Tribal Politics in the Age of Trump
By: Donald V. Watkins
© Copyrighted and Published on December 20, 2019
The impeachment of President Donald J. Trump, while warranted under the facts in his case, is a complete waste of time and taxpayer’s money. Make no mistake about it, Trump abused the powers of his office in his July phone call to the president of Ukraine and he obstructed Congress's inquiry into this matter.
So that we are clear, America has officially entered the age of ruthless tribal politics where anything President Trump says or does is condoned and accepted by Republicans because he is the undisputed leader of the Republican Tribe. Furthermore, Trump proudly champions the primary core value of the Republican Tribe -- enrich and protect the super-rich.
Whether Trump abused his power, or not, is of no consequence to his Republican political base of most white working-class voters. He has persuaded them that "trickle down" economics is actually working in their favor, even though the gap between the "1 percenters" and "99 percenters" is widening at an accelerated pace under his policies.
Throughout our nation's history, the U.S. Constitution has never been subordinated to any political party leader. It has been now, and Trump's political supporters couldn't care less.
No Republican in the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump. No Republican in the Senate will vote to remove Trump from office. Tribal politics in the Age of Trump requires blind loyalty from the Republican Party faithful, regardless of the relevant facts or merits of the two impeachment charges.
The international world has not seen this kind of blind loyalty to an authoritarian leader like Donald Trump since Adolf Hitler seized control of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. The Aryan nationalism espoused by Hitler sounds and feels a lot like Trump's "Make America Great Again" political theme and action plan.
Hitler enjoyed the popular support of "good" Germans who focused on the improved German economy, Hitler's anti-immigration policies that targeted Jews and other “undesirables”, and the growing industrialization of Germany. These "good" Germans turned a blind eye to Hitler's atrocities.
Trump enjoys the popular support of "good" Republicans who once championed sound fiscal policies, limited national government, ethical government, protecting the world from tyrants and dictators, military might, and family values. Now, they only champion Donald Trump, warts and all.
Like Hitler's fanatics in Nazi Germany, Trump's supporters have shown they will tolerate his intolerable conduct when their authoritarian leader publicly demonizes and castigates entire segments of their national population and others (e.g., Jews, African-Americans, Muslims, gays, immigrants of color, "shithole" countries, etc.).
The faces of the crowds at Trump rallies mirror the faces of the crowds at Hitler's rallies in Nazi Germany.
Nobody in Nazi Germany reigned in Hitler's abuses of power. Nobody in the Republican Party is reigning in Trump's abuses of presidential power.
Hitler and Trump reshaped their respective government cabinets and federal judiciaries in their ideological images.
Hitler and Trump are known for their cold-blooded ruthlessness, which appeals to the worst instincts in their diehard political bases.
Sadly, Trump has succeeded in redefining America in his own image -- self-centered, untrustworthy, unethical, immoral, hypocritical, untruthful, devoid of character, hostile towards people of color, intolerant of religious differences, tyrannical, and rudderless. He embarrasses friends and foes, alike. Yet, members of the Republican Tribe adore him.
Donald Trump believes that America is ready for an Imperial President from the Republican Tribe who answers to nobody under our Constitutional system of checks and balances. All of the objective evidence suggests that Trump may be right. Like the Nazis who supported Hitler, Republicans in Congress and around the nation are marching "goose-step" in support of Trump and all of the evil he represents.