The Trump bandwagon continues to roll along. picking up speed with pissed off white people lining up to back him.
Apparently he embodies all of their misdirected anger and more than a little of their loud pushback. A pushback against all of their perceived slights from Obama to Muslims; Chinese investments in American properties to gun control. He slams immigrants…they love that. He slams women. That resonates too. He mocks the President, he mocks his Republican rivals, he mocks Foreign Countries and denigrates everybody and anybody who doesn’t buy into his unique and rather peculiar reactionary agenda. He’s the corner bully but in this case he’s convinced a lot of people that he will be THEIR bully.
This week the highly regarded bastion of conservative intellect, THE NATIONAL REVIEW, has come out with both barrels a-blazing to question whether or not Trump is fit and capable to be the President.
According to an article by Michael Calderone in the January 22, 2016 HUFFINGTON POST “National Review’s editors denounce Trump for shifting his political stances and describe him as “a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot in behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as the Donald himself.”
In a story appearing in the WASHINGTON POST’s “Fix” section, written by Callum Borchers, the editor of THE NATIONAL REVIEW (and a FOX NEWS analyst) Rich Lowry explains the how and why of what they did.
So conservatives, across a wide spectrum of political thought have banded together to try and stop the Trump diesel from gaining any more momentum. I think part of the problem here is it’s not your typical conservative movement. There are lots of people supporting Trump who wouldn’t ever consider themselves conservative. He’s struck a chord with people who are first and foremost “angry” and “dissatisfied” with what they perceive as the deterioration of their own lives, and the life of the country on a grander scale.
Since THE NATIONAL REVIEW came out with it’s blistering AGAINST TRUMP issue, the candidate has labeled them as “establishment” and as a “dying paper”. charges that in my opinion are both self serving and disingenuous. Lowry responds.
The facts are simply this. Trump is a political outsider, a moniker that he relishes. He paints the politicians and the government as the root cause of all the problems in the society. This is a calculated strategy that many before Trump have used to manipulate followers. This is the original thesis of the fledgling TEA PARTY before they were commandeered by the rightwing of the Republican party. Trump seems like he wants to be connected with the outsider mentality. But then why in the world would he make such a big deal out of being endorsed by Sarah Palin just a few days later? Most mainstream Republicans cringe at the very mention of her name. She represents a small stratum of society, at least in the last two national elections, that doesn’t reflect the attitudes of the vast majority of people. Is it possible her endorsement could be the kiss of death to his campaign? Maybe yes, maybe no. Remember Trump has already alienated Latinos, women and Muslims. He has insulted a national hero in John McCain; He has mocked and bullied his rivals Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina and yet his standing in the polls remains constant. His campaign tactics are less an indictment of The Donald himself, and I believe more a reflection of the darker side of American politics in 2016. When a candidate can show grossly classless behavior, when a candidate can mobilize anger into a political force against large swaths of the population; when a candidate promises to “make America great again” yet shows little in the way of programs to do so, it seems pretty obvious to me that he is playing to the lowest common denominator in the electorate. These are the issues that THE NATIONAL REVIEW, and the Republican hierarchy in general are faced with. As the loudest portion of the party moves further and further to the right, traditional Republicans with more moderate centrist views, are finally waking up to the danger presented by Trump and his angry populist movement.
Can Trump win a national election? Can he even win a number of the primaries? Will he keep his word and support the eventual nominee if he is not selected?
It’s going to be a VERY INTERESTING year on the right.