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Posted: March 5, 2016

There’s only one way to stop Donald Trump

Gerry WarnerPerceptions by Gerry Warner

So now it’s war!

What else can you say after listening to a former Republican presidential candidate call Republican front-runner Donald Trump “a phony and a fraud” and a primary election debate degenerate into a smut contest with candidates uttering slurs about the size of each other’s penis?

Of course that occurred on Fox News Thursday night and that may explain it.

But in all seriousness, the electoral anarchy south of the border isn’t funny and as we in the Great White North watch with fascinated eyes this political gong show unravelling next door it does give pause to think what could possibly happen next?

Oddly enough, the political theatrics in the Excited States of America do bear at least some semblance to the last federal election on this side of the border because both contests centered around one very polarizing candidate.

Up here, that candidate, of course, was former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Why do these battles always seem to involve conservatives?) whose authoritarian ways antagonized Canadians so much they united across party lines and threw Harper out while leaving the Conservative Party strong enough to fight another election. And we, being Canadians after all, revolted against Harper politely. No references to penis size here. We just threw the bum out and left his party to pick up the pieces.

And that’s where all semblance to the antics south of the line ends because the

Republican Party is not just fighting Democrats. The party of Lincoln is fighting for its very life and before this ugly election is over it may be nothing but a corpse.

How did things come to this sad end? Well, I’m only a Canadian and I can’t pretend to fathom the American political psyche but I can offer some observations that may help to explain from an outsiders’ point of view.

Several years ago while driving at night in Montana I flipped on the radio to find some music to keep me awake and started switching stations. To my chagrin, the only thing on the airwaves was Bible-belting fundamentalist preachers or open-line-radio hosts, which sounded eerily similar. Both were pedaling angry, fearful, apocalyptic views in hate-filled screeds directed against Muslims, Mexicans and immigrants in general as well as “liberal elites” that they were convinced were “destroying America” or something like that.

The radio was almost smoking.

To me, it sounded like hate speech and I finally shut the radio off and started to think about what I’d heard. It certainly didn’t sound like the CBC or open line shows up here, which can also get pretty salty at times. I finally dubbed it “American fascist talk radio” and studiously avoided it in future trips across the line the same way I avoid Fox News despite its cynical claim to be “fair and balanced.”

And now it’s “The Donald,” a “phony and a fraud” as Mitt Romney put it, but poised to be the Republican candidate for president in the November election race unless a desperate internal revolt within the party can stop him and the odds don’t look good on that.

People, not just in the U.S., keep asking how can this be and I can’t help but think of that dark night in Montana when I heard that rancid stream of hate and fear spilling out of the radio. Ever since 911, Americans have been running scared. The enemy is at the gates of the American Empire. And no matter how many missiles, drones and bombs they drop on Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, the enemy is never vanquished. Of course, it never occurs to them, and many on this side of the border as well, that wars of this kind are endless and the only way to stop them is to bring the troops home and seriously pursue peace.

If this happened, there would be no need for a wall around the U.S. and no need for Donald Trump either. It’s my earnest hope that Americans come to their senses before November.

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and a great, but worried, admirer of the U.S.

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