Source: The Daily Caller
I confess that I can’t help but enjoy the uninhibited way Donald Trump runs rings around the other Republican candidates by ignoring all the conventions of right-wing political correctness. I think he would be a great commentator for Fox News or, better still, Comedy Central.
I felt the same way about George Wallace in 1968 and 1972. I deplored what he stood for, but, in spite of himself, I enjoyed hearing him speak. He had great wit and a great sense of timing, and he deftly punctured the hypocrisy of the other candidates.
Other Republican candidates haven’t been able to answer Trump because of all the taboos they’ve imposed upon themselves over the years about what they can and can’t say.
Immigration is an example. Most Republican presidential candidates have to strike a balance between their corporate financial backers, who want more legal and illegal low-wage workers in the United States, and their constituents, who fear having to compete with and live with such immigrants.
Trump need not worry about striking a balance. There is nothing to stop him from appealing to Americans’ worst fears.
That is very different from being qualified to be President of the United States. Your convictions have to be based on something more solid than a showman’s sense of what will please the audience.
I even agree with Donald Trump on some things—such as his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, his defense of Social Security, his defense of Planned Parenthood, his opposition to special tax breaks for hedge fund managers.
I don’t really care about his specific views because I don’t take them seriously. I don’t think they’re the result of serious thought or conviction. I think he could change 180 degrees on any of them without hesitation or apology.
The secret of his strength is not his specific views, except maybe on immigration. His appeal is based on the idea that he would be a strong and tough leader.
And what is the basis of that belief? His repeated assertion that he would be a strong and tough leader.
Trump is tough in the sense that he does not hesitate to come down hard on those who have less power than he does. He is not tough in the sense that he stands up for what is right even though he has to pay a price for it. I do not think he would be a match for Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping or anyone else he has no power over.
The United States is heading in a bad direction, and the established political leaders of both parties are doing nothing to change it. Republican voters know this. That is why they are willing to consider a Donald Trump or a Dr. Ben Carson. Neither of these two candidates would be so strong if the established leaders of the Republican Party, or the Democratic Party, truly represented the public interest.
Trump Is Right on Economics by Paul Krugman for The New York Times.
The Shocking Truth About Donald Trump: He’s Actually the Least Terrifying GOP Candidate by Conor Lynch via Alternet.
The appeal of Trump: Why immigration may be the defining issue of the 21st century by Michael Brendan Dougherty for The Week.
#NRORevolt, explained by Matthew Yglesias for Vox. The conservative revolt against the conservative establishment.
The GOP’s Donald Trump Nightmare may soon get a lot worse by Greg Sargent for The Washington Post. Wait until the other Republican candidates have to take a stand on the Trans Pacific Partnership.
Have Evangelicals Who Support Trump Lost Their Values? by Russell L. Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention for The New York Times [added 9/18/2015]
The Donald Has Landed: Deal With It by Michael Scherer for Time.