SALON: Before There Was Donald Trump, There Was Michael Savage

In this Dec. 3, 2007 file photo, radio talk show host Michael Savage poses with his dog Teddy in Tiburon, Calif. Savage won a legal battle Thursday Sept. 27, 2012 and announced he was leaving Talk Radio Network, which broadcast his show that attracted more than 8 million listeners a …
AP Photo/John Storey

From Robert Hennelly writing at Salon:

Republicans who want to sideline Donald Trump may think that all of the GOP’s problems can be solved by his defeat. But Trump did not cause the great GOP divide, he’s merely exploiting it. At its core, the alienation of the party’s elite from a huge portion of its base stems from a deep sense of betrayal these voters feel at the hands of the Republican politicians they sent to Washington.

All too often these GOP incumbents, just like their Democratic colleagues, would cash in on their public service to make fortunes as lobbyists, doing the bidding of big business and even of foreign interests, pushing global trade deals that dismantled tens of thousands of factories and idled millions. At the same time, this disaffected base watched as the national government bailed out the banks, squandered the military, abused veterans, built up China, and ran up the national debt in the process.

So, just what portion of their oath of office did they keep?

(There is something similar at work between the Sanders insurgency and the professional Democrats, but not nearly as combustible.)

Long before Trump’s arrival on the scene, it was conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage, the idealogical godfather of “Trumpism,” who galvanized this insurgency. Savage gave it a voice and a powerful narrative, one that proved extremely helpful to those, like iconoclastic Senator Ted Cruz, who rose to prominence taking on the very same GOP beltway insiders that Donald Trump is now making so nervous.

Read the rest of the story at Salon.