Donald Trump shouldn’t be winning the Republican primary. Pundits have called Donald Trump “unpresidential.” Opponents say he has no record in politics. He’s taken the standard campaign manual and tossed it out the window. Yet, Donald Trump triumphed in two of the three primary races. The implication is obvious: the Republican establishment can’t stop Donald Trump. But as his often harsh rhetoric takes an ugly turn, the question is that can anyone stop Donald Trump?
According to the Economist, the Republican establishment pinned their hopes on Senator Marco Rubio. The Republican establishment hoped that dropouts by Jeb Bush and John Kasich would merge the mainstream vote. Jeb Bush suspended his campaign after a disastrous fourth place finish in South Carolina. Fifth place finisher John Kasich can’t be far behind.
In response, Donald Trump turned his patented brand of mud-slinging onto Rubio. According to Fox News, Donald Trump recently suggested that Senator Marco Rubio is ineligible to run for president. It all started when Donald Trump retweeted a link from a supporter. The supporter claimed that Rubio is ineligible because he isn’t a “natural-born citizen.”
According to the Constitution, only a natural-born citizen can be president. Certain Republicans believe that Rubio is ineligible because his parents are Cuban immigrants. Trump launched a similar argument against competitor Ted Cruz. In the lead-up to the Iowa caucuses, Trump claimed that Ted Cruz is ineligible because he was born in Canada to an American parent. But, legal scholars agree that Rubio and Cruz are natural-born citizens.
The truth doesn’t seem to matter to Donald Trump. Trump continues to claim that legal scholars disagree, while urging Cruz and Rubio to suspend their campaigns. According to Trump, only the courts can decide their eligibility. The fact that Cruz and Rubio dropping out would leave Trump the only viable Republican candidate is never mentioned.
To be fair, Donald Trump’s political rhetoric has always been divisive. But with two primary wins under his belt, Trump seems poised to enter new levels of mud-slinging.
Hot on the heels of his Twitter rumble with Pope Francis, Trump took aim at President Obama.
I wonder if President Obama would have attended the funeral of Justice Scalia if it were held in a Mosque? Very sad that he did not go!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2016
The tweet implies that President Obama didn’t attend Justice Scalia’s funeral because it happened in a church. This recalls back to the already busted myth that President Obama is Muslim. Despite the fact that President Obama drinks, smokes, and attends Christian services, all of which are forbidden to Muslims.
The myth that Obama avoided Scalia’s funeral for political reasons made the rounds of conservative blogs. But only Donald Trump claimed religion prompted Obama’s decision. Some claimed that President Obama golfed instead of attending Scalia’s funeral mass.
According to CNN, President Obama spent the weekend reading dossiers. From the dossiers, President Obama will select his nominee to replace Scalia.
By bringing race and fear into the race, Donald Trump stands to eliminate his strongest Republican competition. But can that tactic work during the general election? Maybe.
According to CNN, Trump predicted that he will face Hillary Clinton in the fall general election. Trump has already begun seeding doubts about Clinton’s qualifications.
“Frankly, if she gets indicted, that’s the only way she’s going to be stopped. I think it’s going to be Hillary and myself.”
If Trump’s prediction holds true, then he has a clear path to victory. Playing on Clinton’s ties to Barack Obama will secure him the shattered Republican base. Calling her weak on issues like immigration and health care might secure independents. But where does that leave everyone else?
For now, all Trump’s opponents can do is watch in horror as his rise to prominence continues. And hope that his vision to “make America great again” somehow merges with theirs.
[Photo by Paul Sancya/Associated Press]