From what I know of Trump’s views of trade, liberty, subsidiarity, respect for law, natural law, complexity of thinking, potential for hubris and social positions, I’m agin’. But he’s generally right on immigration and gloriously right on political correctness. Maybe that’s enough.
The insights to this strange phenomenon accumulate:
Trump and Hillary are both paragons of the 60’s, just opposite ends.
Meade explains the Trump appeal: (1 pageview/month)
…Yet though the Boomer Consensus has triumphed in the world of American institutions and ideas, in the eyes of many Americans it has not done all that well in the real world. Foreign policy, financial policy, health policy, support of the middle class, race relations, family life, public education, trade policy, city and state government management, wages: what exactly has the Boomer Consensus accomplished in these fields? Many Americans think that the Consensus is a scam and a flop when it comes to actually, well, making things better for the average person. It has made life better, much better, for the upper middle class; few would dispute its accomplishments there. And Wall Street has every reason to pay large speaking fees and make large financial contributions to the champion of the orthodoxy that helped make it so rich.
But many and possibly most Americans think that the Boomer Consensus didn’t work for them. They may not have much confidence in the various conservative and socialist alternatives to the consensus, but they believe that something about it is flawed, and they want it stopped dead in its tracks. This is where Trump comes in. His supporters aren’t united around a set of positive ideas, but they are united in opposition to the status quo. They believe that the emperor has no clothes, even if they can’t agree on a replacement wardrobe…
…Those of us who care about policy, propriety and the other bourgeois values without which no democratic society can long thrive need to spend less time wringing our hands about the shortcomings of candidate Trump and the movement that has brought him this far, and more time both analyzing the establishment failures that have brought the country to this pass, and developing a new vision for the American future.
Aug’16- Peter Robinson quotes Conrad Black on Trump’s Genius.
Obama, Trump, Clinton, Sanders: is Trump the moderate?
Dreher on Trump, Thiel and Social Conservatism
Klavan with the trenchant critique (plus, this gem inspired in the comments: “voting for Trump is playing Russian roulette, while voting for Hillary is the exact inverse.” (one empty chamber”)
(Apr’18) In thinking about Republicans embracing Trumpism, I keep coming back to this story:
There’s an old joke about a boy who complains to his mother that his little sister keeps pulling his hair.
“Oh,” responds the mother, “she doesn’t know that it hurts.”
A few minutes later, the mother hears the girl scream and runs into the other room. “She knows now,” the boy explains.
At its heart is an element of nihilism that bothers me. Unfortunately, I also fear it is the only path back to civility, or at least the gentlest path.