Skip to comments.Trump Fans, It’s Time for An Intervention
Posted on 07/11/2015 1:59:03 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
There have been times in the past when Ive gotten crosswise with certain segments of the conservative base and/or with the readership of National Review. And, because, like the Elephant Man, I am a not an animal but a human being, I have always had at least some self-doubt. Thats as it should be. People who share principles should not only hear each other out when they disagree; they should be able to see each others points and hold open the possibility that ones opponents have the better argument.
This is not one of those times, at least not for me.
I truly, honestly, and with all my heart and mind think Donald Trumps most ardent supporters are making a yuuuuuuge mistake. I think they are being conned and played. I feel like a guy whose brother is being taken advantage of by a grifter. Im watching helplessly as the con artist congratulates him for taking out a third mortgage.
Anger Is Not an Argument
Now, before I go on, let me clarify a few things. I get it. The base of the party is angry. Theyre angry about Obamas lawless chicanery on immigration. Theyre angry about the GOPs patented inability to cross the street without stepping on its own d*ck and then having to apologize for it. Theyre angry that the Lefts culture warriors are behaving like an invading army that shoots the survivors even after theyve surrendered. Theyre angry that Republicans have to bend over backward so as not to offend anyone, while Democrats have free rein (and at times free reign) to do and to say as they please.
Enter Trump, stage left. He makes no apologies. Hes brash. I can understand why some see him as a breath of fresh air. If you want to give him credit for starting a worthwhile debate about sanctuary cities and illegal immigration, fine. I think that argument is way overdone, but certainly reasonable enough.
Trump supporters need an intervention. I want to sit them down at the kitchen table, reach into a manila envelope, and pull out the proof that hes a fraud.
Maybe you just like him. On that, we can respectfully disagree, as there is no accounting for taste. Perhaps you just like his musk and the way it assaults your nostrils, which is fitting, given his line of cologne. Fine.
I, on the other hand, find him tedious, tacky, and trite. Hes a bore who overcompensates for his insecurities by talking about how awesome he is, often in the third person. Jonah cant stand that.
You see the next Teddy Roosevelt and all I see is someone who talks big and carries a small schtick.
In words George Will shall never write, this is a good moment to talk about my pants. Earlier this week, Donald Trump attacked Charles Krauthammer and me. By the way, I dont blame Trump one bit for his hostility. Id hate me too, if I were him. Still I do marvel at how this supposed Master of the Universe can be unnerved by such criticism. If it takes so little effort for me to set up shop in his head, by all means, lets give him thermonuclear weapons.
Anyway, when asked about me, he said:
Im worth a fortune. . . . I went out, I made a fortune, a big fortune, a tremendous fortune . . . bigger than people even understand. . . . Then I get called [a failure] by a guy that cant buy a pair of pants, I get called names?
As the intern said to Bill Clinton, this puts me in a weird position. I dont like to brag, but Im actually quite adept at buying pants. I dont enjoy it. But I can do it. It never occurred to me to put it in my bio or anything Jonah Goldberg is a senior editor of National Review, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a successful pants-buyer but maybe I should.
Now, I will say that I sometimes choose not to wear pants, and not just because Im so fond of my spaghetti-strainer codpiece (which affords me the satisfaction of telling really attractive women, Hey, my eyes are up here. Thank you very much). But these are my choices. If I want to identify as a pantless American, who are you to say otherwise?
More to the point, what I find so gaudy about Trump is his constant reference to the fact that he made a lot of money, and his expectation that it somehow makes him immune to criticism or means that hes a better person than his GOP competitors, never mind yours truly.
The Trump-Pets Blare
Moreover, I find it horribly disappointing that his fans like this about him. If you met someone in real life who talked this way, you would think hes a jerk. But somehow hes awesome when he does it on TV?
The most troubling defense is this claptrap that he tells it like it is. Well, first of all, no he doesnt. He tells it the way you want to hear it, which is an entirely different thing.
His biggest fans disappoint in other ways as well. I marvel at how they can simultaneously despise Obamas arrogance but revel in Trumps. (I chuckle at all of the people who tell me hes a heroic truth-teller for telling it like it is and calling it as he sees it but who at the same time fume at me when I tell it like it is about Trump and call it as I see it.)
But most grating of all are the people who sincerely think he should be the Republican nominee for President of the United States.
On this, Im afraid were going to have to disrespectfully disagree. First of all, hell never be president of the United States. I wont go into all of the reasons I think this, but a few off the top of my head: his enormous negatives, even among Republicans; the Midass hoard of oppo-research material that surely lurks beneath the surface; and his comments about women, which alone would turn the gender gap into a chasm. To borrow a line from Mark Steyn, a President Trump would have more ex-wives than the previous 44 presidents combined.
But my objection isnt to the political analysis of Trump supporters. Its their judgment of the man that stews the bowels.
The Purest RINO
Which gets me back to the grifter thing.
Ive written many times about how I hate the term RINO because conservatives should consider themselves Republicans in Name Only. The Republican Party is a vessel, a tool for achieving conservative ends. Its nothing more than a team. Conservatism is different. Its a body of ideas, beliefs, and temperaments. The amazing thing is that Trump is both a RINO and a CINO. Im sure he has some authentic and sincere conservative views down in there somewhere. But the idea that hes more plausibly conservative or more loyally Republican than Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, or any of the others is just flatly absurd. It is vastly more plausible that he is a stalking horse for his dear friend Hillary Clinton than he is a sincere conservative.
Trump supporters need an intervention. I want to sit them down at the kitchen table, reach into a manila envelope, and pull out the proof that hes a fraud. The conversation would go something like this:
Immigration: You seem to think hes an immigration hardliner, and hes certainly pretending to be. But why cant you see through it? He condemned Mitt Romney as an immigration hardliner in 2012 and favored comprehensive immigration reform. He told Bill OReilly he was in favor of a path to citizenship for 30 million illegal immigrants:
Trump: You have to give them a path. You have 20 million, 30 million, nobody knows what it is. It used to be 11 million. Now, today I hear its 11, but I dont think its 11. I actually heard you probably have 30 million. You have to give them a path, and you have to make it possible for them to succeed. You have to do that.
Question: Just how many rapists and drug dealers did Donald Trump want to give green cards to?
Abortion: In 1999 he said, Im totally pro-choice. I hate it and I hate saying it. And Im almost ashamed to say that Im pro-choice but I am pro-choice because I think we have no choice.
Man, its like hes channeling Thomas Aquinas there.
Now he says hes pro-life. But Ill spare the mocking on this because at least hes flip-flopping in the right direction, and I dont like to second guess peoples professed religious convictions.
Obamacare: The man wrote in his own book and said elsewhere that he was in favor of Canadian-style socialized medicine which would put him to the left of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and on pretty much the same page as Bernie Sanders.
Hillary: Speaking of her, Trump praised Hillary Clinton and her health-care reform plan in 2007! She attended his (most recent) wedding. He donated to her campaigns and to the Clinton Foundation. In 2008, he couldnt get his head around the fact that Obama didnt pick her for VP. Im a big fan of Hillary. Shes a terrific woman. Shes a friend of mine.
Economics: People tout the guys business record. But he represents almost exactly what his supporters think he opposes. Hes a crony capitalist par excellence. He gives to whatever politician can grease the skids for his next deal and he makes no apologies for it. Hes an eminent-domain voluptuary. He abuses bankruptcy laws like a stack of homemade get-out-of-jail-free cards.
Parlez vous Conservative?
The most troubling defense is this claptrap that he tells it like it is. Well, first of all, no he doesnt. He tells it the way you want to hear it, which is an entirely different thing. He is like William Jennings Bryan, only his cross of gold has an all-you-can-eat buffet under it, and looks remarkably like a capital T.
He is like William Jennings Bryan, only his cross of gold has an all-you-can-eat buffet under it, and looks remarkably like a capital T.
The people of Nebraska are for free silver, and I am for free silver, Bryan announced. I will look up the arguments later. That is Trumps approach. Hes saying what understandably angry people want to hear him say.
He reminds me a lot of Mitt Romney, at least in one respect. I always said that Romney spoke conservatism as a second language (a line some people ripped off, btw). Thats why Romney called himself a severe conservative, talked about how he likes to fire people, and anathematized the 47 percent.
Trump is even less truly conservative, but hes trying to speak in an even grubbier dialect of conservatism. And, having grown up in the tabloid politics of New York, hes better at faking it.
Eventually, I suspect, this will be the cause of his undoing. He doesnt know what he doesnt know about conservatism, and at some point he will say something that even his biggest fans will recognize as a damning revelation about the real man beneath the schtick. The only question is whether he implodes before or after he does permanent damage to the GOPs chances in 2016.
The Conservative Heart
Look, these are rough times for conservatives, for reasons too lengthy, and all too familiar, to go into here. But none of our problems demographic, political, cultural can be solved unless conservatives take the cause of persuasion to heart. All of our problems can be fixed by convincing people to join our cause. That is what politics is about persuading people that their interests and concerns are better addressed by coming to our side. And, given the degraded nature of our culture, I wont deny that having a celebrity on our side has its utility. But its only helpful if that celebrity convinces people to switch sides. As a purely mathematical proposition, it is insane to believe that Donald Trump will convert more voters than he will repel.
For those who are interested in persuasion, I heartily recommend Arthur Brookss new book, The Conservative Heart (full disclosure: Hes my boss at AEI and a friend). Ill be writing more about it in the future because I think its an important book. But I will say for now that it is almost a mirror image of Trumps approach. Its thoughtful, humble, fact- and data-driven, and informed by a deep moral case for conservatism. It wont satisfy your desire to scream at the opposition, but it will equip you to explain to the opposition why they are wrong............
Clinton, Obama? You might be justified in believing that he already owns the office. Seems a bit silly to have people running around with their hair on fire worrying about it happening.
Trump likes to utilize Eminent Domain.
".....A decade and a half ago, it was fresh on everyones mind that Donald Trump is one of the leading users of this form of state-sanctioned thievery. It was all over the news. In perhaps the most-remembered example, John Stossel got the toupéed one to sputter about how, if he wasnt allowed to steal an elderly widows house to expand an Atlantic City casino, the government would get less tax money, and seniors like her would get less this and that. Today, however, it takes a push from the Club for Growth to remind us of Trumps lack of respect for property rights....."
Jonah Goldberg: Trump Is a Bane of Humanity, Drives Me Crazy That Fox Takes Him Seriously
Like Jonah, but he and other news media types are missing the fact that many of us are tired of hearing “ opinions” which in most cases have been wrong about topics that we care about.
Love him or hate him, its not hard to understand Donald. He’s an old school straight talker who has won and lost in life , and at this point seems to be the one most willing to talk about success for America in simple terms.
Well, it does prove that if you have a lot of personal wealth, you would have had to do a few things right, but that doesn’t mean you are a good politician...
That being said, I do not think Trump is in this to win...He’s in there to make a splash, and a few under the table assurances for future money making endeavors...
I do not see Trump sticking around after Super Tuesday...By then a lot of these campaigns will be done for at that point, and his purpose will be done...
To push the GOP’s Jebby to the convention and another hold your nose at the polls next year...
If that happens to be the result, you can be assured Hillary will be the next president...
I really, really hope to be proven wrong next year...
Except for Ronald Reagan, and even he changed his stance on abortion, you can not find a politician — one who studies the impact of his statements — who has not uttered inconsistent beliefs. How much more so than with someone like Trump, who has only dallied with it in the past.
After the November election, when the democrats were handed one of the biggest defeats in history, and it was COMPLETELY NULLIFIED by the Republicans, what on earth do we have to lose with a guy who at least is PREACHING the right thing. Which one of the Republican candidates can you count on to break out of the RINO mold? With the immigration crisis, this will be out last chance to preserve our nation. Literally.
Goldberg completely negated any perceptive ability he claims to have about Trump when he suggested Trump is a stalking horse for Hillary Clinton; he also wrote that Trump is a “failed man”. How is it possible to regard Trump as a “failed man’? And so he whines when Trump belittles him (he left him no choice) and he whines about Trump hurting the Republican brand, and as you point out, Trump is no where in the league with Boehner and McConnell for accomplishing that.
I do. Read around the web. Trump is the man everyone is excited about. The rest are mealy-mouthed contenders. They are going down. Trump and Cruz. The dynamic duo.
He said he will not run third party and with all the support he is getting, he won’t have to.
Trump is not an ideologue and is no conservative. Few think that.
He is a business-oriented problem solver. I would rather have a guy in there with whom I believe on three issues, but who fixes those three issues, than a guy who shares 100% of my views but can't stand up to the media and elites to get anything done.
Jonah is right, anger is not an issue. But you know what? Neither was "hope and change" or "a chicken in every pot" but they win elections because Americans anymore don't seem to have the capacity to talk issues, only passion and personality. Heck, Reagan ran on one line: "Are you better off today than you were four years ago?"
Goldberg us stuck in policy wonk world where this or that candidate's cute little tweaks impress him.
In other words, Trump, like Rush, is listening to the people when apparently no one else is. Imagine that from a candidate.
I remember Trump in the 1970s and what a local joke he was.
I moved out for good in 1980. Seems like the boy has made good since then.
People do grow up.
I agree with Jonah.
“What is Trumps motivation?”
At some level it’s the same motivation as all of them have - ego. Ego is the absolute central motivator of politicians - except for those whose primary motivation is making money, and the small number who actually want to help make the world a better place. Beyond that, I think he truly believes what he is saying. Just my take.
By the way, I just read a column by Mark Steyn. He writes about Trump, per immigration, in about the way I just posted to you. And he was not negative, about Trump, the way Goldberg implied he was in his article.
“If you want to give him credit for starting a worthwhile debate about sanctuary cities and illegal immigration, fine. I think that argument is way overdone, but certainly reasonable enough.”
Way overdone? Does Joanne have ANY IDEA that there are 30,000,000 ILLEGALS in this country. Or does she just think that it’s only the handful he sees at Home Depot once in a while?
This is SCARY STUFF.
That stuff all will come out and it won't matter any more than Emmitt Smith quitting as a Miss America judge. Because TRUMP DOESN'T CARE.
This is what the old style pols and analysts don't get. With the exception of Cruz---who has yet to weather this level of attack, though I think he can---Trump is the only one with enough money and enough ego to tell yahoos like Jonah to piss off.
As long as Cruz is ok with how Trump is rolling, I have no criticism. I’ll take cues from Cruz over Goldberg any day of the week and twice on Sunday!
Great read. Thanks.
Calm down Joanne, if you gals REALLY want to silence him, you gals can start addressing Illegal immigration.
But since that isn’t happening, TRUMP OWNS THE STAGE - and it is YOUR FAULT that is the case, not our fault. We’ve been SCREAMING FOR YEARS for Republicans to address the issue, and we get laughed at and stepped on by your type of people.
You can’t do that to Trump - the only option you have is to ADDRESS THE ISSUE - or you may very well be covering his inauguration, because there are a lot of DEMOCRATS and Independents also fed up with what this country has become due to Open Borders.
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