Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Missing The Point

Donald Trump continues to front his George Wallace Tribute Band Tour, now calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States.  And, you know, maybe rounding up Muslims and putting them in camps, while we close their mosques.

Even Darth Cheney is all, "WTF?". Fox News has actual people calling him out on it.

And it just doesn't matter.

Trump's numbers will likely go up in the primary field.  There was an inevitable pattern in 2012.  Romney would flag and some goofball like Michelle Bachman or Herman Cain would briefly surge ahead.  But then the goofball would implode, and Romney would rally.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

This cycle the pattern is a little different.  Trump has held a fairly consistent lead.  But as a candidate creeps up on him, that candidate says something stupid, but more importantly, Trump says something offensive.  The combination of these two dynamic leads to a Trump-Bump.  Throughout his campaign, Trump has crossed all the usual lines that should sink a politician in 2015.  Saying those things actually reinforces his poll numbers.

The response of people is to criticize Trump.  But Trump - reality TV star that he is - is simply giving the audience what it wants.  Roughly a third of all Republican voters - maybe two thirds if you factor in Carson and Cruz's supporters - WANT to kick all Muslims out of the country.  They WANT to close the mosques and kick out all the brown people.  They WANT cops to use excessive force to keep THOSE PEOPLE in their place.

Trump isn't the problem, except to the degree that he normalizes things that this racist 27% of the America couldn't say out loud before.  But they felt it.  And every time Trump creates a controversy, they love him all the more for it.

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