What’s that old saying? Give someone enough rope and they will hang themselves.
After having managed to garner millions of supporters with bombastic tirades of ethnic slurs, personal insults and semi-coherent rantings about the decline of the United States’ global superpower status, Donald Trump seems to finally be tightening the noose around his own neck.
If the Trump phenomenon was originally a result of a knee-jerk response by voters to elite politicians and condescending pundits who left them feeling marginalized and disenfranchised by an elite oligarchy that was not in touch with the common-man constituency, it seems that the Donald has finally managed to cross the line and alienate his own acolytes (see “Try Another Tactic,” which ran in this space on March 16).
Sure, Trump had, with his extremely boorish rhetoric, already offended women, the disabled, Mexicans, Muslims, Asians, POWs, Seven-Day Adventists and just about every other ethnic, religious or social group he came across.
And, miraculously, his supporters not only forgave his accidental (and sometimes not-so-accidental) faux pas, but even rallied behind him when the press and politicians with triple-digit IQs and some semblance of civil decorum would condemn his blatantly belligerent language.
But at long last, the Trump dazzle seems to be fading, and even some of his previously most-devoted followers are now having second thoughts about their great messiah.
When Trump began to criticize the very electoral process that has so far won him 758 delegates for the GOP Convention, he galled old-time party members who, unlike him, seemed to have bothered to read the convention process guidelines.
But rather than acquiesce to the party rules and accept the possibly of a contested convention, Trump decided to send his surrogate and top henchman Roger Stone out to rouse the rabble and incite his votaries to bash their delegates into fidelity to the great master.
“We will disclose the hotels and room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved in the steal,” Stone said. “We urge you to visit their hotel and find them.”
In other words: “Hunt them down and, if you have to, beat them into submission.”
Not exactly the American democratic process.
Even Trump delegates and party foot soldiers who were planning on remaining faithful to their candidate may now be seriously contemplating changing banners, after having been threatened with bodily harm should they decide to cut and run.
And by now, the most sluggish of Trump supporters can see that their once redeemer has lost his way and gone too far outside the path of democracy and civility (not to mention legality) to merit their endorsement.
Trump is now slipping at the polls as Ted Cruz inches ahead and cooler minds at last prevail in the Grand Old Party.
Donald Trump has had his run and burned himself out.
Trump has taken the partisan rope that was given to him and made a tidy noose.
The world is now awaiting his self-imposed political execution.