The Hightower Report

Trump is a buffoon, but what do we call his copycat rivals?

Donnie Trump is said to be the biggest thing in American politics these days. Of course, that's mostly being said by him – then repeated ad nauseam by a media gone gaga over his summer of self-worship.

In essence, Trump is nothing but a figment of his own imagination (and his presidential candidacy is even less substantial than a figment). As columnist Maureen Dowd notes, his campaign is like a "runaway Macy's Thanksgiving Day balloon." In fact, that image pretty well sums up The Donald: A huge, plastic, cartoonish balloon bloated with gaseous ego and floating precariously above us.

The danger of Donnie, however, is not that he'll get elected, but that his racist, nativist, xenophobic nonsense is giving permission for others to spout the same ugliness in public, and for other candidates to adopt some of his ugliest policies. For instance, by mindlessly and repeatedly asserting that immigrants from Mexico are rapists and murderers, the narcissistic TV celebrity has pushed this dehumanizing and dangerous stereotype from the darkest fringe of paranoiac politics directly into the Republican race for president.

Moreover, Trump has turned this vile bias into a vile proposal to revoke "birthright citizenship" – which is our Constitution's guarantee that children born here are citizens. This smug son of privilege wants to take that basic right away from the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. Such rank political exploitation of children should be scorned and rejected as un-American, but instead it's being embraced, not only by far-out GOP wannabes like Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal, but also by some supposedly "serious" candidates, including Scott Walker and Jeb Bush.

Trump seems proud to be a buffoonish know-nothing, but his pusillanimous copycat rivals clearly have no pride at all.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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