After suffering a devastating loss in Indiana (the Basketball Ring state), alleged Zodiac Killer Ted Cruz dropped out of the Republican presidential race Tuesday night. And now that John Kasich, a man who shares a likeness and competency level with The Simpsons‘ Gil Gunderson, has followed suit in suspending his campaign, Donald Trump is the last person standing in the GOP race for president.
While many people have postulated about why Ben Carson couldn’t hold his brief lead, why Cruz couldn’t continue his momentum from Iowa and why Marco Rubio didn’t electrify young GOP voters, the truth needs no such parsing. Donald Trump won the GOP nomination because, unlike the other candidates, he never underestimated how racist, sexist and xenophobic Republican voters truly are.
Trump has no real policy platform. His stances are either vague and evasive, or long-winded and inaccurate, on everything from domestic drug use to foreign policy. So Trump’s supporters clearly aren’t behind him because the nuances of his policy positions outweighed those of the other candidates. They’re behind him because he forcefully says the prejudicial shit they believe. He eradicated the dog whistle and replaced it with a large, bigoted megaphone.
In 2010, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB 1070) into law, allowing police to guess if someone they arrested is an undocumented immigrant; in 2015, Trump called Mexicans rapists and criminals.
Fox News spent years scrutinizing President Obama’s patriotism by criticizing how frequently he wore his American flag lapel pin and how “disrespectful” it was to salute marines with a latte in his hand; Trump became the unofficial leader of the birther movement.
Carly Fiorina attacked Planned Parenthood by lying about the group’s tissue donation program; Trump said that women should be “punished” for having abortions.
Republicans said Obama was being weak against terrorism; Trump said America should be willing to kill the innocent family members of suspected terrorists.
Right-wing politicians questioned the safety of Obama’s refugee settlement plans; Trump said all Muslims should be banned from entering the United States of America.
Just about every time Trump utters something incendiary, disgusting and discriminatory, his public approval ratings and poll numbers rise.
For decades now, the GOP has been playing a shadowy game of coded bigotry, and Trump knows conservative voters are tired of hearing it. The Donald has been attentive enough to the temperature of the modern-day GOP to know that Republican voters see those allusions not as cleverly clandestine prejudice, but rather the result of not being able to “be completely honest” in a society “plagued” by “political correctness.” Trump realized they’re fed up with xenophobic innuendo, and he replaced it with definitive slurs.
Trump is the Republican presidential candidate because he realized that in 2016, flirting with discrimination can’t hold a candle to outright prejudice. And his string of victories is proof that he was right.