In this country, you are free to support any candidate for office you like. And the candidate, in turn, is free to make you look or feel like a fool for supporting him.
That is precisely what Donald Trump appears to be doing to a small but growing segment of the GOP primary electorate.
I think the rumors of Trumpmania are greatly exaggerated by those who would very much like to believe (and have others believe) Trump is representative of the Republican Party. Jeb Bush still leads the field by almost six points in the latest Real Clear Politics national polling average, prompting a Politico story yesterday asking if Bush was “breaking away from the Republican pack.”
Trump’s share of the vote is most accurately seen as a measure of how many GOP voters aren’t happy with the rest of the field and/or are generally frustrated with the party. Some of them, especially those who fit the latter description, like to think Trump is some sort of “truth teller” who’s willing to voice concerns that none of the “establishment” candidates will. This is not a wise judgment on their part:
The article at the link, dated Nov. 26, 2012, begins this way:
“The Republican Party will continue to lose presidential elections if it comes across as mean-spirited and unwelcoming toward people of color, Donald Trump tells Newsmax.
“Whether intended or not, comments and policies of Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates during this election were seen by Hispanics and Asians as hostile to them, Trump says.
“‘Republicans didn’t have anything going for them with respect to Latinos and with respect to Asians,’ the billionaire developer says.”
Ahem. I guess that’s why Trump is busy talking about “killers” and “rapists” from Mexico now?
That’s not the only part of his act. The Washington Post’s Hunter Schwarz compiled a list of “the many ways in which Donald Trump was once a liberal’s liberal.” Trump’s changing attitudes toward abortion, guns, health care, party affiliation and even Hillary Clinton are documented.
Somewhere, in a parallel universe, I imagine Bizarro Donald Trump is running to the left of Hillary Clinton in a Democratic presidential primary. And a handful of voters in that primary are also falling for his act and making up excuses about why his past statements are in conflict with his present ones for more than just expediency’s sake.
If you still think Trump is just telling the truths other candidates won’t, I suggest you email his campaign with other ideas. You never know: One of them just might be the next “truth” he tells.