If the American political landscape was hip hop, Donald Trump would be the rapper T.I.
No, not because Trump is married to a woman named “Tiny,” or because he’s served time in both jail and federal prison. Yet.
Rather, it is because Trump, like T.I. is as resilient as they come. From the moment he announced his candidacy in June, Trump has offended just about every person in the world.
He has had run-ins with Latinos, Mexicans, and the entire country of Mexico. He’s berated women, Fox News, black people, the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement, and Arabs.
Trump has insulted both the rich and the poor alike, Republican and Democratic parties, specifically, and the academic community in general. He even insulted American veterans who were prisoners of war.
But, Trump has saved his most virulent attacks for his political opponents and colleagues.
With a style that some linguistic experts say closely resembles a third-grade schoolyard bully, Trump has called other Republican presidential candidates names, mocked their speaking cadence, made jokes about their spouses, and given out their personal contact information at press conferences.
We certainly paid attention to Trump when he claimed that Wisconsin’s economy and employment outlook were a “mess,” as a direct result of Governor Walker’s policies and actions.
Trump has been heavily criticized for every ugly comment and attack he has made in the last few months.
Trump’s critics and social commentators have, at every turn, predicted that he would fall out of public favor.
But, as we have seen, that not only has Trump not stumbled, he has only become more popular.
Over the past few months, we have seen Republican and conservative voices collectively wringing their hands, and feigning bewilderment over Trump’s popularity and staying power.
But, they know precisely why he’s popular. The Tea Party.
Created in 2009 as a direct response to President Obama and his skin color, the Tea Party has created a conservative agenda infused with thinly veiled racism. Who are we kidding? It’s not been so thin.
They have advocated against same-sex marriages, interracial marriages, and just about any marriage that isn’t between heterosexual Anglo-Saxons.
They referred to the marginalized of America as “moochers” and they have demonized the religion of Islam.
They have characterized the president as anything from a “nigger in a woodpile,” to “the welfare president.”
What is more, the Tea Party still by and large believes that the president is an African-born Muslim Anti-Christ.
In short, the Tea Party has cultivated and fostered an environment where fringe, extreme politics are the norm, and even popular.
For the past several years, they have groomed politicians that think extreme, and talk even more extreme.
So, then, is it any wonder that they are ready for the next generation of extreme?