Back in July, I wrote a post called “Anger is Making Us Stupid.” In it, I quoted no less authorities than Yoda and Jonah Goldberg (and have you noticed those two are never seen together?) to make the point that justifiable anger on the right was causing conservatives to follow blindly after an untrustworthy left-winger, one Donald Trump.
I’ve since adjusted that judgment somewhat. Many of the people who have gotten a) angry and therefore b) stupid were never really conservatives to begin with. They are rather working-class folks who have been sold out by both the Democrats (who despise them) and the Republicans (who have ignored them) while their jobs vanished and their wages stagnated and their mortality rate rose and their concerns went unheard. Of course they’re angry. They have every right to be.
But angry is angry and stupid is stupid and it’s now clear that Trump’s supporters, whoever they are, have been had.
Let me show you how.
Here are some typical responses to my attacks on Trump, copied from the comments section:
Anger isn’t making me stupid, it’s making me take a stand against another establishment loser like Dole, McCain, Romney. I would rather suffer more time in the wilderness than have another establishment President.
The thing that establishment chin strokers miss is that you can’t win a fight without fighting… Trump fights, which is why his support is growing.
Millions of Americans are sick of Republican wienies apologizing and running away with their tails between their legs. The Republican establishment and too many so-called conservative pundits dont seem to understand that.
Sarah Palin caught this tone during her Trump endorsement speech when she said: “Now, what they’re doing is wailing, ‘well, Trump and his… Trumpeters, they’re not conservative enough.’ Oh my goodness gracious. What the heck would the establishment know about conservatism?”
You get the idea. Anyone who opposes Donald Trump is part of the GOP establishment — including conservatives like Ted Cruz who have been battling the GOP establishment tooth and nail for years.
So now, as the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries loom, as Trump’s lead seems to hold in the polls and the GOP establishment starts to panic, look which way that establishment is breaking. Look at whom they support.
“[Trump’s] got the right personality and he’s kind of a deal-maker,” says Bob Dole, after predicting a Ted Cruz nomination would be a disaster.
“I’ve come around a little bit on Trump,” says gang-of-eighter Senator Orrin Hatch.
“The developing feeling among House Republicans? Donald Trump is preferable to Ted Cruz,” reports Elaina Plott after attending a House GOP retreat.
And then of course there’s this from Donald Trump himself: “I think they [the establishment] are warming up. I want to be honest, I have received so many phone calls from people that you would call establishment, from people — generally speaking … conservatives, Republicans — that want to come onto our team…” And this: “You know what? There’s a point at which: Let’s get to be a little establishment. We’ve got to get things done folks, OK? Believe me, don’t worry. We’re going to make such great deals.”
See, the thing is: Trump is the establishment. Big government, crony capitalism, hard words and soft policy — he loves all the things they love. Yeah, he feels your rage — and he uses it to his advantage. He talks like you think but when it comes to what he does? He has a long history of helping one person and one person only. Guess his name.
Seven years ago, ecstatic Democrats went dancing after an Obama campaign that was all personality and cheap slogans. They wanted fairness. They got a massive transfer of wealth to the richest people in the country. They wanted peace. They got a vastly expanded war.
Today, Donald Trump has created a campaign that is all personality and cheap slogans. Are Republicans stupid enough to do the same ecstatic dance the Democrats did?
We’re about to find out.
P.S. Just by the way, I suspect all the establishment hysteria is unfounded. I suspect the Cruz-Trump battle will lift a more moderate candidate to the top in Iowa and maybe New Hampshire too, changing the flow of money and support away from the two front runners. Remember, for all the punditry and noise, nothing’s actually happened yet. Just saying.