by Thomas Pace on September 2, 2015

These days there’s only one name on either side of the entire American political landscape that matters.

Donald Trump.

Bet you didn’t see that coming.

I know I didn’t.

I mean, I wasn’t initially surprised to see him leading in the polls. It seemed totally in sync with the flavor-of-the-day cycle that defines the fickle right wing crowd. But I fully expected that eventually all of the idiotic and mean-spirited nonsense that he constantly spouts would eventually catch up to him. I figured that conservative voters would finally realize that the man is not a realistic presidential candidate.

I was wrong.

“Trump has tapped into something.”

You hear people use that phrase over and over trying to explain The Donald’s unforeseen popularity and staying power.

To be sure, his staunch anti-immigration stance and unkind rhetoric only endears him to a large section of the Republican Party that hear a mimic of their own voices whenever Trump spews his venom. Still, he’s not nearly the only Republican candidate with these kind of anti-social tendencies that many conservatives find so appealing. And, on a practical level, he’s nowhere near the most electable passenger in the clown car. So what gives?

Is there something else that sets Trump apart from the field? How has a reality star from network television gone from an unrealistic novelty candidate to the GOP’s front-runner? Exactly what has Trump tapped into that has made the unrealistic so suddenly realistic?

I’ll wager a guess.

Trump leads the Republican field because conservatives in this country no longer draw a distinction between what is realistic and what is unrealistic.

This is the party that thought Sarah Palin would make a good second-in-command.

Trump wants to deport all eleven million undocumented Americans and his base thinks that’s a brilliant idea. Does it make a difference if that plan is not within the realm of what is possible?

Not at all.

Donald Trump wants to build a wall across the southern border of the US and get Mexico to pay for it. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s simply never going to happen.

Trump wants to amend the constitution to take out the 14th amendment that allows birthright citizenship. Not a single serious policy expert would tell you there is the slightest chance that this can be done. But does that make a difference to conservatives? Not anymore. Not by a long shot.

Today’s American conservative seems to have an incredibly difficult time discerning what is and isn’t real. In fact, you can examine the conservative stance of any subject and you’ll nearly always find it’s based in non-reality.

For example:

The US military invading the state of Texas: Real.
Climate Change: Not Real.

Rampant voter fraud: Real.
Racism: Not Real.

Out of control military spending: Not Real.
War on Christmas: Real.

Obama coming for our guns: Real.
The fact that owning a gun makes your home less safe: Not Real.

Gay marriage threatening traditional marriage: Real.
The confederate flag as a symbol of racist past: Not Real.

Obama’s long form birth certificate: Not Real.
Iraqi WMD’s: Real.

Email-gate: Real.
Obama shrinking the deficit: Not Real.

Seems to be a fairly simple formula.

So, should we really be surprised that the GOP front-runner has earned his position on top by barking out impossible solutions to some of society’s most complex problems?

Get real.

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