Thursday, April 26 , 2018, 8:35 pm | Fair 56º


Randy Alcorn: Worried About Donald Trump? Look at the Realities and Relax

If nothing else, Donald Trump has made politics entertaining — reality TV at its apogee. His unabashed egocentric campaign has brought heightened attention to the race for the presidency, and panic among the Republican Party establishment.

Large audiences in the United States and around the world are riveted to the American political process, many concerned and confounded by Trump’s continuing campaign conquests.

For his part, running for president has given the insatiably vainglorious Trump the most attention he has ever had. His name is on every lip. He is the media’s lead story day after day.

His brand is huge! He is living a narcissist’s dream, but I suspect that even his bloated ego is surprised by the success he has had so far.

Attempting to explain that success or predict its downfall has made many political experts look foolish. Cautiously now, pundits posit that the Trump phenomenon is a reaction by millions of angry, fearful and frustrated Americans who believe that their way of life and their prospects for a better life have been trickled away by a gluttonously greedy ruling class of economic elites and their paid politicians.

They are correct, of course, but are there enough of them to push Trump into the White House?

Although support for Trump can be found across the demographic landscape, his base supporters are from the bubbling cauldrons of crazed conservatism. Voting under the influence of ignorance, they rally to Trump like the desperately ill to a faith healer.

The demographic variables found to be most common with Trump supporters are white, low educated, blue-collar, living in mobile homes, and native born — the economically and culturally disaffected, or in Trump terminology, losers.

Of the 220 million eligible voters in America, only about 146 million are registered to vote. Those with all of the Trump-supporter demographics comprise a tiny fraction of either group, especially the latter.

In the general election for president, Trump would need to convince more than 73 million registered, mostly sane voters to vote for him. Even with the vagaries of the Electoral College, his election would be highly improbable, but — for those who need their fear fix — not impossible.

People terrified that Trump could be elected president of the most powerful nation on earth often equate Trump with Adolf Hitler. To have merit that Cassandraic comparison assumes that America today is like Germany was on the cusp of Nazi tyranny.

Germany in the 1930s was virtually a monoculture, ethnically homogeneous, smarting from a humiliating defeat in World War I, and suffering economic devastation with hyper-inflation and vast unemployment. It was in the early childhood of democracy, a geographically compact nation with a fraction of the population of the United States today.

In contrast, the United States is replete with diversity — cultural, ethnic, racial, religious, sexual preference, you name it. It is a military colossus, a long established republic sprawling across the North American continent, and the third most populous nation on earth.

Although the U.S. economy has its ups and downs, it remains the world’s best by most measures.

America’s very vastness and heterogeneity helps inoculate it from a dictatorship. Diversity and distinct regional differences result in multifarious interest groups that not infrequently are at odds politically.

With so many disparate power bases in America, coalescing them around one cause or one political candidate is virtually impossible. Without some enormous existential threat — World War II, for instance — lockstep consensus is not a characteristic of American society.

Nevertheless, what if your worst fear is realized and Trump is elected president? He could not rule by decree; U.S. presidents have considerable but limited power.

And, while U.S. presidents can cause significant, enduring, damage, e.g. President George W. Bush, they can also be effectively hamstrung, e.g. President Barack Obama.

Unless voters packed both houses of Congress with Trump sycophants who rubber-stamped all directives from the Executive Branch, a President Trump could not rule as Augustus Caesar.

Finally, American democracy is indirect. Both the Republican and Democratic parties employ Machiavellian devices that dilute democracy to virtually ensure that the party establishment’s preferred candidate secures the nomination for president, regardless of whom the voting public wants.

Neither Trump nor Bernie Sanders is their respective party establishment’s preferred candidate, and neither will have a fair chance to secure their party’s nomination. That is why Sanders talks about revolution and Trump talks about riots at the convention.

Never forget who really runs this country. It is not the 99 percent. If you are worried about Trump, take some comfort in knowing that the GOP branch of the ruling class is working furiously to depose him before or during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July.

But, if you are still worried about Trump winning the presidency, there will be plenty of “Dump Trump” bumper stickers available right after the election. It shouldn’t take too long into his first term for those stickers to appear everywhere.

The recall effort will be huge. Believe me.

— Randy Alcorn is a Santa Barbara political observer. Contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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