Sunday, July 19, 2015

Donald trump is a joke but his constituents are not

Donald Trump has no more chance of becoming president of the United States than William F Buckley, and Buckley is dead.  Which is a shame because one of Buckley's greatest gifts to conservatives when he was the leading intellectual voice on the right was to keep the crazies out of mainstream conservatism - that is, he kept out the lunatic John Birch Society, the toxic hatred of the racists, and the paranoid fringes that are consumed with apocalyptic visions and paranoid howlings.  Yes, there was a time when conservatism had actual intellectual groundings and ideas.  Alas, in the age of the Tea Party and right wing talk show ravings designed to boost their ratings at all costs, apocalyptic visions, racist dog whistles, and paranoid conspiracies have taken over too much of the "conservative movement."  Scare quotes because they aren't conservative, they are delusional revolutionaries.  Or so it seems to me.

The problem isn't Trump.  To me he just seems to be a sad old man lost in delusions of his own grandiosity, who actually thinks that being rich is reason enough to elect him to the presidency.  I think his only motivation is his insatiable need to be in the spotlight.  It must be a terribly galling thing for his ego to realize that the history books will write about Obama and other presidents, and he will long be forgotten after his demise.  So, what better solution than to become president? or at least make enough of a splash in this presidential race that he gets some kind of mention in the future?

I don't know if Trump has ever honestly expressed a political opinion of his own.  His public views seem to align with whatever will get him headlines, and his view of previous decades are quite different than his public views today.

I have avoided any posts on Trump because I think he will be a momentary headline.  But the problem isn't Trump, it is the extremist right wing base that is excited by his cynical, opportunistic ravings.

Racism?  How about accusing Mexicans of being rapists?  Tough guy to the max? How about accusing John McCain of not being a war hero because he was captured, and the mighty Trump has no respect for captured people?  Mr. Success Himself? How about having no respect for losers like McCain and Romney?  Oh, what a mighty man Mr Trump thinks he is. 

He's not, of course, he's a national embarrassment, and a Republican embarrassment, as Republican denunciations pouring in from all sides testify to.

No, the problem is that he has a constituency in the extremities of the Republican base that say, Way To GO, tell it like it IS.  Good grief.  And these people vote.  They won't end up voting for Trump in the end, of course. But they will vote for someone. And that is something for all of us to be afraid of, indeed.