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These pages have not been friendly to the Trump campaign. We started June 22, 2015, then again July 29th, Aug 18th, and for half the post of Sept. 15th. So, we have anti-Trump bona fides. But, a self-serving speech by the foolish Mitt Romney made it plain Pickings was wrong. Listening to Mitt, one wanted to ask, “Where was this passion four years ago?”
For decades Donald Trump has made himself into a caricature of our expectations. But long exposure makes plain there is substance to the man. First off, we have his children. If the private man was truly the bombastic creep we see so often, his children would be emotional basket cases. That they are squared away people gives us a view behind the curtain. And he has enough success in business to provide belief that out of the public’s view the business operating Trump is rational and able to secure the loyalty of qualified competent senior and middle managers. If not, these people would not hang around.
It is not too much of a stretch to think a Trump presidency could perform with Trumanesque results. Certainly, he could not do worse than the folks with sterling résumés that are the empty suits in our present Cabinet. Compare them to the giants in the Truman Cabinet.
Today we have a round up of the last two weeks of columns and cartoons, from every point of view, on the Trump phenomenon. And we’ll start with Camille Paglia’s mea culpa; “I was wrong about Donald Trump.” (Puts Pickerhead in good company.)
… Trump’s fearless candor and brash energy feel like a great gust of fresh air, sweeping the tedious clichés and constant guilt-tripping of political correctness out to sea. Unlike Hillary Clinton, whose every word and policy statement on the campaign trail are spoon-fed to her by a giant paid staff and army of shadowy advisors, Trump is his own man, with a steely “damn the torpedoes” attitude. He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal. He lives large, with the urban flash and bling of a Frank Sinatra. But Trump is a workaholic who doesn’t drink and who has an interesting penchant for sophisticated, strong-willed European women. As for a debasement of the presidency by Trump’s slanging matches about penis size, that sorry process was initiated by a Democrat, Bill Clinton, who chatted about his underwear on TV, let Hollywood pals jump up and down on the bed in the Lincoln Bedroom, and played lewd cigar games with an intern in the White House offices. …
Molly Ball in The Atlantic writes on how Trump happened.
… How did Trump happen? The theories abound. It was the other candidates’ fault, for failing to take him seriously, for thinking he would fade. It was the party’s fault, for making the nomination rules more frontrunner-friendly, and believing it could get Trump’s supporters without his baggage—without him. It was the media’s fault, for eating up the spectacle and giving him unlimited free airtime. It was the talk-radio hosts who ignored his ideological transgressions to applaud the way he was smashing the system. It was the Internet, which allowed him to broadcast his message to 6.5 million Twitter followers.
It was the establishment, which pushed an unappealing agenda and never kept its promises. It was the political scientists and pundits, who lulled people into believing this couldn’t happen. It was Larger Sociocultural Forces, globalization and rapid social change that left the working class in the dust, disoriented in a world they didn’t recognize. …
… But people love to be with a winner. And Trump is giving people something they can’t get anywhere else.
His rallies have turned into concertlike festivals that shut down the little towns he lands in for miles around. People by the tens of thousands park far away and stand in line for hours to get in, flanked by vendors hawking an amazing variety of wares. There are T-shirts with Trump as Superman and bright-pink ladies’ hats that say “Trumpette.” There are baby onesies and tie-dyed dresses. There are “Make America Great Again” scarves. In the parking lot of a football stadium in Huntsville, Alabama, on Sunday, a Girl Scout troop was selling cookies. Outside a college arena in Valdosta, Georgia, on Monday, a vendor was selling Trump-themed condoms.
The Alabama rally began with an endorsement of Trump by Jeff Sessions, the state’s junior senator, a staunch opponent of immigration who was once denied a federal judgeship over allegations he had opposed civil rights. In what has now become a signature ritual of such events, Trump’s speech was interrupted several times by protestors, who would yell something inaudible and be gently escorted out by security. “Tell me,” Trump said after one such eruption, as a group of African Americans filed out with fists in the air, “isn’t it fun to be at a Trump rally?”
It’s all part of the show that people have come to expect. You meet all kinds of people at Trump rallies, and they do not hesitate to speak their minds. “It’s about the white middle class—we have not been represented, and the only way we are going to get representation is if Donald Trump is our next president,” Ginger Barbee, a retired criminal-defense attorney from Trussville, Alabama, told me. Not being afraid to say such things—being heard—is the whole point of Trump, whose flouting of “political correctness” resonates deeply with people who feel they’ve been silenced.
“We’re treated like the minority, even though there are more of us,” Barbee complained. A descendant of Confederate soldiers, she lamented the recent removal of Confederate flags and monuments. “I do not want any more Republican establishment people running the country any more than I want the Marxist Democrats,” she added. “Write that down.” …
… People see whatever they want to see in Trump, and then they refuse to see anything else. He has won the moderate, secular, independent voters of New Hampshire, the archconservative, devoutly religious Southerners of South Carolina, and the rugged, gun-toting, government-loathing individualists of Nevada. If Trump is stopped now, what will happen to all these people? Are they really all going to vote for someone who got half as many delegates as Trump and got handed the nomination by a convention-floor establishment conspiracy?
“I expect he’ll get the Republican nomination, unless they Shanghai him,” Randy Lawson told me as we walked to Trump’s rally in Alabama, along with his 11-year-old son, who had made a poster that said, “WE NEED…the TRUMP, the whole TRUMP, and nothing but the TRUMP.” Lawson continued, “If they take it away from him, I think that would ruin the Republican Party.”
I asked if that prospect bothered him. “No,” he said. “It wouldn’t break my heart.”
And Tom Nichols in the Daily Beast says it’s the PC police that created Trump.
The American left created Donald Trump.
When I say “the left,” I do not mean the Democratic Party—or, solely the Democratic Party. Rather, the pestilence that is the Trump campaign is the result of a conglomeration of political, academic, media, and cultural elites who for decades have tried to act as the arbiters of acceptable public debate and shut down any political expression from Americans with whom they disagree. They, more than anyone else, created Donald Trump’s candidacy and the increasingly hideous movement he now leads. …
… It’s pointless to try to explain Trump in terms of political platforms because Trump himself is too stupid and too incoherent to have any kind of consistent political views about anything beyond hating minorities and immigrants. Nuclear weapons? “With nuclear, the power, the devastation is very important to me.” Drugs? “That whole heroin thing, I tell you what, we gotta get that whole thing under control.” A random word generation program could do better.
To understand Trump’s seemingly effortless seizure of the public spotlight, forget about programs, and instead zero in on the one complaint that seems to unite all of the disparate angry factions gravitating to him: political correctness. This, more than anything, is how the left created Trump. …
… When The New York Times tells the rubes that it’s time to hand in their guns, when The Washington Post suggests that Jesus is ashamed of them for not welcoming Syrian refugees the week after a terrorist attack, people react not because they love guns or hate Syrians, but because their natural urge to being told by coastal liberals that they’re awful people and that they should just obey and shut up is to issue a certain Anglo-Saxon verb and pronoun combination with all the vigor they can muster. And if they can’t say it themselves, they’ll find someone who will, even if it’s a crude jerk from Queens who can’t make a point without raising his pinky like a Mafia goon explaining the vig to you after you’ve had a bad day at the track.
These brutish leftist tactics radicalized otherwise more centrist people toward Trump not because they care so much about gay marriage or guns or refugees any other issue, but because they’re terrified that they’re losing the basic right to express themselves. Many of these people are not nearly as conservative or extreme as the white supremacists, nativists, and other assorted fringe nuts who are riding along on Trump’s ego trip. But they are cheering on Trump because they feel they have nowhere else to go. And for that, liberals—especially those who have politely looked away as such methods were employed in the public square—must directly shoulder the blame.
The great mistake made by both liberals and their most extreme wing on the American left is to assume that ordinary people, once corrected forcefully enough, will comply with their new orders. This is, of course, ridiculous: Americans do not magically become complacent and accepting multiculturalists just because they’ve been bullied out of the public debate. They will find a new vessel for their views, and will become more extreme with each attempt to shut them down as the issue moves from particular social positions to the far more encompassing problem of who has the right to tell whom to shut up, and to make it stick. Nixon’s “Silent Majority” increasingly feels itself to be a silenced majority, and Trump is their solution.
Note, for example, how Trump turned the incident in which Black Lives Matter activists humiliated Sen. Bernie Sanders to his own advantage. He didn’t bother drawing partisan lines or going after Sanders. Trump and his supporters couldn’t care less about any of that, and Trump until that point almost had almost never mentioned Sanders.
Instead, he made it clear that he’d never allow himself to be shut down by a mob. That, for his loyalists, was the money shot, especially when Trump pretty much dared BLM to disrupt a Trump event, in effect inviting them for an ass-kicking. A lot of people loved that shtick, because they want to see someone—literally, anyone—stand up to groups like BLM, even if it’s in defense of poor Bernie, because they worry that they’re next for that kind of treatment. …
Zero Hedge weighs in with quotes from an article in the Guardian. UK.
… I’m a liberal-left college professor in the social sciences. I’m going to vote for Trump but I won’t tell hardly anybody.
My main reason is anger at the two-party system and the horrible presidencies of Obama and Bush. But I’m also furious at political correctness on campus and in the media.
I’m angry at forced diversity and constant, frequently unjustified complaints about racism/sexism/homophobia/lack of trans rights. I’m particularly angry at social justice warriors and my main reason to vote Trump is to see the looks on your faces when he wins.
It’s not that I like Trump. It’s that I hate those who can’t stand him. …
Scott Adams of the Dilbert Blog with an interesting post from an African-American Trump fan.
… You are defending America from our enemies within, and it’s an AMAZING thing to watch.
Last night, you also did something else. You became the Man that helped me see fear for what it is: an illusion of power, a powerful teacher, and the path to winning if used properly. There is no reason, regardless of the enormity of the task, to lose to fear if you prepare well, are disciplined in your execution, and have the faith necessary, in God, yourself, and in others…that leads to victory.
Winning is always possible, but becomes probable if you never back down, never quit, and become your dominant self. Once the battle is won, treat the vanquished with kindness and respect. Be the bigger man.
You taught me how to Win. …
Michael Goodwin says Romney is too much of a coward to say what’s on his mind.
… His failure to endorse either Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz is most revealing. Romney’s only hope for stealing the nomination is a brokered GOP convention where nobody has a majority of delegates on the first ballot and he emerges as a compromise. And the only way for that to happen is for both Rubio and Cruz to collect enough delegates so that Trump can’t reach the magic number of 1,237.
If Romney really wanted to stop Trump now, he would have backed one of the two main rivals and urged the other, as well as John Kasich, to get out. A total consolidation of all others against Trump is the only plausible way to deny him the nomination.
But even that might spell disaster for the party. With Trump averaging 35 percent support in the first 15 contests, and with his voters the most committed and enthusiastic, any too-clever-by-half maneuvers that take the nomination from Trump could cause a revolt.
Suppose a furious Trump runs as an independent. Or suppose the bulk of his voters sit on their hands on Election Day. Either way, Clinton probably waltzes into the White House.
Any way you slice it, Romney offers no solution to the GOP’s dilemma. The fears that the party cannot win with Trump are legitimate, but they won’t be resolved by an insider deal or turning to a failed retread. …
For another point of view; Thomas Sowell provides an apocalyptic view of Trump’s rise.
The “Super Tuesday” primaries may be a turning point for America — and quite possibly a turn for the worse. After seven long years of domestic disasters and increasing international dangers, the next President of the United States will need extraordinary wisdom, maturity, depth of knowledge and personal character to rescue America.
Instead, if the polls are an indication, what we may get is someone with the opposite of all these things, a glib egomaniac with a checkered record in business and no track record at all in government — Donald Trump….
… On the campaign trail, Donald Trump’s theatrical talents, including his bluster and bombast, may be enough to conceal his shallow understanding of very deep problems. But that will not cut it in the White House, where you cannot clown or con your way out of problems, and where the stakes are matters of life and death.
Trump’s acting like a bull in a china shop may appeal to some voters but, in the world as it is, he may well cost us our last chance to recover from the great dangers into which the Obama administration has gotten this nation.
We already have an ego-driven, know-it-all president who will not listen to military or intelligence agency experts. Do we need to tempt fate by having two in a row?
Despite Donald Trump’s string of primary vote victories, he has not yet gotten a majority of the Republican votes anywhere. But although most Republican votes are being cast against him, the scattering of that vote among so many other candidates leaves Trump with a good chance to get the nomination. …
More apocalypse from Angelo Codevilla writing in The Federalist.
The Obama years have brought America to the brink of transformation from constitutional republic into an empire ruled by secret deals promulgated by edicts. Civics classes used to teach: “Congress makes the laws, the president carries them out, judges decide controversies, and we citizens may be penalized only by a jury of our peers.”
Nobody believes that anymore, because no part of it has been true for a long time. Barack Obama stopped pretending that it is. During the twentieth century’s second half, both parties and all branches of government made a mockery of the Constitution of 1789. Today’s effective constitution is: “The president can do whatever he wants so long as one-third of the Senate will sustain his vetoes and prevent his conviction upon impeachment.”
Obama has been our first emperor. A Donald Trump presidency, far from reversing the ruling class’s unaccountable hold over American life, would seal it. Because Trump would act as our second emperor, he would render well-nigh impossible our return to republicanism.
Today, nearly all the rules under which we live are made, executed, and adjudicated by agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and countless boards and commissions. Congress no longer passes real laws. Instead, it passes broad grants of authority, the substance of the president’s bureaucracy decides in cooperation with interest groups.
Nancy Pelosi’s remark that we would know Obamacare’s contents only after it passed was true, and applicable to nearly all modern legislation. …
Are we tired yet of Chris Christie? How about this hilarity from Olivia Nuzzi in the Daily Beast.
… Christie has long been mocked for his heft, but behind Trump, he looked puny and unremarkable, a hotel end-table of a human being.
He shifted his weight from foot to foot and periodically looked down. When his eyes rose to meet the scene again, disappointment spread across his face.
It was real. He really had done this to himself.
The end of Christie’s presidential campaign was always going to be the end of his political career. Any casual observer could’ve told you as much. Maybe he would become a high-priced securities and appellate lawyer afterward, like he was before his time as the U.S. Attorney and then governor. Or maybe he would pivot to punditry on one of the many cable networks he frequently appeared on as a guest. But with his endorsement of Trump, it seems possible that Christie never thought that far ahead. Maybe, after dropping out, he panicked at the idea that he would never again control a media cycle, never again be met by a sea of cameras and recorders shoved in his face. …
For a bonus we have late night humor from Andy Malcolm.
Conan: A Saudi Arabia official says a Trump presidency would “set the world back centuries.” The Saudi added, “Which is why Trump has our full support.”
Meyers: During his recent victory speech, Donald Trump said he is a “unifier.” Then he turned to Chris Christie and said, “Right, idiot?”
Fallon: Bernie Sanders is getting the support of students at Hillary Clinton’s alma mater, Wellesley College. So now of course, Hillary is trying to get the support of Bernie’s alma mater, Jurassic Park.
The cartoonists have a blast.