Wednesday, May 04, 2016

The landscape

I'm deeply unhappy with our politics. And I can't see any circumstances in which supporting Donald Trump makes sense, at least personally.

So What Does It All Mean? Not sure, but two voices are worth considering today. Let's start with Victor Davis Hanson:
On race, Trump supporters are tired of hearing that black lives matter, while no one mentions that all lives matter. They are sick of seeing protestors wave the flag of the country they do not wish illegal aliens to be sent back to and trash the country they under no circumstances want them to leave. They don’t like getting a letter from an IRS that employs Lois Lerner — a letter that would be ignored with impunity by those who are here illegally, or who run the Clinton Foundation. They are tired of wealthy minorities claiming they are perpetual victims of ill-treatment at the hands of people who are less well off than they. They don’t like hearing from elites that huge trade deficits have little to do with loss of jobs or that cheating by our trade partners is just a passing glitch in free trade. They cannot stand lectures from those who make more money in an hour than they do in a year about their own bad habits or slothfulness. They don’t know what the on-screen savants mean by a leg-tingle or a perfectly pressed pant leg or a first-class temperament or a president as god — and they don’t care to find out. They do not hate political correctness so much as one-sided political correctness, which gives a pass to some to say things that would get others fired or ruined. They don’t want to be lectured that their own plight is part of a larger, healthy creative destruction or a leaner, meaner competitiveness or an overdue restructuring — by those who are never destroyed, rendered noncompetitive, or restructured. And they don’t like to be talked down to by the experts who ran up $10 trillion in debt, ruined the health-care system, dismantled the military, and screwed up the Secret Service, the IRS, NASA, and the VA. Trump is their megaphone, not their solution. The Trump supporters have seen plenty of politicians with important agendas, but few with the zeal to push them through; at this late date, they would apparently prefer zeal without agendas to agendas without zeal.
Emphasis mine. At the same time, I wonder if Trumpism has any meaning beyond the black swan with the combover. Take it away, Walter Russell Mead:
Many analysts have argued that Trump’s popularity shows that elite GOP orthodoxy—limited government, lower taxes, entitlement reform, hawkish foreign policy—is a dead letter, and what Republican primary voters really want is Trump-style welfare state ethnocentrism at home coupled with America First-ism abroad. There may well be some truth to this (especially the first part; the tenets of traditional Republicanism really are in desperate need of re-imagination if the party wants to address today’s problems). But are voters dead-set on Trumpism as the alternative? The absence of successful Trump-like candidates for Congress raises some doubts. After all, if there were a huge, unfulfilled demand in the Republican primary electorate for white identity politics, wouldn’t we expect enterprising candidates for state, local, and Congressional offices start supplying it? European far-right parties, like Front National, don’t just run candidates for the presidency—they compete for seats in Parliament as well.
Now that Trump is going to be the GOP nominee, he'll have to run on something other than invective. I have a difficult time believing he will be in any great congruence with the GOP platform. So what do you do with a candidate who doesn't believe what his party believes? That's one of the questions we'll be facing in the next six months.

1 comment:

jerrye92002 said...

Here is my hope: Somehow the rabble comes to their senses, denies Trump the nod, and Ted Cruz wins on the 2nd or later ballot.

Here is my fallback hope: IF Trump gets the nomination, or even before, he starts "acting presidential" and talks about how he actually intends to do some of the things we have been allowed to believe he promised, he might win and then DO those things. Hillary won't.