Colson: A few words on Trump — concept and verb
Some weeks the news rolls by so fast that it’s hard to keep up.
For instance, I started this column last week in an effort to get a jump on my April 25th deadline for a column that appears today, April 28.
But some mighty strange doings came around the bend on Sunday, forcing me to trash my early effort and start over. Serves me right for even thinking about keeping ahead of the game.
Anyway, the latest about Donald Trump is that even one of the fabulously tone-deaf, nose-pinched Koch brothers (politically, anyway) has finally heard the martial music, smelled the feces-imbued roses, and realized that Trump is a bad bet for the country.
Charles Koch (he has a house in Aspen’s West End, for those who feel we should maintain a local profile in the opinion columns) on Sunday told ABC News that neither he nor his brother, David, have given any money to finance Donald Trump’s bid for the White House, and that they have no plans to do so.
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In fact, according to a story last October in The Daily Beast, the Koch brothers despise Trump’s political shenanigans, his racist/misogynistic verbal antics and generally his entire persona.
Charles also told ABC that in addition to not supporting The Donald’s political ambitions, the brothers Koch also have not put any of their much-ballyhooed political treasure chest to work against him.
Not yet, at least.
Which leaves me in a rather puzzling conundrum.
I loathe the very concept of mega-wealth, feeling it to be inherently undemocratic in its application to politics and its effect on our nation’s economy and society, and I distrust the wealthy class as a whole.
And that, I must admit, is part of why I cannot stomach Trump and his histrionics. He’s rich enough that he can amuse himself by bulling his way into the U.S. political arena in a rude and destabilizing way, and when he doesn’t win the presidency (that’s my prediction, at least) he can just walk away and busy himself with becoming even richer.
Now, if the Koch brothers, who are said to be enamored of the Libertarian view of the world, have it in for The Donald, there is part of me that feels I should be cheering them on with all my breath.
On the other hand, it was Koch money, largely, that created the Tea Party, which has so twisted and destabilized our politics that I can scarcely stand to even mention it, preferring to call them “teabaggers” and leave it at that. And Trump is, I think, a natural outgrowth of the teabaggers.
On the third hand, if the Koch brothers are kept busy helping to derail the Trump train, that means they might be too distracted to do much other damage to our political landscape, at least in this electoral cycle, which would be a bonus too tempting to pass up.
Of course, if I really think Trump can’t win, why worry?
He’s already torn the Republican Party asunder in a way that is not likely to be patched up very easily.
Last Sunday’s New York Times carried a column by a longtime Republican lamenting that the Trump candidacy is having such a caustic effect on the party that longtime friends are either no longer speaking to each other or they are Trump-ing one another — name-calling, insult-slinging, that sort of thing.
And, according to the writer (political wonk Peter Wehner) this breaking of bonds is not to be taken lightly.
“What makes this moment so unusual is that the ruptures are occurring among people who have for years been political allies, whose friendships were forged through common battles, often standing shoulder to shoulder,” Wehner wrote.
Which, I must note, agrees with my overall view of the Trump phenomenon, especially on my bleaker days.
I believe that Trump is emblematic of a growing tendency in this country, on the part of a certain set of the populace, to completely disrespect and dismiss viewpoints that are liberal, compassionate and tolerant of alternative ideas and beliefs.
It won’t be long until The Donald’s last name becomes a verb, “to Trump,” which means to insult, belittle, disrespect and any other demeaning verbal trick available that leaves a recipient feeling like a piece of crap.
It’s already happening, and not just in the violence perpetrated by Trump supporters at rallies.
Why, here in Garfield County we had an example recently, when Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario “trumped” Ninth Judicial District Attorney Sherry Caloia, belittling her capabilities, comparing her to a child and other insulting verbal attacks that made the papers.
And, as acknowledged by defense attorney Chip McCrory, an Independent and one of Caloia’s opponents in the upcoming election, it was all a political ploy. Vallario is a bully-boy and a Republican who supports Republican DA candidate Jeff Cheney, Caloia is a woman and a Democrat — ‘nuff said.
Yep, I see Trump’s campaign as a further degradation of our political dialogue that will have dire ramifications we cannot yet imagine.
And even the Koch brothers see it coming.
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This weekend we go local. After the bacchanalia that was the Food & Wine Classic last week, we turn to Snowmass for a kinder, gentler wine gathering as the 19th Snowmass Wine Festival gets underway.