Is this really happening?
He’s boorish and says distasteful things about women and says them reflexively. He writes checks with his mouth America will not be able to cash, like announcing the Iranians will turn over all hostages before he assume the Oval Office. Or the Mexican government will pay to build a wall between us. He, who never served, mocked John McCain for being a POW. He dismissed Ben Carson, pediatric neurosurgeon of renown as “an okay doctor, who hired maybe one nurse, but not great”. He dismissed Hugh Hewitt, with 25,000 interviews to his credit, as a “third-rate talk show host”, when Hugh innocently revealed through questions Trump could not distinguish between Quds and Kurds.
And yet! There he is, making the weather, defying all political laws. A Sun King, in waiting. To quote pollster Stu Rothenberg:
“I have been arguing that once Iowa Republicans start to see the caucuses as an opportunity to select the next president, rather than an opportunity to express their frustration and anger, they will turn away from Trump and toward politically experienced, mainstream contenders. After combing through the most recent surveys from the Iowa caucuses and talking with veteran Republican strategists, I can no longer say that with any certainty…”
My father, a George McGovern/Bernie Sanders liberal to the bone, loves Trump.
Over beers at Macleod last night, three of us confessed were the election held today, in a matchup between Hillary and Trump we would all vote for Mr. Bombastic, despite his baggage. None of us wanted to. But given the choice….
Secretly we wished he would say or do something so terrible it would derail his candidacy once and for all, so we wouldn’t have to choose. But hasn’t he done that five times already?
If nothing else, Trump is right about one thing: illegal immigration and how deeply it is resented in this country. What is resented even more is the institutionalized deceit with which it is protected by the political media. I say this as someone who resides happily in a neighborhood of first generation Latino and Asian immigrants, strivers all. My beloved working-class brigadoon of Van Nuys.
Sometimes all it takes is one fundamental truth to ride to power. When the distance between what one is publicly permitted to say and what is privately felt becomes unsustainable, there’s a fissure, and the geyser erupts. After that, all bets are off.
What then, though? Suppose he wins? Having taken the prize, we are left with the man, and all his frailties.