Good grief. At this late date, there are still pundits and politicians who don't get the Donald Trump phenomenon? "Trump win," the headline says, "confounds people who thought gaffes would do him in."
For months, Donald Trump's antagonists in rival campaigns, in the GOP
establishment and in the punditocracy have believed the time would come,
someday, when Trump would say something so outrageous, so over-the-top,
so out there that the scales would finally fall from his supporters'
eyes and the Trump candidacy would collapse. The South Carolina
campaign, some believed, would be that time. After all, in the course of
a week, Trump had dumped all over popular former President George W.
Bush, had said good things about Planned Parenthood, and had gotten into
a weird tiff with the pope. Surely now…
Honestly, how many people left can there be who think it matters a whit what Trump says about anything? He once said he could shoot somebody on 5th Avenue and not lose any voters.The fact is that he could probably go on prime time TV and brag about forcing his wife to take his girlfriend to get an abortion while he went across the border to bring back 1,500 illegal immigrants to work in his casinos and not lose a single vote.Trump's followers — that sounds more right than "supporters" — are not issue voters. They don't really care what Trump thinks about or plans to do about any issue. They do not care if he's had one stance on an issue yesterday and a different one today — hell, they don't care if he's had a hundred. They don't care how many times he contradicts himself. They don't care who he insults or how vulgar he gets or how clueless he sometimes sounds on how the world outside of reality TV works.
The Trump crowd is fed up with the political power structure and sick and tired of being lied to by it, and condescended to and mocked and dismissed. They want to blow the whole thing up. Trump is just the bomb they have chosen to throw. Once you have your mission and your bomb, you do not worry about such petty details as what the bomb looks like or what if feels like. You just throw the damn thing, and all you care about is that it explodes the way you want it to.
Listen to what Trump's followers all say — I believe what he says, he will get things done, he is tough, etc., etc. — and that's what it boils down to" He is the bomb I am throwing, and I trust he will go off the way I want him to.Of course, that brings up the question of what happens next. There's often a lot of collateral damage when a bomb goes off. You're not necessarily going to be blowing up just what you want to blow up. And presuming nobody wants to rebuild a replica of what got destroyed, what do we bring in to replace what we have destroyed? I do wish the Trump voters would stop and think about what might happen next after they've voted their anger. You don't have to study history too deeply to see all the bad things that have happened when an opportunistic populist is thrust into leadership by and angry mob.
Not that I blame the mob. Most of our scorn should be reserved for the establishment chuckleheads who kept on pushing their version of reality no matter how scornful and angry the people they were supposedly leading were becoming. They created this reality TV playground called the GOP primary, and they're responsible for the GOP front-runner being a reality TV star. It is at least a small comfort that they're the first victims of the revolution they spawned.
ELSEWHERE IN THE NEWS
I haven't written anything about the Apple-FBI brouhaha because, frankly, I didn't quite understand it. The FBI had a warrant, which was duly issued based on a reasonable suspicion, so what's the bid deal about Apple honoring the request for what's in that one phone? But the more I read, the clearer it became that it's about a lot more than getting into one phone. See the article "Basically every single presidential candidate is totally clueless as to what's at state in the Apple/FBI fight" and, at reason.com, "Does anybody believe the FBI isn't out to defeat encryption?"
Over at Everyday Feminism, we get the burning question all of us are losing sleep over: Does feminism require vegetarianism? I consider my life altered just by reading this: "The main argument you will hear in favor of feminist vegetarianism is that of linked oppression. Basically the idea is that women are consistently objectified in a morally problematic way that is very similar to the way animals are objectified." The headline of the article is "Is your bacon sandwich oppressing women?" I guess the answer is "Hell, yes, and we're pigs for even having to ask."
Well, that would explain a lot, wouldn't it? Historians claim Adolph Hitler had a tiny, deformed penis as well as just one testicle.
President Obama, brushing off Republicans who say he is in love with big government: "I don't believe in regulation for regulation's sake, contrary to rumor. The idea that somehow I get a kick out of big government is just not the case." OK, I believe that. No, really, I do. Honestly. Tell me another.
Edward Snowden says he is willing to be extradited if the federal government would guarantee him a fair trial. The New York Sun has the right idea: The government should call that bluff.
A few years ago, the late comedian Tim Wilson had a vulgar but poignant song about the lack of something many of us thought we'd have by now, called "Where the @#$% Is My Jetpack?" Today, we can add to that lament: "We thought we'd be living in space (or under giant domes) by now."
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says every GOP candidate is wrong about political correctness because "we need more sensitivity, not less" and we've been seeing an "apocalyptic backlash against a benign combination of good old-fashioned manners and simple sensitivity toward others." Boy, does that completely miss the point about political correctness. It's not about being kind or sensitive. It's about shutting people up when you disagree with them instead of arguing with them like a rational, sentient adult.
So, who is staying home in November if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee? Yeah, Trump or Hillary/Bernie; it's a tough call, and I've said before that such a choice might make me a no-show for the presidential race for the first time in my life. But that would be its own tough call. Is there a lesser of two evils there that I think won't do great harm to the country? Right now, I don't see it.
Sigh. A majority of Democrats — nearly six in 10 — say socialism has "a positive impact on society." Take it with a grain of salt, though — it was commissioned by a "right leaning" outfit that has a vested interest in making Democrats look out of the mainstream. I think the part is pretty socialistic these days, but I'm not as sure as I once was that that is out of the mainstream.
WORD OF THE DAY
parapraxis (pare-uh-PRAK-sis). n. — a slip of the tongue or pen, forgetfulness, misplacement of objects or other error thought to reveal unconscious wishes or attitudes, as in: "Opponents of Donald Trump who keep waiting for the parapraxis that will sink him with voters, failed to understand that everything he says is the result of cunning and calculation."