The Donald entered the race for President of the United States yesterday, and his status as a Republican is a black mark on that political party.
Mr. Trump is first and foremost a showman, but the positions he takes derive from the mainstream of the Republican party. And by his exaggerations and egotistical manner, he shows up those positions for what they really are.
The Republican stance on immigration, for example, is based on fear and prejudice, and Trump takes that paranoia to its logical conclusion by proposing to build a wall across our thousand-mile border with Mexico. Branding illegal immigrants as rapists and thieves, he ignores their real economic needs and their hope for a better life for their children.
But the lack of compassion for immigrants represents the mainstream of the Republican Party, and he is only taking the next step in supporting their position.
The Republicans also have a reflexive aversion to the President, and by trying to brand him as an “other,” somehow outside the mainstream of American politics, by his avowed support of “birtherism” and calling for the President to release his college manuscripts, Mr. Trump is making outrageous statements. But, again, just the next logical step driving Republican policy, and one espoused by many on the far right.
On these and so many other issues, Donald Trump appeals strongly to the base of the Republican Party, and by highlighting what their positions really mean, Mr. Trump is doing the Democrats a favor. I can’t wait for the Donald to comment on climate change and the Pope’s acknowledgement of its effect on the poor in his most recent encyclical.