Trump supporters are pushing back the sea, and in my view, even if he wins the 2016 election, their movement is doomed.
Even the Wall Street Journal editorial page excoriates Trump as a man with no coherent philosophy or fixed convictions, little policy knowledge, too much pique, too many racist statements, and seeking to turn the GOP into the “tariff party.” Trump would retreat from global leadership, he is extremely naive about what it would take to defeat ISIS and restrain Putin, his “trade policies are reckless and would either be rebuffed by the world or lead to a global recession,” the WSJ editorialized.
And yet, in the same editorial, the WSJ said Trump supporters “deserve some respect unless we’re going to give up on democracy.”
“The most hopeful way to look at this is that GOP voters see Mr. Trump as the vehicle for American revival. They are at heart nationalists who see the U.S. in retreat abroad and the economy failing to raise wages at home, and they are revolting against both. Unlike the Japanese or the French, they aren’t going to accept decline without a fight.
“In that sense they hope Mr. Trump will be another Ronald Reagan,who can storm Washington and overturn the status quo. This may be one reason so many of Mr. Trump’s voters are older Americans who recall the failures of the 1970s and the Reagan revival that followed.
The WSJ strains to give Trump voters the benefit of the doubt. It praises them for deploring “retreat abroad,” but ignores the fact that Trump wants to withdraw from much of the world. Their position, Trump’s position, is incoherent and contradictory.
The WSJ praises Trump supporters for their anger that the economy fails to raise wages at home, but ignores the fact Trump said “wages are too high.” Indeed, the incoherence of Trump supporters is evidence of US decline. If Trump supporters are old enough to remember political events of the 1970s, that means they are in their 50’s or older, not young enough to represent the nation’s future.
The editorial goes on to describe how Trump is NOT like Reagan — he has “not spent 40 years developing a philosophy of limited government and the U.S. national interest.” He did not spend eight years as governor of a large state before running for president, and he has not shown the same good instincts as Reagan, the WSJ editorialized.
If Trump allows himself to be led by a Republican Congress crafting conservative policies, and follows sound conservative economic policies, “an economic growth revival is more likely with President Trump than President Clinton,” according to the WSJ editorial in May.
In other words, if Trump allows Republicans in Congress to lead him, he might turn out ok, the WSJ argues. Don’t count on this egomaniac deferring to Congress.
“I hate Donald Trump. But he might get my vote,” wrote retired financial advisor Jim Ruth in the Washington Post. Most of his reasons for supporting Trump are because he’s not Hillary Clinton and not a liberal. Or because he sets up straw men arguments about political correctness, and intolerance toward conservative viewpoints, ignoring the fact that even President Obama has spoken out against liberal students who want to be “coddled” and that they should stop stifling free and spirited debates on campus.
(Basic rule of politics: you can’t win a presidential election running an entirely negative campaign, “vote for me because I’m not my opponent,” or by seeking to turn the clock back to a bygone era.)
Ruth presumes himself to be “part of the new silent majority: those who don’t like Donald Trump but might vote for him anyway…Members of this new silent majority, many of us front-wave baby boomers, value hard work and love the United States the way it was…
“And please don’t try to stereotype us. We’re not uneducated, uninformed, unemployed or low-income zealots. We’re affluent, well-educated, gainfully employed and successfully retired. Some of us even own our own business, or did before we retired, creating not only our own job but also employment for others. While we’re fiscally conservative, we’re not tea partyers. And on certain social issues, many of us even have some leftward leanings. Shhhh . . .
He expresses confidence that once in the White House, Trump will surround himself with “smart and capable people from the business world, as well as some Capitol Hill veterans.”
(I might ask, how can you be sure of that? Might Trump just as likely engage in crony capitalism?)
But here’s the rub: Past business associates describe him as a micromanager who likes yes men at his side. How long this new Washington brain trust will last in a Trump administration is anybody’s guess.”
That doesn’t sound confident.
But he still leans toward Trump because “he’s the only one who appears to want to preserve the American way of life as we know it.”
In other words, the Trump “movement” is almost entirely reactionary, looking backwards, wanting to turn back the clock to a time when white, male, conventional heterosexual patriarchy of European descent dominated. Fortress America, America First. To hell with the increasing diversity of America and American culture, or to the powerful forces of free trade and globalization.
I have written that nearly all conservative columnists in major publications have abandoned Trump, and are searing in their negative critiques of him.