I have been thinking about the Donald Trump Phenomenon for a while.
I have been mulling Revolution since last summer.
UPDATE: I am amazed but Peggy Noonan gets it !
I have thought for some time that there’s a kind of soft French Revolution going on in America, with the angry and blocked beginning to push hard against an oblivious elite. It is not only political. Yes, it is about the Democratic National Committee, that house of hacks, and about a Republican establishment owned by the donor class. But establishment journalism, which for eight months has been simultaneously at Donald Trump’s feet (“Of course you can call us on your cell from the bathtub for your Sunday show interview!”) and at his throat (“Trump supporters, many of whom are nativists and nationalists . . .”) is being rebelled against too. Their old standing as guides and gatekeepers? Gone, and not only because of multiplying platforms. Gloria Steinem thought she owned feminism, thought she was feminism. She doesn’t and isn’t. The Clintons thought they owned the party—they don’t. Hedge-funders thought they owned the GOP. Too bad they forgot to buy the base!
Read the whole column if you have access.
The GOP Congress has been a huge disappointment.
At this this time in history the Left may be correct about what truly matters. The institutional Republicans are still playing the game of administration. By contrast Obama is playing the game of revolution. By slow degrees the entire political system is coming around to Obama’s point of view. Perhaps this is no ordinary time. When Hillary calls Republicans “terrorists” and Obama calls them “crazies”; when Sanders and Trump are outflanking the established wings of their respective parties, each of these in its own way suggests the emphasis of the next ten years will not be on public administration but on determining the power relationships within America and among the countries of the world.
The Constitution says that Spending bills originate in the House of Representatives and the Ways and Means Committee is supposed to write those bills. It has not been happening even as the GOP has taken Congress.
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
So, we now have Donald Trump, who has almost no supporters known to GOP officials in New Hampshire where he just won the primary with 35% of the vote in a large field.
During that state GOP meeting a couple of weeks ago, I asked former Gov. John Sununu, a man with a lifetime of knowledge about New Hampshire politics, if he knew any Trump supporters. Sununu pondered the question for a minute and said he thought a man who lived down the street from him might be for Trump.
Immediately after the story was published, I got an email from a real estate executive and former member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives named Lou Gargiulo, who happens to live down the street from Sununu. “I’m the guy!” Gargiulo told me. “Not only do I support Mr. Trump, I am the Rockingham County chairman of his campaign. The governor would be shocked to know that many of his other neighbors are Trump supporters as well.”
What a surprise ! Pauline Kael would be shocked.
I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.
Quoted by Israel Shenker, “Critics Here Focus on Films As Language Conference Opens,” The New York Times (1972-12-28)
Even Fred Barnes is starting to think it is a done deal.
Donald Trump got everything he wanted in New Hampshire primary—and a whole lot more. He’s not only a stronger frontrunner in the Republican race than ever; he’s now in the driver’s seat on the road to the presidential nomination.
Trump is dominant. Here are a few examples:
Every Republican candidate who finished first and second in Iowa and New Hampshire has won the presidential nomination.
What now ? Well, I think a lot of Republican politicians had better start remembering Machiavelli’s rule:
Never strike a Prince unless you kill him.
Politico, a reliable left wing source, is on the case.
The evening rally, hosted in the heart of a deeply conservative and religious district of rural South Carolina, began with a prayer — and a knock on the media. Almost every head was bowed as African American Evangelical South Carolina Pastor Mark Burns told the crowd that Trump “believes in Jesus Christ” and is an authentic Republican. “The media believe Trump is not a true conservative… but the devil is a liar.”
Ted Cruz desperately needs evangelicals but they voted for Trump in New Hampshire. There is a theory that Republicans have failed them so many times that fake piety is not working. Even Huffington Post is figuring that out.
Despite his low marks on religiosity, 56 percent of Republicans say that Trump would make a good or great president. That proportion rises to 59 percent among white evangelical Protestant Republican voters. Carson and Cruz get slightly higher marks, with 62 percent and 63 percent respectively, but those numbers aren’t significantly higher than Trump’s.
Even if evangelical primary voters don’t see Trump as religious, he’s worked hard to get into their good graces, casting himself as a defender of Christianity against malign forces.
“Christianity, it’s under siege,” he recently told a crowd composed mostly of students from Liberty University, the evangelical college where Cruz announced his bid for the presidency last year.
That may appeal to voters who feel increasingly disenfranchised.
Yes, they have gotten nothing from the GOP but to be taken for granted as blacks are by Democrats. Trump even was picking up support with black voters. And that was last fall.
Whether that will amount to anything may require the South Carolina results before we can see. Some think blacks, should like Trump over Hillary, but that is not a tested theory.
There is little doubt that immigration depresses the employment and wages of black men. A 2010 study by the economists George Borjas, Jeffrey Grogger and Gordon Hanson found that a 10 percent immigration-induced increase in the labor supply reduced African Americans’ wages by 2.5 percent and the employment rate among blacks by 5.9 percentage points.
“Since the 1990s, academics have been studying the political and economic cleavage between blacks and Latinos. A 1997 study by sociologist Roger Waldinger found that employers in Los Angeles favored Latino over black workers, a situation reinforced by tense relations when the two groups worked side by side.”
If immigration works with black voters, Trump should do well, or at least better than other GOP candidates. We should know next month.
In the meantime, I think we have seen nothing like Trump in American history since the 19th century. His appeal seem to cross party lines and concerns that he is not conservative are not relevant. The voters have, at least for the present, given upon conservatism and have chosen populism.