Fox News has announced the line-up for the prime-time Republican presidential debate this Thursday, and here's who qualified:It is surprising how much interest this debate has generated since none of the candidates, once ensconced in the Oval Office, can be counted on to lift a finger to aid the vast majority of working men and women who put him there.
Real estate magnate Donald Trump; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
The roster of 10 candidates was determined based on an average of the five most recent national polls. Trump as expected made the cut, securing the top slot. Right behind him were Bush and Walker, who each have posted strong numbers in recent surveys.
The drama, rather, was at the edge of the top 10. Christie and Kasich, who were hovering by that edge in recent polling, were able to qualify.
Much of the interest is due to Donald Trump who, as the saying goes, is kicking ass and taking names. He has shot to the top of the polls in the GOP race despite incendiary comments (Mexican rapists) and damning press reports (The Donald allegedly raped his then-wife Ivana, yanking out a tuft of her hair; he labeled a female attorney disgusting for brandishing a breast pump in court).
Trump's lead is ample, and I don't see it diminishing anytime soon. Among the voters of the "indispensable nation" on both the left and the right there is an insatiable appetite for destruction of the duopoly. This is the origin of Trumpism. The same anti-mainstream appetite is present in Europe. It manifested itself in the stunning victory of the Scottish National Party in May; and prior to that, in Syriza's victory in Greece at the beginning of the year.
The left in the United States has been decimated and cleansed every time it has reared its head in the post-WWII era. So if there is to be a prairie fire type rebellion at the polls it is going to have to come from a right-wing demagogue like Trump. The Sandernistas are a boutique product meant to keep progressives shopping at the Democrat big box outlet.
A union member walked into the local yesterday. I was working the front desk because the receptionist is on vacation. I know this guy. He is proud gun owner who works construction and wears a "Savage Nation" baseball cap. We share a passion for the Seahawks. So whenever he comes into the hall we compare notes.
He told me to make sure to tune into to the debates tonight.
Dropping his voice into a whisper because we were in a union hall where public support for a Republican candidate is frowned upon, he said Trump is the only candidate who is going to bring jobs back to the United States. Politicians like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush will tell you one thing and do the opposite once elected. The same goes for Hillary. But not Donald. Trump is going to shake things up.
I didn't disagree with him. I could have. Trump is a rich man who makes his money principally by selling high-end real estate to other rich people. He is not going to upend the apple cart of the 1% should he end up running the country. But Trump is exposing the utter barrenness of two-party politics in the United States. And at this point, I don't see how he can be tethered.
The meaningful takeaway from the interaction with my "Savage Nation" friend is that the rank'n'file voter understands that mainstream national politicians no longer represent the average citizen; they lie to get elected and then represent the ruling class. Trump is the new Jeremiah, the reality TV Isaiah.
Suddenly, a Trump vs. Hillary general election match-up materialized before my eyes. And at that moment it seemed to me that Trump cannot be beat.