I suppose it's no use getting angry at Donald Trump for his repugnant and ridiculous antics. He's an impetuous phony with no integrity, and he's just doing what impetuous phonies with no integrity do. It just so happens that he was lucky enough to be born wealthy so he can afford to seek attention by running for president, whereas the typical childish brat is relegated to sitting in the back of the classroom flicking boogers at the girl in front of him. That's all Trump is really doing -- political booger flicking -- the only difference is that he's old, rich, and famous, with millions of admirers who proudly insist that a political booger flicker is just what this country needs right now.
To be clear, they are the ones I blame: Trump's fans. I hold them responsible for this. And when Hillary Clinton is elected president because Republican voters decided to squander the best GOP field in decades by flocking to a cut-rate impostor in an expensive suit, I will blame them for that too. I'm frankly pretty tired of hearing even the harshest Trump critic make excuses for this shameless group of disciples. The apologists say Trump's followers are just "frustrated" and "angry" and lashing out against the establishment. They say we shouldn't be too critical of these folks, they're just fed up and sad about things, the poor dears.
Yeah, I don't buy it.
There isn't any coherent connection between being mad and supporting a flagrant scam artist. It's ludicrous to try and cure your anger by making everything worse; electing someone who personifies every single negative aspect of the modern American power structure. It's perhaps common for people to get angry about one thing and react by embracing the extreme opposite of that thing. But in this case, Trump fans are allegedly angry about corrupt politicians so they've decided to support a corrupt businessman. They haven't gone to the opposite extreme, they've gone from version No. 1 to version No. 1A. They've gone from worse to worst. They've gone from bad to a guy who is explicitly promising to run this country like an inept, tyrannical goon.
Sorry, that's not an understandable reaction. It is not understandable to rip out your common sense and drown it in the bathtub because you're frustrated. And when I endeavor to understand it, I see quite clearly that Trump devotees aren't really angry at all, or at least that isn't what primarily drives them. The real problem with the Trump Squad is that they don't take the fate of this nation seriously. They are angry, yes, but in a bored, uninformed, disinterested way, like a spoiled prince who decapitates his servant for serving him cold tea. Beneath the frivolous rage is a gross immaturity. A lack of sincerity. A reckless disregard for their fellow countrymen.
You want angry? I'm freaking angry. I'm angry that my children will be raised in a nation overrun by people who treat the political process like a game show. I'm angry at the cheap, bogus populism that always tells us to lay the blame at the feet of politicians and shadowy corporate interests, but never at the doorstep of the ordinary folks who choose to put these mongrels in power.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (L) listens as real estate tycoon Donald Trump speaks during the prime time Republican presidential debate on August 6, 2015 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
I'm done playing along. I think it's about time we consider the possibility that our country is run by bad people because we keep electing bad people. We. Us. Individual Americans. Individual Americans make horrible, stupid, shallow decisions on voting day, and thus our civilization continues its totally voluntary march over the proverbial cliff. Put aside the various hijinks and voter fraud that surely goes on, the fact remains that 65 million adults voted for Barack Obama on purpose this last election. He didn't take the throne by force. We gave it to him, for God's sake. And now we're threatening to give it to Donald Trump.
[sharequote align="center"]Let everyone else criticize Trump. I'm criticizing his supporters, and I make no apologies for it.[/sharequote]
Donald Trump. We are teetering here on the brink of national disintegration and in this hour of immense and profound consequence, millions of Americans hoist a showboating charlatan on their shoulders and appoint him savior. I'm far beyond annoyed. I'm disgusted. Let everyone else criticize Trump. I'm criticizing his supporters, and I make no apologies for it.
These people like "tough talk," don't they? In fact they love tough talk so much that they've made a Republican hero out a lifelong liberal Democrat all because he supposedly engages in it. These folks are allegedly so hungry for a "straight shooter" that they'll settle for a trifling tyrant who dodges direct questions like he dodged the draft, flip flops on every issue, shies away from giving specifics on anything, hasn't taken a substantive stand on hardly any topic, is too afraid to even list his positions on his campaign website, and generally offers the depth and insight one would expect from a stoned high school sophomore feverishly typing a lengthy comment under a YouTube video about the moon landing conspiracy. Trump fans are feeling such a desperate thirst for someone who "tells it like it is" that they've fallen in love with a carnival barker who tells it like it isn't.
If that's true, the Trump Club ought to appreciate everything I say about them. Yes, it's highly critical, but blunt criticism is what they say they're after. If they're genuine then I expect, by the end of this piece, they'll want to elect me president.
So let's back up for a moment. Trump has now stooped to the level of making menstruation jokes, and his supporters have stooped to the level of defending it. Now, I don't want to give off the impression of being repulsed by Donald Trump just because he said one repulsive thing. The truth, of course, is that he says repulsive things every day, but for logistical reasons I can only really be repulsed by one of them at a time. Beyond that, the bigger problem is that he says stupid things. And the bigger problem still is that he says dishonest things. And the still bigger problem is what he's actually done and what he claims he'd actually do if elected.
No matter if he flies off the handle tomorrow and calls for the immediate execution of Charles Krauthammer, or finally just comes out and admits he's scared of women, his mere statements will remain the less urgent matters. We should really be talking about how his policies on most issues are non-existent, and the ones that do exist are shallow, incomplete, and constantly changing, while the more detailed ones are neocon fantasies that would guarantee trade wars with Mexico and China, and oil wars in the Middle East.
Even if you go for that sort of thing -- perpetual global conflict and all that -- you ought to nevertheless take issue with Trump being a ratfink fraudster and crony capitalist with deep ties to the mob, who drove four companies into bankruptcy, and who boasts about bribing politicians. And no Republican voter should be able to dismiss that this man self-identified as a Democrat, donated massive sums to far left liberals over the course of many years, and helped Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid ascend to power. Meanwhile, he's been an overly litigious vulture who ties up the court systems suing for sport, and an anti-gun, partial-birth abortion advocate, who as recently as last Thursday endorsed socialized medicine as something that "works incredibly well." His "signature issue" is immigration, but all he's done in his life is make the problem worse by financing fanatical open borders politicians.
These are much more profound concerns than any piggish, idiotic remark he's made. As is the fact that he's a good friend of the Clintons and gave enormously to the Clinton Foundation, which would, if he were nominated, make for an unprecedented dynamic where the Republican nominee is tasked with criticizing a Democrat he just spent two decades lavishing with large cash donations and wedding invitations. He wouldn't be able to raise a single question about Hillary's judgment without raising a bigger one about his own.
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Extraordinarily relevant matters, and any one of them would be, or should be, enough to disqualify him. But what he says is also relevant, if to a lesser degree. And it becomes all the more relevant when you consider his penchant for calling women dogs and slobs, and the fact that all Clinton would have to do in the general election is play that on a loop for three months and she'd win in a landslide (although she'd beat him even without it).
Trump surely added to that arsenal when he attacked Fox anchor Megyn Kelly over the weekend for committing the sin of asking him tough questions. Trump said that Kelly had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out her whatever," an obvious suggestion that she was on her period. Sometime later, the Trump campaign put out a statement claiming he'd said "Megyn Kelly had blood coming out of her eyes and whatever," and that the "whatever" meant "nose." This is a blatant, bald faced lie wrapped in another blatant, bald faced lie. We know what he said. It wasn't "eyes and whatever," it was "blood coming out of her whatever." We know he said this because it's on tape and 50 million people have heard it.
Trump has spent days now lashing out at a news anchor all because she asked him a question he didn't like, and it culminated with a comment beneath the dignity and intelligence of a shirtless frat boy, never mind an elderly billionaire who wants to be president of the United States. Some have given him credit for "sticking to his guns," but for one thing, it's not courageous to stick to your guns when you're a 1,000 percent in the wrong. That's called moral cowardice. And for another, like always, he isn't sticking to his guns. He backed down by lying about what he said and what he meant. He stuck to his guns in the sense that he dropped the gun and hid in the bushes.
This is typical of Trump and his supporters. They hail him for being no-nonsense, tough, and unapologetic, even though such qualities aren't admirable when they're employed by a dishonorable megalomaniac, and in any case, he isn't actually no-nonsense, tough, or unapologetic. He's precisely the opposite of these things. He's a sniffling, sobbing little weakling who locks himself in the bathroom and cries for two days straight whenever someone shoves him back. Even Trump's own staff accuse him of being a thin-skinned narcissist who surrounds himself with suck ups because he can't handle bad news.
When Trump fans ignore all of this, they are acting like groupies, not grown ups. They're being about as principled as the middle school girls who complained of slander and conspiracy when Justin Bieber was criticized for peeing in a mop bucket at a restaurant. Incidentally, I'm convinced Trump could pull down his pants and urinate on the stage at the next debate, and his fans would stand and applaud with tears in their eyes. "Oh, that Donald Trump! What a brave man! Can't no establishment keep him down! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!"
You think I'm kidding.
It might have been different in the early beginning of Trump's campaign. Maybe some perfectly reasonable people who weren't entirely familiar with Trump thought they'd give him a chance. OK, I can forgive that. I take no issue with them. But now, at this point, the remaining Trump apostles have officially sacrificed all shreds of human reason and rationality. An informed, mature, sincere, and reasonable person cannot still cheer on this circus act. They just can't.
Speaking of lacking maturity and reason, I brought up Trump on Twitter a few nights ago, and it led to some exchanges that exemplify everything that's terribly wrong with political discourse in America, particularly as it pertains to Donald Trump. Notice how each defense of Trump cataloged below involves either: A) automatically accusing non-Trump fans of being Jeb Bush fans, as if those are the only two options, B) saying something racist, C) shouting Trump's name eight times in a row, D) calling non-Trump fans "liberals" or "cuckservatives," or E) making some reference to Trump being "politically incorrect," or a "fighter," while ignoring that Trump only fights for himself, and even then he doesn't really fight at all; he simply says something outlandish and then cowers in a corner and plays the victim if anyone dares respond.
Here's how it went:
@ricantotheright @MattWalshBlog @BradThor @EWErickson You can't fight the left with bare knuckles, you lose. You have to use jujitsu.— double t (@double t)1439078010.0
@MattWalshBlog @realDonaldTrump #TRUMP2016 ! #TRUMP2016 ! #TRUMP2016 ! #TRUMP2016 ! #TRUMP2016 ! #TRUMP2016 ! #TRUMP2016 ! #TRUMP2016 !— VE (@VE)1439057416.0
The question is whether we should expect more of our fellow citizens. Am I right to be angry at a person for supporting a vulgar, bungling thug based solely on the logic that anyone who opposes him must be a "liberal" and a "cuckservative"? Am I out of line for blaming a man who justifies his love for a crass, self-obsessed bully by insisting that the bully is "politically incorrect," and that somehow "political incorrectness" ought to be the most important item on a presidential candidate's resume? If I am out of line, if I'm wrong in my anger, then I suppose these people are either right or shouldn't be held accountable for their own actions.
But we know they certainly are not within a 10,000 mile radius of being right, and we know they are human beings with free will. They are wrong, they've chosen to be wrong, and it's really not OK to be wrong about this. This is my country too, and I'm sick of watching it get slowly stabbed to death by people who can't be bothered to use their heads.
Trump fans: You're better than this. Notice I have not called you stupid. I don't think you're stupid. Stupid people can't help themselves, but you can. I think you're being intellectually lazy and insincere. I think you're enamored with personality. I think you like being entertained. I think you're treating the fate of my country like a toy to be played with by a giant child in a luxurious toupee. I think you're in deep now, and perhaps you don't want to admit you were wrong. I think you know, deep down, that Trump is not a good or brave man, and he certainly is not presidential material. I also think you know that Trump could never beat Hillary Clinton, which is why the polls have him losing in a landslide to every Democratic candidate.
I think you know better. I think you're too smart for this. And that's why I'm angry with you. You are playing games, and now is not the time.
Get your act together. Admit you were wrong and let's move on. When this is all said and done, and Trump is sent back to his lair to live out the rest of his days in agonizing obscurity, I will be perfectly fine with pretending all of this never happened. I won't bring it up again if you don't.
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