In her latest column for the Washington Post, conservative pundit Kathleen Parker lashes out at Donald Trump:
He’s the ultimate personification of a variety of vices (greed, intemperance, gluttony, wrath, pride) that we have embraced as a culture with the certitude of the forgiven — or of the be-damned, anyway.
These past several days marking the season of gratitude have been emblematic of the moment when someone like Trump could become king of the heap. Consumerism run amok is what we tamely name Black Friday, the super-sale day when you’re as likely to be trampled (occasionally to death) in a stampede for The Deal, the art of which is in the eye of the beholder.
The fact of the matter is that most Republicans are not supporting Trump, and probably never will. He’s simply too controversial. That’s why Trump’s success doesn’t say anything about the American people, or even about Republican voters, in general, but only about those currently supporting him. And what it tells us isn’t that they’ve lost touch with the virtues that make America great, but that they’re so angry with the establishment that they’re just happy to see someone take them on for once.
A large part of the electorate is now rallying around Ted Cruz, and another significant part still supports Ben Carson. These two men are the opposite of Trump in many ways. Unlike the crass billionaire, Cruz and Carson are very religious and extremely polite. Neither has ever been caught personally insulting anyone, let alone fellow Republicans or journalists.
If Parker’s assessment was correct, Cruz and Carson would be an afterthought during these elections. The opposite is true. Both of them have a good shot at the nomination and they’re polling a combined 39% in Iowa, against Trump’s 23%.