My problem with Trump is that he is a dealmaker trying to make a sale. Right now he’s trying to make a deal with conservatives — so this is the very most conservative we’ll ever see him.
If he gets the nomination, he now starts working on making the second part of the deal with the other party in the negotiations, the general public.
So this is the most conservative we’ll ever see Trump — this is the absolute most conservative he’ll ever be — and he’s not conservative at all, except, possibly, on immigration. He combines liberal policy impulses with frankly authoritarian or even fascist ones, which he thinks are “what conservatives want,” because, frankly, he conceives of us as ugly-minded, stupid dummies who get off on this shit.
That’s why he didn’t put the “Ban Muslims” line in a more palatable, persuasive form, like “Reduce immigration from Muslim-majority countries or countries with a terrorism problem to a level where we can vet each individual applicant.”
No, he put it in the most bigoted, ugly way he could think of, because that’s about his level, and because, also, that’s what he thinks “conservatives” are.
Even on issues like that, where I would like him to move the Overton Window so we can begin discussing a rational reduction of such immigration until this Jihadist Madness passes from history, I find he doesn’t move it at all, because he makes the issue much more toxic and alienating than it needs to be.
What does Trump actually know about conservatives? He seems to only know five things, which he repeats in such crude ways it’s preposterously insulting.
Plus a vivid contrast of Trump’s flailing tone and debating style with the rigor of Ronald Reagan besting Robert Kennedy in a mid-1960s television debate, during the immediate post-Goldwater-era when conservatism was really in the cultural wilderness, before Ace concludes, “Down With Trump, But Vive Le Trumpism.” Read the whole thing.