In the debate last night in Texas, Donald Trump said something revealing, more revealing than anything else I’ve heard him say. He asked Ted Cruz if he was the angry zealot Cruz accused him of being, it struck me as a lot closer to the truth of Cruz than of Trump. Coupled with Chris Christie throwing his support him today, it suddenly occurs to me that Trump, whether by accident or by design, has tapped into a previously unrecognized voting block, the LIVID MIDDLE.
Think about the TEA Party which has managed to stay relevant through virulent talk radio and a few wealthy supporters. The Angry Right is what Rubio and Cruz and the conventional wisdom of the GOP said would carry that side of the ticket when Bush (establishment) failed to gain traction. Bush wasn’t tapping into the angry right, he was too moderate, too comfortable in his establishment skin. But the angry right isn’t what kept Bush out, it is his failure to recognize that his own level of comfort with the status quo isn’t shared by most of the people in the middle.
Last night Trump revealed that he isn’t really with the Angry Right so much as with a Livid Middle. When he asked Cruz if he referred to himself as an angry zealot the light went on for me. Trump isn’t one of them, he’s already starting to move to the middle. His comments on Planned Parenthood and stated willingness to make deals between the sides of the aisle further confirm for me that Trump is already leaving the angry right behind for Cruz and Rubio. It isn’t a large enough voting block to get him into the White House and he seems to be the only relevant candidate who knows it on the GOP side.
Democrats have not recognized this LIVID MIDDLE yet either for that matter. They’re still too intent on painting Trump as a crazy right wing lunatic. But they are missing the evidence for the LIVID MIDDLE in their own race. If Trump can pull some of the angry middle supporting Bernie into his camp, the Democrats are done, and so are the Republicans because Trump is for Trump.
The thing is this, the right thinks they own anger. The religious zealots like Cruz think that separation of church & state is contrary to the intent of the founding fathers. Cruz was raised on dominionism, that Christians are to take over all aspects of society and bring it to heel.
But the LIVID MIDDLE is plenty pissed and our anger is only fed by the right’s dream of asserting dominion. We don’t want a religious zealot as president or senator, we like government and church being separate. We don’t want someone who fetches and carries for the Pope or the Preacher, or Wall Street, the Oil Industry, or any other industry either.
The LIVID MIDDLE got screwed in the collapse and we’re getting screwed in the recovery. And, the establishment thinks we should thank them for it. Obamacare for whatever good it has done also did some things none of us liked and they act like we forgot. I lost my insurance plan because of Obamacare, the great plan I HAD went away because of Obamacare and is no longer available. I REMEMBER that and don’t think I’ll forget when it comes time to vote.
I want the Supreme Court to uphold the rights of all, it is supposed to be a bulwark against the anyone misusing the law to deny rights to anyone. But the angry right seems to be forgetting that too. They crow and wail about popular votes designed to limit the rights of minorities as if the majority has a constitutional right to assert its bias and bigotry against anyone they don’t like…dominionism at its worst.
The Livid Middle is pissed that nobody actually went to prison for the crash of the economy. We REMEMBER and WE ARE PISSED.
We are sick and tired of lying, cheating, two-faced politicians who promise the world and do nothing.
We’re tired of the do-nothing Congress.
We’re tired of big money in politics.
We are sick and tired of the rigged game and yes we know it’s rigged for the rich from the criminal justice system to the insurance companies to the IRS. We’ve all been screwed and WE KNOW.
We’re tired of hearing that we need more war toys and less social security.
We’re tired of bad roads and illegal immigration and growing poverty and homelessness.
We’re sick and tired of hearing all politicians talk about reforming the tax code and getting rid of the IRS and doing nothing about it.
We’re tired of our parents coming to the end of life and finding there’s no Medicare support for decent long-term care.
We’re tired of right wing conservatives who portray themselves as originalists but can’t explain the contradiction between originalism and their “supposed” support for the 13th Amendment.
We’re tired of hypocrites who hold the Bible in one hand and lie, steal and fornicate with the other.
The TEA Party doesn’t have a monopoly on anger. The LIVID MIDDLE is larger and we’re pissed at lots of things including the TEA Party.
If Trump tapped the LIVID MIDDLE on purpose, then maybe he’s a hell of a lot smarter than I give him credit for being.