gemli is a trusted commenter Boston
Republicans have created a political and intellectual vacuum, and Trump is rushing in to fill it. Like all vacuums, it doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t suck in the smartest, or the wisest or the best. It just sucks. If sensible discourse prevailed in Washington there would be no place for Donald Trump. He would look like nothing more than the incongruously wealthy bombastic TV spokesmodel that he is. Instead, he’s a contender.
It hasn’t helped that the media can’t get enough of him, or that low-information voters find in him the ideal low-information option. We might expect the presidential debates to weed out these bombastic and outrageous candidates, but instead we find other candidates emulating Trump and making their own outrageous statements.
We had an opportunity to put the country on the right track with the election of president Obama, but a virulent right-wing faction commandeered the discourse. Trump championed the birther distraction and helped to hobble the president during the first two years of his administration. He was midwife at the birth of a kind of cheesy tabloid-style of attack politics that aided and abetted the Tea Party’s goal of shutting down government rather than governing.
It’s ironic when Brooks and other pundits suggest that Sanders and Biden are not serious candidates, while Trump deserves a full column. The reality is that years of manufactured inaction have made Congress look like a joke, and Trump is the punch line.