Like Ace, I originally found Trump’s candidacy amusing, and I smiled with pleasure at just how much he would annoy the liberals and the sell-out professional GOP pols, but watching Trump in action, seeing his shameless mendacity, his infantile self-entitlement and narcissism, listening to his endlessly-repeated boasts and vacuous policy proposals has, in the end, scared the Bejesus out of me.
Trump is a vulgarian and a low-grade moron. Electing him actually could be worse than Obama, and that’s really saying something.
My problem with Trump is that he is a dealmaker trying to make a sale. Right now he’s trying to make a deal with conservatives — so this is the very most conservative we’ll ever see him.
If he gets the nomination, he now starts working on making the second part of the deal with the other party in the negotiations, the general public.
So this is the most conservative we’ll ever see Trump — this is the absolute most conservative he’ll ever be — and he’s not conservative at all, except, possibly, on immigration. He combines liberal policy impulses with frankly authoritarian or even fascist ones, which he thinks are “what conservatives want,” because, frankly, he conceives of us as ugly-minded, stupid dummies who get off on this shit.
That’s why he didn’t put the “Ban Muslims” line in a more palatable, persuasive form, like “Reduce immigration from Muslim-majority countries or countries with a terrorism problem to a level where we can vet each individual applicant.”
No, he put it in the most bigoted, ugly way he could think of, because that’s about his level, and because, also, that’s what he thinks “conservatives” are.
Even on issues like that, where I would like him to move the Overton Window so we can begin discussing a rational reduction of such immigration until this Jihadist Madness passes from history, I find he doesn’t move it at all, because he makes the issue much more toxic and alienating than it needs to be.
What does Trump actually know about conservatives? He seems to only know five things, which he repeats in such crude ways it’s preposterously insulting. Apparently we “love Jesus,” so he says he does too. He knows we love guns, so he’s so in love with the Second Amendment he wants to make out with it.
Does he ever explain the underpinnings of his belief in the Second Amendment, such that you get the impression if he’s challenged on it, he can break out chapter and verse on the amendment like Reagan would have and remained resolute in his position?
He senses we don’t like Mexicans or Muslims very much, so he wants to ban rapists and terrorists.
He knows we love babies and hate abortions, so he’s reversed himself from being “very, very pro-choice” and even supporting partial birth abortion to being so against abortion you couldn’t believe it. (But he’ll keep on funding Planned Parenthood because they’re a wonderful organization.)
He knows we love the military, so he proclaims himself, seriously, the most “militaristic” guy you’ve ever met. Then sometimes he talks about “bombing the shit” out of people to appease the hawks, and other times about a Ron Paul style isolationism, to appease his substantial Paulite wing.
Which is true? Who the fuck knows. I’m certain on this point he’s not lying, because I don’t think he knows what the fuck he thinks either.