Jonathan V. Last, of the Weekly Standard, (via email) quotes Ace on why he found it impossible to support Trump.
The other day a friend asked me why I was posting negative stuff on Trump. I told him, basically, that everyone has their threshold of embarrassment. I can mock the Upper Middle Class Respectable set for having what I think is a way-too-high sensitivity to embarrassment — usually one strongly shaped by leftwing PC codes –but everyone has their own level.
It’s embarrassing, to me, that at this late date Trump can only sputter about “getting rid of the lines” at a debate when asked about his health care plan.
It’s embarrassing, to me personally, when I’m is repeatedly confronted with the fact that Trump still seems to not know the contents of the Sessions Immigration Plan on his own website — the whole reason I even began to be “Trump Curious,” as I term it.
If a plan could be nominated for president, I’d vote for the Sessions Immigration Plan.
It’s personally embarrassing to discover that Trump is nearly entirely unaware of the only reason I entertained supporting him.
I’ve said it a hundred times: People will not vote for, nor support, something they feel reduces their own sense of self-worth. Or which brings shame upon them.
This business can be ignored or spun as “no big deal, so what, a white girl got bruises,” but around the country, more and more people are probably going to find out that Trump keeps exceeding their own Personal Embarrassment Threshold.
There is no way to prove what I’m about to say. But for those mystified as to how someone could go from Trump Curious to Trump Opposed, here it is:
You can read Trump in two different ways. You can see his bluster and lack of any policy knowledge as refreshing. You can see his hyperpersonal style and enormous ego as somehow “authentic.”
On the other hand, you can see a guy who’s entire life is devoted to persuading people to get into business with him. A salesman, trying to make a sale. And you can start to see that the salesman really has no interest in his actual product, and no real intent to abide by the terms of the contract. A salesman who is just willing to say whatever he needs you to say to sign the dotted line — and who will decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not to abide by those contract terms, should they become inconvenient later.
A few weeks ago I started making the case that Trumpism corrupts and this is pretty much what I was talking about. You think you’re signing up for The Wall, but it turns out that you can’t stay onboard the Trump train unless you agree to put up with a whole lot else. And to cling to The Wall you wind up having to make compromises left, right, and center. You end up like Sarah Palin and Scott Brown, tacitly agreeing that George W. Bush knowingly lied about WMDs in Iraq. You end up like Chris Christie, not even pretending that there’s any way for Trump to enact his agenda. You wind up like Newt Gingrich, mangling history to suggest that it was Republican elites who cost Goldwater the ’64 election. Or worse, suggesting that Trump is just like Reagan in that he didn’t know much, either, and that the elites were against him, too.
This last bit (and Gingrich isn’t the only one to make the argument, see Jonah Goldberg’s column on Bill Bennett) is particularly awful because conservative intellectuals, including Gingrich and Bennett_have spent the best part of three decades pushing back against the common misconception that Reagan was an amiable dunce. The view of Reagan as a dim-bulb is entirely the creation of a hostile mainstream media. The truth is that Reagan was an intensely intellectual_not just intelligent, but intellectual man who was broadly-read and had spent a lifetime wrestling with philosophy, both political and moral. Read his letters. Read his diaries.
Trumpism corrupts. And what do you get in return? …
Trump is already in the process of selling out early supporters on pretty much everything.
And it’s not like there weren’t warning signs. From “I’m changing, I’m changing” to the secret New York Times interview to his assurances to Ben Carson that he doesn’t actually mean everything he says.
But c’est la vie. And about those Super 2sday results? Well, we have our two-man race now. And the stakes are much higher than just the White House.
The man is right.