Donald John Trump Sr. was a featured speaker at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)./Wikipedia photo by Michael Vadon

The GOP Candidates Searching for the Golden Ticket

By Ernesto Tinajero

When John McCain commented on Donald Trump’s Mexican rhetoric and then there was a subsequent rise in the polls due to “stirring up the crazies,” responded by questioning McCain’s real heroism as a POW in Vietnam. Trump then continued to moved up in the polls and is the current GOP leader and most likely now has  a Golden Ticket to the first debate. The first debate will have only 10 of the 16 candidates and a few of the candidates are on the chopping block early in their bid to be the next president. Many articles and posts pointed to Trump’s rise with wary eyes as to what the Trump affair would mean in a crowded field of GOP candidates. Many openly feared that outrageous comments from other hopefuls in a hopeless situation would similarly reach out for a bump in the polls to find a seat a the podium. Golden Tickets are a temptation.

Mike Huckabee makes his home on the edge of the table. He recently used the Holocaust rhetoric to question the current Iranian deal. His quote was that the Obama Administration was leading Israel to the door of the oven. When the predictable outrage over such vile charges came, sure enough Huckabee did not back down but double down. Huckabee will most likely have his much needed bump to get him into the first debate. The question for Christians are varied. Before Huckabee entered politics, he was an Christian pastor. The temptation to be up on the stage was must be great as all the effort to run for president must be tremendous. But, to evoke such a metaphor all but dooms any chance for the nomination. It should be said he was not the only candidate to evoke Nazism when voice displeasure with the Iranian deal, only his was the most forceful and provocative.

The second question comes from the fact that both Huckabee, Trump and others have claimed they are aiming for the evangelical vote. This raises the more disturbing question. Does such over the top rhetoric of rapping Mexicans drug dealers and Iranian deal being akin to the genocide of 6 million Jews effective in getting a bump within the evangelical vote or as Senator McCain called it stirring up the crazies? As an evangelical and after attending a well respected evangelical seminary, my prayer is not.

It should be strongly noted that this is not a majority of conservatives. Since the Trump affair has occurred a solid majority Republican (and a majority of evangelical) voters said they would never support nor vote for Trump. Yet, a bump in the polls does make us ask questions about who are the voters doing the bumping. Why does such vile rhetoric that should embarrass actually lead to growing support from a sizable minority, though minority must be stressed are not predominantly numbers of conservatives? Most conservatives, again, do reject the flame throwing. It also makes for a turbulent time in the meantime of waiting to see who will get the next of the 10 Gold Tickets to FoxNew’s first GOP debate.

I do think that Comedy Central comedian Jon Steward had the best response … stunned silence. I join him a questioning grunt.

Oompa loompa doompety doo
I’ve got a another Candidate for you
Oompa loompa doompety dee
If you are wise you’ll listen to me

What do get when you throw up 
insults rather than policy programs.
The bump may come, but history
Won’t so kind to you, not a real mystery.

About Ernesto Tinajero

Art, says Ernesto Tinajero, comes from the border of what has come before and what is coming next. Tinajero uses his experience studying poetry and theology to write about the intersecting borders of art, poetry and religion.

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