Trump supporters do not care what anyone thinks. They love the Donald; they believe in the Donald; they are impassioned about the Donald; they are convinced that he can do the job… because, after all, he has NEVER done a job that remotely resembles that of President of the United States. Ergo….
But, why bother with details? His heart’s in the right place. So are his muscles. Trump supporters do not ask whether he, a rank amateur at governing, can do the things that he is promising. They are willing to make a leap of faith. Besides, Donald believes in himself. He believes that he can do it. Does that mean that he can? No, it doesn’t.
Keep in mind that Barack Obama rode into the White House on the slogan: Yes, we can. And let’s not forget that Angela Merkel opened Germany to more than a million Muslim refugees because, she said, echoing BHO: We can do it.
Of course, Trump supporters do not care that Glenn Beck has declared that he will not vote for Donald Trump. If it’s Trump vs. Clinton, Beck said that he will not vote for president. How big is Glenn Beck’s audience? How much is his view shared by other American conservatives?
By Beck’s lights, Trump is not a conservative. He’s a progressive. He has a consistent record of supporting progressive causes. Except when he is not.
Can you trust someone who doesn’t know his own mind on the basic issues? I leave it for you to decide.
I get it. Beck is not exactly an intellectual luminary. He is not what one would call a deep thinker. But, do you really think that Ann Coulter is?
Then there is Peter Wehner, a conservative Republican who has worked in both Bush administrations. This implies, for Trump supporters, that no one should pay any attention to anything that Wehner says. I mention this point because it has an eerie resemblance to the arguments put forth by leftist professors, to the effect that opposing points of view are unwelcome and will be penalized.
Besides, Wehner’s column appeared this morning in the New York Times. Hmmm. One should note that before he went to the Times, Wehner was writing for the Commentary blog; it is not a left wing site. He is a fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, not a left wing think tank.
It should be obvious, but the Times would much prefer that Trump be the Republican candidate. It is salivating over the prospect of running against someone who is so unprepared, and it is in ecstasy about what Trump is doing to the Republican Party. That is why it has been spending far more space and time attacking Trump's opposition. Everything that the Times has been trying to do to the Republican Party since its inception, Donald Trump is doing in a matter of a few months. For the Times, the Republican Party is part of the axis of evil. It's slogan is: Republican Party delenda est. Pardon the Latin.
If you wish above all else to destroy the Republican Party, then letting the bull loose in the china shop is a good idea. If you want to accomplish something constructive, it’s not such a good idea.
Anyway, those who would like to give these matters a smidgeon of reflection would do well to consider Wehner’s argument against Trump. After all, rational thought involves giving serious consideration to different points of view. It is not rational to say that you are so angry that you will not listen to anyone whose thought does not echo your own.
Like Beck, Wehner says that if it’s Trump vs. Clinton he will vote for neither.
Wehner begins with the question of qualifications:
… he would be the most unqualified president in American history. Every one of our 44 presidents has had either government or military experience before being sworn in. Mr. Trump, a real estate mogul and former reality-television star, hasn’t served a day in public office or the armed forces.
One understands that being unqualified and inexperienced is now touted as a supreme virtue, but seriously?
Wehner continues, taxing Trump with ignorance of the basic issues:
During the course of this campaign he has repeatedly revealed his ignorance on basic matters of national interest — the three ways the United States is capable of firing nuclear weapons (by land, sea and air), the difference between the Quds Force in Iran and the Kurds to their west, North Korea’s nuclear tests, the causes of autism, the effects of his tax plan on the deficit and much besides.
And let’s not forget Trump’s threats to start trade wars with China and Mexico by imposing crippling tariffs on them. Now we are learning that when Trump made those threats he did not really say it or mean it.
Trigger warning: for those who prefer a more extensive argument against the Trump trade policy, take gander at a column by Kevin Williamson in National Review. One notes that NR has never been a shill for the left.
Trump’s supporters will reply that the Donald can learn. Of course, this implies that he wants to learn. As for how much of it he can learn in a short period of time, I would not wager that he can learn everything he needs to know about constitutional law in a weekend.
Does Trump care to learn about these things? Apparently, he does not. Word around New York, from people who have had dealings with Trump suggests that he is supremely confident, knows real estate and does not like to listen to anyone. The problem is, when you are seriously uninformed you do not merely make mistakes; you are in thrall to whichever advisor has your ear. In the case of Trump that sounds like: whoever is the richest or whoever is the most flattering.
In Wehner’s words:
Mr. Trump has no desire to acquaint himself with most issues, let alone master them. He has admitted that he doesn’t prepare for debates or study briefing books; he believes such things get in the way of a good performance. No major presidential candidate has ever been quite as disdainful of knowledge, as indifferent to facts, as untroubled by his benightedness.
And of course, when you have never held public office you are unlikely to appreciate the import and the impact of your words. When a private citizen mouths off, he is mouthing off. No one takes him very seriously. When a public official mouths off, he is making policy. People are obliged to take it very seriously.
As evidence, Wehner offers the following unfortunate statements:
It is little surprise, then, that many of Mr. Trump’s most celebrated pronouncements and promises — to quickly and “humanely” expel 11 million illegal immigrants, to force Mexico to pay for the wall he will build on our southern border, to defeat the Islamic State “very quickly” while as a bonus taking its oil, to bar Muslims from immigrating to the United States — are nativistic pipe dreams and public relations stunts.
As it happens, Trump supporters love his temperament. The problem is, how would that temperament operate in the White House. What will happen when everyone decides to emulate his example. People love Trump’s tough talk and his take-no-prisoners attitude. How would you like it if schoolchildren chose to emulate his example, if your boss and your neighbor spend their time showering you with insults and invective? What if the national vocabulary were spiced with: low-energy, pathetic, stupid, ugly loser.
In Wehner’s words:
Even more disqualifying is Mr. Trump’s temperament. He is erratic, inconsistent and unprincipled. He possesses a streak of crudity and cruelty that manifested itself in how he physically mocked a Times journalist with a disability, ridiculed Senator John McCain for being a P.O.W., made a reference to “blood” intended to degrade a female journalist and compared one of his opponents to a child molester….
Mr. Trump’s virulent combination of ignorance, emotional instability, demagogy, solipsism and vindictiveness would do more than result in a failed presidency; it could very well lead to national catastrophe. The prospect of Donald Trump as commander in chief should send a chill down the spine of every American.
As they say, now tell us how you really feel?
Serious political types are chagrined by what Trump would do to the Republican Party:
If Mr. Trump heads the Republican Party, it will no longer be a conservative party; it will be an angry, bigoted, populist one. Mr. Trump would represent a dramatic break with and a fundamental assault on the party’s best traditions.
You might think that they are all a bunch of fuckups and that the Republican Party thoroughly deserves to be transformed, perhaps even to be killed. If so, there will no longer be a conservative political party in America and the Democrats will have magically been brought back from the dead… saved from their Obamaphile folly.
One understands that Trump supporters do not want to think about any of this. They are following their passions, not the voice of reason. It’s not a good way to choose a political candidate and it is certainly not a good way to run your life.