Off The Grid contributor Travis Irvine sounds off on The Donald’s surge in the polls. As Travis writes, “turns out loudmouthed, racist bigots would love to have a loudmouthed, racist bigot for president.”

Travis Irvine

When billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump first announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on June 16th, many people scoffed.Clearly this was just another way for “The Donald” to keep his brand relevant — and as Jesse Ventura pointed out — get publicity.  Several on the left were pumped about Trump’s announcement, assuming that only hilarity would ensue.Jon Stewart gave Trump’s bid the proper Daily Show treatment, and his fellow correspondents were also er, — overcome with joy.  Given his ridiculous, babbling announcement speech full of racist remarks about Mexicans, many thought Trump’s publicity stunt/candidacy would go nowhere and The Donald’s days were done.

But this is America, gosh darn it — and as Hunter S. Thompson pointed out, when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.  When the inevitable backlash over Trump’s comments came from the left, the Mexican community and the media, ol’ Donnie was given a chance to redeem himself.  But instead of apologizing for any possible “misunderstanding or misinterpretation”, Trump stuck to his racist guns.  “The worst elements in Mexico are being pushed into the United States by the Mexican government,” he said in a statement.  Granted, he also defended Mexican immigrants who worked hard and came here legally, but that praise was mostly overshadowed by Trump’s trumpeting the “thousands” of incidents that involve “criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.” from Mexico.   He specifically highlighted the recent murder of a San Francisco woman who was killed by “a 5 time deported Mexican with a long criminal record” as evidence of his claims.

So kudos to Trump — I guess he’s figured it out.  He’s giving the faction of Republican racists exactly what they want to hear, and he’s doing it with that fiery brand of gusto only he can muster. 

And the best part about all this?  Now Trump actually has the lead!  Oh, baby!  We’re number one!  USA!  USA!  Honestly, it makes perfect sense — if there’s one thing that certain factions of the Republican party loves, it’s racism and bigotry.  Heck, some of them have campaigned on it for years, so why stop now? Tired of Mexicans taking your jobs and killing people?  Vote Republican!  Do you hate gay people and not want them to get married?  Vote Republican!  Are you still upset about the Civil Rights Act?  By golly, you better vote Republican!  Perhaps this is why even when the GOP’s leadership tried to distance itself from Trump’s rhetoric, many of his fellow candidates did not.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said he was “proud to stand with Donald Trump.” Carly Fiorina said Trump is tapping “into an anger” she hears every day. Dr. Ben Carson even said “all things are possible” if he had to join Trump on the GOP ticket.  Now Trump is drawing huge crowds and still spreading his message of hate to the people who want to hear it most.  Though his statements are grossly offensive, several GOP supporters agree with every word.

So kudos to Trump — I guess he’s figured it out.  He’s giving the faction of Republican racists exactly what they want to hear, and he’s doing it with that fiery brand of gusto only he can muster. But this will likely present more challenges than successes later on.  While Trump may be preaching to the anti-immigrant choir within the ranks of the GOP, he’s going to have a lot more problems when Latino leaders, communities and companies fight back, as they’ve already begun to do and promise to continue to do. Liberals, conservatives, libertarians and even Rupert Murdoch have all agreed that Trump is nothing but a chump, and let’s not forget that if he actually gets the GOP nomination, whoever the Democratic nominee is will have a pretty easy time pulling that crucial Latino vote — especially if the other guy is calling them criminals, drug dealers and rapists.  But then again, maybe The Donald knows exactly what he’s doing.  As he pointed out in Phoenix, “I’m, like, a really smart person.”  Perhaps he is.  Because even if he doesn’t win the nomination, he’s already getting the publicity he probably wanted all along.

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