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Fear Factor: Trump the Boogeyman

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, did not intend to be in the position that others coveted so badly. According to one former campaign staffer, he planned to finish no higher than second place behind one of the establishment candidates. Little did he anticipate that his appeal to white nationalism would mean more to the Republican rank and file than proposals to cut taxes for rich people or defund Planned Parenthood.

Now we hear the incessant demand, “Stop Trump!” These words are used as a club to beat anyone who considers rejecting Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy or even posing questions or offering critique. The warning is a phony one because Trump shows all the signs of being headed for defeat.

Trump is a picture perfect bogeyman for the Democratic Party. If Trump isn’t calling Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers or promising to ban Muslims from travel to the United States he is making misogynistic remarks. In 2011 he spent months claiming that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States. When he isn’t talking about the “the blacks” he says a judge presiding over the Trump University lawsuits is biased because of his Mexican heritage.

But he has touched a chord with millions of mostly white Americans in part because he frees them to express their racism and also because his policy positions would benefit them. Only Trump questions the trade deals like NAFTA that send millions of living wage jobs out of the United States. Only he asks why the United States spends billions of dollars patrolling the planet and why enmity against Russia is viewed as being sacrosanct by foreign policy “experts.” At a certain point it is illogical to support the “white people’s party” if it doesn’t actually help white people.

When it comes to serving corporate interests the Democrats and Republicans happily bury the hatchet and act in concert. But Trump’s questioning of this orthodoxy has made him persona non grata among his own. No further proof is needed after looking at Trump and Clinton fundraising results.

As of June, Hillary Clinton had $42.5 million in campaign funds on hand and Trump had only $1.3 million. He explained the predicament himself. “But we have a party that, I mean, I’m having more difficulty, frankly, with some of the people in the party than I am with the Democrats because they’re just, they don’t want to come on.”

The enormous fund raising discrepancy makes one thing crystal clear. The Republicans who raised more than $100 million each for Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio don’t want Trump to be the president. They would rather lose than see him in the White House. The heavy hitter funders didn’t suddenly lose wealth or any interest in politics. Instead they have decided to take a pass on the 2016 presidential contest because the nominee opposes what they support the most. They will not take a chance and end up with a president who risks the continuity of international globalization and the imperialism needed to keep it afloat.

So desperate is Trump’s campaign that it is purchasing email lists just two weeks before the Republican national convention. Elected officials who usually sharpen their elbows to get national exposure are finding excuses not to appear at the RNC convention at all.

Donald Trump isn’t likely to be president and the Democrats know it. Hillary Clinton will not only have Barack Obama’s campaign and marketing team at her disposal but she will have millions of dollars more than Trump does. The Obama Justice Department surprised no one with the announcement that she won’t be investigated for comingling personal and State Department emails on a private server. The elimination of any legal problems gives her a clear path to the Democratic nomination and victory.

One wouldn’t know the pathetic state of the Trump campaign because Democrats and the corporate media act as though he can win. They are flogging anti-Trump fears as if he is a serious candidate and it isn’t hard to figure out why.

Democrats will keep progressives silent and passive only if they whip up hysteria about the prospect of a Trump presidency. Bernie Sanders is going along with the charade as a means of saving face. Like Trump he didn’t expect to be a credible challenger and he is using Trump as an excuse to bow out and endorse Hillary Clinton as he planned to do all along. Before he executes his final “sheep dog” herding maneuver he will keep saying that he wants to join in the fight against Trump, even though Trump would have to pull off a political miracle in order to win.

Donald Trump will surely get millions of votes, but Hillary Clinton will get more and in the states that really count towards the total needed in the Electoral College. She will use Trump to move to the right and pick up votes from Republicans uneasy with his candidacy. The only risk to her is not from Trump, but from Bernie Sanders supporters who for the moment are unsure of how to respond to their leader’s impending betrayal.

The worst thing they can do is believe in the almost non-existent risk of a Trump presidency. His party doesn’t want him and the “Stop Trump” clique know it. If millions of Democrats would say they don’t want Hillary Clinton either then the fracturing of the two parties will continue and the American people will have a hope of real democracy.

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Margaret Kimberley writes the Freedom Rider column for Black Agenda Report, where this essay originally appeared. 

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