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Has Donald Trump Become a “Red Herring”?

Apropos of the mystery story theme, the thought just occurred to me. The term “red herring” is usually used in regard to the writer of a mystery story wanting to perhaps lead the reader in the wrong direction, just to make the ultimate resolution more surprising. So sometimes there will be “clues” which do not lead to the unearthing of the culprit, but peter out as the story progresses, or simply are dead ends in trying to solve the mystery.

Sometimes the red herring is written to naturally emanate from the story, it is a lead or potential clue that the detective thinks is important, but is not. Maybe it has been created by the villain, a misdirection, an attempt to subtly point the authorities in the direction that will ultimately frustrate them, cause them to miss or underestimate the importance of what really has gone on, and what the real motives of the murder were.

Well, one cannot look at Donald Trump in quite that way, as a false clue, or as someone whom everyone thinks is important to the story, but really is not. Of course he is crucially important in terms of the very bad situation which this country is in. He was president, he did dreadful things, as we all know. He continues to want to do them, he is relentless.

He wants to run for President again, but to make sure that he cannot lose, by having enough states taken over by officials who will allow the state legislature to determine the winner of the state’s electoral vote for president. In other words, he wins no matter what. Enough states simply declare him the winner of their electoral votes, no matter what the popular vote count is. He and his cohorts say that the vote count is wrong, there was cheating, etc., etc,. So Trump wins, and “Whattya gonna to do about it, huh?” Might makes right, they win, we lose.

That is the plan. We know it, and have to try to stop it. Meanwhile, if you turn on any news today, the primary elections are all focused on Trump; whom he is supporting, whom he once supported and now does not, because the person is going to lose. The elections are all described as a referendum on Trump. Of course, those are Republican primaries, because the media does not seem interested in the Democratic primaries. It is all about Trump for the media once again, what they seem to believe is their best moneymaker topic.

But the reality is, at least as I see it, that every single Republican candidate for every major office is terrible. All you needed to do was to listen to any discussions of the Ohio Republican Senate primary, or the Pennsylvania Republican Governor or Senate primary. All of the major candidates of that party were absolutely horrifying.

They all seemed to try to outdo each other in how horrifying they could be. Some want to ban all abortions, no matter how few days since fertilization. Some want to ban all birth control. Some talk about praying in schools, and that “the church” should determine what is taught. Some want to dismantle the entire electoral system. They actually talk about these things.

And almost every one of them is an acolyte of the “Big Lie,’ that somehow Democrats and Biden stole the 2020 election, while somehow allowing Republicans to pick up ten Congressional seats, and have control of almost every statehouse. Logic is not allowed to have any place in this. If one listened to any of it, you would think that you were in the Middle Ages, and beset by the ravings of preachers about burning and hanging all of their enemies, witches, devils, serpents of sin, anyone who does not completely follow their preachings. But this is America, now.

So how much would it have mattered whether Vance or Mandel or another one of those candidates won the Ohio primary? Whether Mastriano, Barletta or McSwain won the nomination for governor in Pennsylvania? Whether Oz or McCormick ekes out the win in the Senate primary, or whether the fairly close third-place finisher Barnette had won? They are all truly awful, there is no significant difference among any of them, in terms of their policies, or how they would govern.

Brian Kemp is running against David Perdue in Georgia. Kemp almost certainly fixed his last race for governor, when as secretary of state, he knocked a couple hundred thousand Georgians off the voting rolls. He seems to favor an abortion bill where “life begins at heartbeat,” and anyone who has or does an abortion after that, is a criminal. He is a sickening political figure, but he is differentiated from Perdue, because as governor, he said that Georgia’s election was fair and secure in 2020. That earned him Trump’s enmity, he endorsed Perdue, but once it was obvious that Kemp was going to win easily, he lost interest.

Does this make Kemp good? Of course not. Would he somehow turn into a moderate if he wins again? Never. Has Georgia not passed draconian voting bills in the last year, under Kemp, which are designed to make it impossible for Democrats to win any state election? Absolutely. So in practice, is Kemp any less evil than Perdue? Absolutely not; all he did was to say that an election which Biden won was done fairly, essentially said to advance his own position as governor. If he is elected, he will try to make sure that Republicans not only win the major state races, governor and senator, but that Democrats cannot win any state legislative races, either; so that Republicans will hold an essential dictatorship in that state. Perdue would do that, too. So where is the difference?

The only difference is in the game that the media plays with, “How is Trump doing, how do the results reflect on him?” Who cares? The Republican Party as it now stands before us in dreadful array, is not Trump. Trump is a manifestation of the Republican Party. If Trump somehow disappeared in a whiff of smoke, there would be DeSantis, and Cruz, and Hawley, Rand Paul, Abbott, and all the rest of them, whether presidential candidates in 2024 or later.

The only differences with regard to the Republican primary candidates are about their relative strength in the general election for their position this year. That is a campaign strategy difference. It is not about positions, merit, or the dreadful damage that any of them would do.

I don’t know if the media keeps doing this because it loves Republicans and Trumpism, and is really excited about which of their team will win; or because they think that talking about Trump all day is fun; or because they think it will boost their ratings. Whatever the rationale, it causes them to ignore the Democratic races, and most importantly, the positions of their candidates, things that should most matter to people who are going to be directly affected by them.

Trump thus becomes the shiny thing to focus on, while the real story is the incredible morphing into pure fascism on the part of the Republican Party, whose chief political action arm just held their convention in totalitarian Hungary, if one can comprehend that. In that sense, Trump is a red herring, the focus on which distracts from what is really going on, and where the growing collective threat to America is emanating from. Is there someone out there who knows this, and uses Trump in that way? Or is it simply an example of how the media almost unerringly seems to miss the forest for the trees, in this case, one tree?