Top 10 Things That Helped The Meanest Oompa Loompa In The Bunch Rise To The Top
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Politics and Activism

Top 10 Things That Helped The Meanest Oompa Loompa In The Bunch Rise To The Top

Read about what things are really to blame!

Top 10 Things That Helped The Meanest Oompa Loompa In The Bunch Rise To The Top

This year has seen a campaign that's one part Nixonian "law and order" and one part race-baiting a la George Wallace, with a sprinkling of Pat Buchanan's notorious anti-Semitism, a dash of Dan Quayle's strange grasp of the English language, and lots of lies. How has a man with the authoritarian streak of Andrew Jackson, sympathy for the Russians that makes the Rosenbergs seem like patriots, and a spotty (to say the least) marriage history won the nomination of a party that focuses on small government, national security, and social conservatism? Here's who I'd hold responsible:

1. Richard Nixon

Watergate shook public trust of our government and it has not truly recovered since. Eroded trust of government makes people look more towards political outsiders. A backwards philosophy in my opinion; would you request that your surgeon be an accomplished opera singer rather than a licensed surgeon, or that your mechanic be an excellent fisherman who has no experience with cars? Regardless, the GOP has an embraced anti-establishment view since then. Even the Democrats did for a short period of time, with a former peanut farmer from Georgia defeating Nixon's replacement.

2. Ronald Reagan & The Reagan Administration

Reagan and his administration cut funding for higher-education tremendously. The director of the Office of Management and Budget while he was in office, David Stockman, told Congress that "student aid isn't a proper obligation of the taxpayer". He also used anti-education rhetoric. The traditional conservative rhetoric that colleges are the home of left-wing indoctrination? Reagan used it. Hell, he basically invented it. Why does this matter? The best indicator of whether Trump won a state during the primaries was the percentage of the voters who were not college educated.

3. Newt Gingrich

Not only has Newt consistently stumped for Trump, but he helped foster the anti-government environment in our nation's capital. The strong rhetoric, casting opponents as anti-American Communists, anti-establishment fervor. "my way or the highway" governance . It's almost like Trump is using Newt's playbook on steroids.

4. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, FOX News, et al.

It's no surprise that Rush Limbaugh was given honorary membership of the freshman caucus that was elected during the 1994 Republican Revolution (shout out to Newt Gingrich for doing that too). Just for context, some of the freshman that year include 2012 presidential candidate and noted homophobe Rick Santorum, Kansas governor (and the least popular governor in America) Sam Brownback, and climate-change denier/snowball-throwing Oklahoman senator Jim Inhofe.

Rush began spewing his unique brand of hate on national radio on August 1, 1988 and never looked back. Currently the most listened-to radio personality in the country, he certainly has an impact on political opinions. Unfortunately, a news network was made with his business strategy of growth via controversy being the bedrock, the very foundation of the network. Oh yeah, and he has all but endorsed Trump.

The ilk of FOX News, from Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity to Tucker Carlson and Megyn Kelly, have spouted hate, milked fear, and exploited bigotry nonstop ever since the network launched on October 7, 1996. Racism, sexism, unabashed jingoism, and now unwavering support of Trump. And this is the most watched news channel for over 13 years straight. Yikes. Bill tepidly supports Trump. Sean Hannity has endorsed him. Former FOX CEO Roger Ailes, who was recently fired for sexual harassment, is considering a jump to Trump's media team. Nice to know that their morals are in check.

5. George W. Bush & The Bush Administration

The overall failures of the Bush administration must be stated within this conversation. 9/11, the Iraq War, the collapse of the housing market, and (the worst of them all to conservatives) ushering in a two-term black Democrat to the presidency helped to foster the environment where Republican voters differed greatly from their leadership. Not to mention, Dubya withdrew from politics and left a power vacuum within the Republican Party that someone had to fill. I will give some props to Dubya here though: he was kind in his rhetoric. But his black-hearted veep and Rummy are both supporting Trump. Evil and stupid, respectively, are endorsing a stupid evil person. How fitting.

6. The Tea Party Movement, Especially Sarah Palin

The Tea Party movement has essentially harnessed anger into votes in an unprecedented manner. However, this anger was never aimed at clear legislative goals. The Tea Party, on paper, supports smaller government, lower taxes, and opposition to immigration. Curiously, so does Donald Trump (kinda iffy on the "smaller government" part, but the other two match up). Several other writers have said that either the Tea Party is responsible for Trump or that he IS the Tea Party: a walking, talking embodiment of the Tea Party's bombastic language, love of the "common man" (how common is a man who eats both chicken and pizza with silverware honestly), and using anger and uncertainty as his primary campaign tools.

The Tea Party has also normalized harsh rhetoric. Sarah Palin, for example, earned Politifact's inaugural Lie of the Year for her "death panels" comments. The Lie of the Year in the following year? GOP, primarily Tea Party, opposition to the Affordable Care Act under the belief that it represented a government takeover of health care (again, shout out to Reagan for doing this first). Normalizing lies, anti-immigrant xenophobia, and appealing to anger rather than hope as a campaign strategy. Sounds a bit familiar.

7. Barack Obama

Barack Obama himself is not to blame, but his successes in office have incensed Republicans tremendously. Passing the Affordable Care Act, using diplomacy rather than war in Iran, publicly supporting same-sex marriage, being a gifted orator, being a black Democratic president: these are all anathema to the GOP's base. And they will not forgive establishment candidates for not only losing to him (sorry McCain and Romney), but also to Republicans not fighting his agenda strongly enough. This is despite the fact that Obama has faced unprecedented obstruction from the moment he assumed the highest office in the land. A government shutdown here. the threat of another one there, refusing to even speak to his Supreme Court nominee, it all seems so normal now, doesn't it?

This is despite his fairly hawkish drone policy, continuing the Bush-era tax cuts, authorizing the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden, and using a health care plan that was modeled after Mitt Romney's health care plan in Massachusetts- a health care plan that Romney admitted the ACA was based on and that it worked. If Obama was a Republican, he would be considered one of the most successful presidents in American history. Instead, he consistently receives poor ratings in polls among U.S. adults. Historians give Barry O his due, though.

8. The Large Crop Of GOP Candidates In The Election

17 major candidates. Seventeen. The most in U.S. history. Of 17 candidates, Trump came out on top. Not one of the 9 current/former governors who ran. Not one of the 5 senators who ran. Not the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Not the brain surgeon/ultracrepidarian. Why?

In my opinion, dividing the field this much could only have negative effects. From late November 2014 to mid July of 2015, Jeb Bush looked like he would have no problem winning the nomination. Scott Walker also looked like a promising candidate, as did Marco Rubio. But these candidates were too normal for this abnormal election. The way to get ahead in the race appeared to be appealing to people through the power of personality: inspiration, in the case of Carson, and a general "fuck you, it's all about me" attitude from the orange guy. Between September and December of 2015, Donald Trump and Ben Carson were able to get to the top of the polls, with fellow inexperienced politician Carly Fiorina also getting around 10%. By mid-December, when pseudo-political outsider Ted Cruz overtook Carson in mid-December, it was clear that anti-establishment fervor trumped reason and electable candidates.

9. The Media

A key cog in the Trump campaign was media manipulation. Trump got $2,000,000,000 worth of free media exposure. That's enough money to buy the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team and the Solomon Islands. And the media handed it out to his campaign for free. The pursuit of ratings and profit took center stage, while the truth has taken a back seat. FOX News only tells the truth 22% of the time. Donald Trump is regarded as more trustworthy than Hillary Clinton despite evidence to the contrary. None of this makes any sense. And that's why it's not changing anytime soon.

One way I've seen it put is that modern candidates have to be masters of the newest technology to win. Roosevelt was a master of the radio with his fireside chants. JFK, with his youthful appearance and slick Boston accent, mastered TV while Nixon looked sweaty, awkward, and nervous despite being far more experienced. Reagan was also a master of TV, being a B-list celebrity and all. Obama used the Internet to excite his base and motivate people to vote. Trump has manipulated social media in a way that no other politician has ever considered.

10. Donald J. Trump

Of course, you have to end with The Donald himself. Who would've thunk it; a former reality TV show host and real estate magnate could secure the GOP nomination through a bombastic, xenophobic, racist, absurd campaign that seems more like a political science experiment gone wrong than a legitimate shot at the White House. I guess stranger things have happened?

Demagogue. Shyster. Fraud. Phony. Huckster. Fascist. Authoritarian. Just a few words that can be used to described Donald Trump.

But this just brings into question what strange things could happen next. I suppose if Curt Schilling won the Republican nomination and Kanye West won the Democratic nomination, that'd be strange. Hopefully that doesn't happen but American politics is weird.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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