There occurred a bizarre psychologically-inexplicable transference phenomenon by which voters distressed and made unhappy by the results of Barack Obama’s performance and leftist democrat policies, turned in fury on the opposition leadership, blaming it for supposedly being in cahoots with the enemy, and then ran off with an unprincipled, non-conservative celebrity clown with a lengthy record of supporting liberal democrats.
In the primary contests this year, there was little voter interest in returning to Republican pro-growth, pro-freedom, economic restoration policies. What the yobbo voter wanted, it turned out, was essentially Fascism: a blend of Socialism and Nationalism.
The new primary voter ecstatically opted for a crude, loud, and abrasive leader (most decidedly not a gentleman) unburdened by ethical inhibitions, conventional speech taboos, or even good manners, who rather than promising to dismantle government, affirmed the Welfare State safety net, and promised special governmental protection for the working-class voter’s particular special interests above the general interest. To the American worker he promised to give protection from labor competition domestically through a crackdown on immigration (Nativism) and –a bit late!– protection from labor competition abroad via tariff barriers, trade wars, and specific presidential intimidation of companies considering lower costs by exporting jobs.
Trump won his massive and enthusiastic following by appealing frankly and openly to crude selfishness, to class animosity, to anti-intellectualism, and to dim and brutish nationalistic hostilities: hostility toward immigrants, hostility toward foreign labor and business competition, and even hostility toward American military alliances with other countries and toward America’s international role and international responsibilities.
Donald Trump succeeded precisely by appealing to the worst prejudices, the worst ideas, and the worst attitudes of the American electorate. And he successfully won their hearts and enthusiastic support by fighting dirty: by shamelessly lying, by contradicting himself and reversing statements and positions, by bullying and name-calling, by interrupting, and by generally misbehaving.
Trump turned the Republican Primary Contest into a combination of TV reality show and professional wrestling extravaganza. Trump’s characteristic man-bites-dog behavior kept the attention of the dim-bulb media fixated on him, and delivered an estimated $2 billion in free publicity. And the unhappy Republican voter ate it all up.
Donald Trump built a successful candidacy essentially by the grossest kind of inversion of values. He appealed to voters by breaching good manners and decorum and by an extraordinarily open display of contempt for civility, integrity, and principles, with wheedling, limitless braggadocio, and flattery piled high on top. It seems possible that he could go on to win the presidency by outdoing even the democrats in appealing to the basest and most contemptible aspects of human nature. You can’t blame any Republican leadership failure for any of this. You can only blame what Isaiah Berlin used to speak of as “the crooked timber of Humanity.”
Principled Republicans should not unite behind Donald Trump. What we need to do now is to stop Donald Trump and to nip everything he stands for in the bud.