins, Wins, Wins in Nevadahttps://t.co/5eXziaQw2X via @tnyCloseRead— sriram khe (@congoboy) February 24, 2016
I referred to the famous Julius Caesar connection not merely because it is such an awesome quote, but because of the primaries that are scheduled for that day. In Florida and Ohio. If you thought those are just yet another stops along the way, well, there is an important distinction. The GOP primaries in Florida and Ohio are winner-take-all events. The winner even by a plurality of votes that falls short of a simple majority, will get all the delegates.
If Trump wins in Florida and Ohio, then the game will be over for Marco Rubio and John Kasich, and it will be left to Ted Cruz to launch an even more quixotic challenge! President Trump will become even more realistic than ever.
Trump is no longer a freak show, but is a legitimate national candidate:
Just a few days ago, Trump seemed to be losing steam, particularly after his opponents aired a series of television attack ads in key states. The attacks focused on Trump’s business record, such as the fraud lawsuits that surround Trump University and the billionaire’s four bankruptcies. The 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney piled on by calling Trump a phony and a fraud who would likely lose to Hillary Clinton in the general election.Who woulda thunk that!
But none of the attacks on Trump worked.
Trump’s crushing victories in Mississippi and Michigan were striking because they once again demonstrated his broad appeal to all segments and all regions of the Republican electorate. He won evangelicals, working-class voters, and college graduates, just as he has in previous primaries. He also once again showed great geographical range, winning in the Deep South and in the heart of the industrial Midwest. By any conventional measure, Trump is a truly national candidate, at least among Republican voters.
I bet political scientists and talk show pundits will have plenty to talk and write about how Trump became a candidate, and how he seemingly can do nothing wrong even when everything he says is nothing but wrong. While such demagoguery might be new to America, it is but the latest at a global level:
Pull the camera back, and Trump can be viewed as part of a deadly serious wave of authoritarians and xenophobes who have come to power in Russia, Poland, and Hungary, and who lead such movements as the National Front, in France, and the Independence Party, in the United Kingdom. Vladimir Putin and Trump have expressed mutual admiration. It’s not hard to see why. Putin has obliterated the early shoots of Russian democracy as evidence of weakness and obeisance to the West; his eighty-per-cent popularity rating is built on arousing nationalism and a hatred of minorities (ethnic and sexual), the suppression of dissent, and a bare-chested macho image. Trump says approvingly, “At least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country.”The global fascination with "the strongman" has always worried me, unlike this debating-friend who has always championed the strong leaders of China and the current leader of India, despite the leaders' blatant disregard for liberty and democratic values. The emergence of Trump as a candidate--and, gasp, as President of the proverbial free world--will only further reinforce the idea that liberal democracies are for pussies!
Oh well, we get the leaders we deserve!