We’ll have Trump for a long, long while

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz | August 12th, 2015

Readability

We'll have Trump for a long, long while

Don­ald Trump. My eyes glaze over at the thought of him. The hair, the loud mouth, the craven need for the spot­light, the relent­less pur­suit of patron­age, the oppor­tunism. All about Don­ald Trump bores me, because I’ve been hear­ing it for decades.

Unfor­tu­nately, there’s no end to it, because he is use­ful, and he knows it.

My ini­tial reac­tion when I first heard Trump was run­ning was, “1992: loud-​mouthed mil­lion­aire forms third party, Clin­ton wins.” Trump has denied that Bill Clin­ton talked him into run­ning, and Trump may yet vow he won’t go third party (not that I put any value Trump’s word), but the com­par­i­son with Perot stands. Scott John­son looks at its plau­si­ble causes (empha­sis added):

Many Repub­li­cans like me have viewed the field of pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates as remark­ably strong, yet Trump’s ascent sug­gests a defi­ciency. It may be symp­to­matic of a weak­ness among the can­di­dates, espe­cially the politi­cians seek­ing the nomination.

Trump cer­tainly reflects the anger of Repub­li­can and inde­pen­dent vot­ers who lean Repub­li­can. We sense that these politi­cians can’t wait to sell us out. I refer to Jeb Bush above, but the case of Marco Rubio is also sug­ges­tive. He is a com­pro­mised char­ac­ter on the subject.

Trump taps into our anger on immi­gra­tion, Iran, polit­i­cal cor­rect­ness, and all the rest. He expresses repul­sion to “weak­ness.” He promises strength.

Not that the media would give Trump the time of day, if he wasn’t useful:

1. Don­ald Trump is to the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial race what David Brooks is to the New York Times: Trump’s a liberal’s idea of a Repub­li­can can­di­date, while Brooks is the Grey Lady’s idea of a con­ser­v­a­tive colum­nist. Trump is the rich Repub­li­can Democ­rats want us to hate (as opposed to Bil­lary, the people’s princes).

2. Every moment we hear about Trump is a moment we won’t hear about the dis­as­trous Iran deal, Hillary being inves­ti­gated by the FBI, the record-​high 93 mil­lion Amer­i­cans out of the work­force, and on and on. If we do, it’s all in terms of what Trump says about the ques­tions, not on what the issues are and how the Democrats’s poli­cies caused them.

3. Repub­li­can can­di­dates try­ing to outdo The Don­ald will spend them­selves under the table, and waste valu­able air time talk­ing about him rather than about the can­di­dates’ own agendas.

4. Trump has noth­ing to lose. He craves this stuff.

The Repub­li­cans as a party, and the indi­vid­ual can­di­dates them­selves, must rec­og­nize, as John­son did above, that there is “a cur­rent of anger on immi­gra­tion, Iran, polit­i­cal cor­rect­ness, and all the rest,” that the Amer­i­can pub­lic wants a pol­icy of a strong Amer­ica. The chal­lenge to each can­di­date is to break through The Donald’s flim-​flam and con­vince the pub­lic that he or she is the per­son who will deliver; and that he or she won’t sell us out. In short, a fighter.

We’re going to have to put up with Don­ald Trump for as long as he’s use­ful to the media. It’s going to be a long ride.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, news and cul­ture at Fausta’s Blog.

Donald Trump. My eyes glaze over at the thought of him. The hair, the loud mouth, the craven need for the spotlight, the relentless pursuit of patronage, the opportunism. All about Donald Trump bores me, because I’ve been hearing it for decades.

Unfortunately, there’s no end to it, because he is useful, and he knows it.

My initial reaction when I first heard Trump was running was, “1992: loud-mouthed millionaire forms third party, Clinton wins.” Trump has denied that Bill Clinton talked him into running,  and Trump may yet vow he won’t go third party (not that I put any value Trump’s word), but the comparison with Perot stands. Scott Johnson looks at its plausible causes (emphasis added):

Many Republicans like me have viewed the field of presidential candidates as remarkably strong, yet Trump’s ascent suggests a deficiency. It may be symptomatic of a weakness among the candidates, especially the politicians seeking the nomination.

Trump certainly reflects the anger of Republican and independent voters who lean Republican. We sense that these politicians can’t wait to sell us out. I refer to Jeb Bush above, but the case of Marco Rubio is also suggestive. He is a compromised character on the subject.

Trump taps into our anger on immigration, Iran, political correctness, and all the rest. He expresses repulsion to “weakness.” He promises strength.

Not that the media would give Trump the time of day, if he wasn’t useful:

1. Donald Trump is to the Republican presidential race what David Brooks is to the New York Times: Trump’s a liberal’s idea of a Republican candidate, while Brooks is the Grey Lady’s idea of a conservative columnist. Trump is the rich Republican Democrats want us to hate (as opposed to Billary, the people’s princes).

2. Every moment we hear about Trump is a moment we won’t hear about the disastrous Iran deal, Hillary being investigated by the FBI, the record-high 93 million Americans out of the workforce, and on and on. If we do, it’s all in terms of what Trump says about the questions, not on what the issues are and how the Democrats’s policies caused them.

3. Republican candidates trying to outdo The Donald will spend themselves under the table, and waste valuable air time talking about him rather than about the candidates’ own agendas.

4. Trump has nothing to lose. He craves this stuff.

The Republicans as a party, and the individual candidates themselves, must recognize, as Johnson did above, that there is “a current of anger on immigration, Iran, political correctness, and all the rest,” that the American public wants a policy of a strong America. The challenge to each candidate is to break through The Donald’s flim-flam and convince the public that he or she is the person who will deliver; and that he or she won’t sell us out. In short, a fighter.

We’re going to have to put up with Donald Trump for as long as he’s useful to the media. It’s going to be a long ride.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

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