Posted by Curt on 26 August, 2016 at 7:38 pm. 10 comments already!


John Schindler:

I’ve watched the campaign of Donald J. Trump for the presidency with interest since the moment this unique spectacle began. As I explained early on, while I considered the man himself to be a clownish character, I was glad that he was raising issues that needed to be discussed but weren’t until The Donald entered the race.

I knew from the moment Mitt Romney lost an election in 2012 that he shouldn’t have that the Republican Party would take all the wrong lessons from that needless defeat. As I predicted, rather than refocus to win more votes from demographics that felt unloved by Romney — especially working class whites — the GOP establishment would jump through great intellectual hoops to reach any other conclusion. And so they did.

Right-leaning pundits and the GOP’s donor class, which between them pretty much call the shots on what’s acceptable Republican discourse, wanted nothing to do with any outreach to downmarket whites, whom they despise. So it’s safe to say we wouldn’t be talking about out of control illegal immigration or job losses to China if it weren’t for Trump, who sashayed and tweeted his way into the campaign and shifted the GOP’s Overton window in a stunning fashion.

There will be much for future historians to ponder in this year’s remarkable Republican primary race, which left the party’s “stars” gasping for breath, not sure exactly what hit them when the vaunted Trump train barreled through their ranks. Like pretty much every other pundit in America, I got it wrongwhen I said last summer that Trump stood no chance of getting the Republican nomination, much less winding up in the White House. Otherwise I stick by most of what I said about Trump and his candidacy when this strange saga kicked off.

That said, I always had doubts about Trump, enormous ones. How not? This, after all, is a reality TV star whose all-over-the-map business dealings can charitably be called dodgy. In a field like national politics that attracts narcissists like schoolyards beckon pedophiles, Trump is a standout for his rank, tacky self-absorption. His inability to admit ever being wrong, his incessant need to double, then triple-down on any issue, however small, was impossible to miss. Warning signs were large and neon-lit for anyone caring to see.

Nevertheless, I had hopes that, eventually, professional handlers would get a hold of Trump and moderate his rough edges. Once he secured the GOP nomination a more focused Trump — one not needing to respond to every imagined slight with an incendiary tweet — had to arrive. Surely if he expected to be competitive in the general election, Trump knew he would have to refocus, stop pandering to his narrow but fervent base, and start talking like, well….a president.

Alas, I was wrong. Wise friends of mine like Tom Nichols and Rick Wilsonwere right all along. There is no better Trump. There is no responsible Trump. There is no balanced Trump. There is no presidential Trump. There is only Trump.

This is a man who cannot listen to any opinions contrary to his own. Sycophancy is a requirement for admission to Trump’s inner circle, which explains why his echo chamber is so effective at silencing reality. His campaign is now in free fall. His self-immolation in the weeks after the Republican convention — between attacks on the family of a dead American soldier to asking the Kremlin to find Clinton’s missing emails — is unprecedented in our country’s political history. Trump will lose catastrophically on November 8 to Hillary Clinton, an almost unimaginably flawed candidate whom any normal Republican could defeat, and whose moving back into the White House fills me with dread.

I’m not a very partisan person, as my longtime readers know, and until the last year I was never particularly anti-Hillary, whom I regarded as a world-class grifter with few, if any, firm convictions beyond the naked pursuit of power and money. Corrupt politicians scare me less than fanatical ones. However, the revelations of EmailGate, which I’ve analyzed in great depth, reveal a woman whose crass disregard for our nation’s laws and its security renders her unfit to be commander-in-chief.

Yet she will be. Trump has now self-destructed in such a shocking fashion, revealing his true, ugly self, that many average Americans have decided he’s crazy. I’ll leave actual diagnosis to mental health professionals, but the case for Trump having something very wrong with him now seems self-evident.

Let me be clear. Even if Trump were the picture of rectitude, a modest man not prone to outbursts and devoted to country over self — in other words, the opposite of who he actually is — he would still be unfit to be commander-in-chief. Allow me to dispense with the usual liberal pieties about his “racism” and “bigotry.” His numerous repulsive utterances aside, I see no evidence that Trump actually has any firm convictions — about race, creed, religion, politics, anything — outside himself.

Now that Trump has decided to ham-handedly pander to African Americans while going wobbly on deporting illegal immigrants, thereby undoing his main reason for getting in the presidential race in the first place, he has revealed himself to be every bit as insincere as Hillary Clinton. If Trump’s ardent AltRight fanbase, which values frog memes over policy, doesn’t now realize that they are just one more Trumpian long con, in his long list of them, they never will.

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