Honest, I was going to write this article! In fact, I had a draft going…but, I got behind a bit and, anyways, Victor Davis Hanson is a much better writer than I am…so, here ya go.
As we stare in amazement at the phenomena of Trump and wonder just what the heck his followers are thinking, there is a rather simple answer. And Hanson provides it:
…What the elites now consider normal and standard seems, to a growing minority of Americans, aberrant and unhinged — and they are looking for a remedy, even if it is mostly rhetorical and chimerical.
Members of the so-called establishment do not fear receiving a memo announcing that an immigrant technician on a work visa will be taking their place or that their jobs will be outsourced overseas. For that matter, I don’t expect that my employer, the Hoover Institution, will move to Mexico to cut costs, or that National Review will hire a foreign national to write this column for 40 percent of what it currently pays.
When the son or daughter of someone in New York or Washington who despises the symbolism of the Trump candidacy does not quite top out on the SAT, or does not make it to Ghana for his or her cultural-diversity summer internship, or does not earn a prep school’s full recommendation, and so does not get into Yale or Princeton, does the parent happen to know a powerful public figure, an Ivy League insider, or a rich donor who might wish to call and put in a good word for an underappreciated but talented white male? If so, then that parent is navigating around affirmative action rather than upholding it. Meanwhile, the 18-year-old son of a truck driver in Grand Rapids, of the wrong sex and color, is out of luck…
Do read the whole thing.
Lately, Trump has been rising in the polls and looks like he’s got a shot at winning Indiana – and if he does, that is very close to game over for Cruz; Trump might well secure a first-ballot majority, or come so close that it doesn’t matter. How did Trump come back from the drubbing Cruz gave him in Wisconsin? By complaining about the way Cruz – following the rules to the letter – was securing delegates which his vote totals didn’t justify. You and I know that this is just playing by the rules and that, indeed, the arcane rules of a Republic are the best assurance against tyranny…but for most people, just watching from the sidelines, it is just unfair that someone who got more votes should come in second to the person who got less votes. Trump’s whine, as we anti-Trumpers put it, resonated far and wide across America. It just isn’t fair – and the American people, bottom line, are mostly sick of the rank unfairness of the current system.
Now, to be sure, some Trumpsters have gone full racist and/or anti-Semitic, perceiving in their minds that some sort of Minority or Jewish Conspiracy is the cause of the unfairness. This is actually a common failing among humans – to easily believe that it is the Other who has caused the problem. But leaving aside the Trumpsters who believe that, the overwhelming mass of them are just people who can see that things are lousy, well-connected people are getting an easy ride, and anyone who complains is shouted down as a racist/sexist/homophobe.
Well, not everyone is a racist/sexist/homophobe – but those who are being insulted with those terms do see their school systems collapsing; their faith insulted; their national heroes spat upon; their jobs shipped overseas or taken by someone from another land who will do it for less; their prices for basic necessities going up…and, here in 2016, quite a lot of them are very mad. And if some of them are lashing out in an rage then it must be understood that it was a provoked rage. People content with their lives and feeling that things are roughly fair don’t get enraged. Period.
And as Hanson also points out, whatever you want to say about Trump – and I’ll heartily join you in saying it – it can be matched by Hillary, by Sanders, by the majority of Democrat and Republican party leaders. By the leaders of the bureaucracy and the corporations. By those who run the outlets of popular media culture. If Trump is a lying, vulgar nincompoop then so are all the rest of them. In the race right now, only Cruz is in any way free from the dishonesty of the overall American system. The concept that some how or another electing Hillary would be an improvement over electing Trump is utter nonsense. The concept that Trump is more divisive than Obama has been is utter nonsense. The concept that Trump is not spiritually at one with all the rest of the people in charge is utter nonsense. And the people are given a choice – Trump’s clown show or Hillary’s…if the choice does come down to that, I think a lot of people will go for Trump on the simple calculation that just maybe, by some miracle, those who have been destroying America will at least get their smug hypocrisy shoved back in their faces. Whether that will be enough to elect Trump remains to be seen – but such an action by tens of millions of American voters in November won’t be an act of stupidity, nor an irrational act. What would be stupid and irrational is voting for Hillary as an allegedly superior option – everyone who isn’t a blind partisan knows for a fact that Hillary is a crook…we don’t know, for certain, that Trump is.
And this is why I refuse to be drawn in to insult wars against Trumpsters. Trumpism is a failure just waiting to happen…but just going along with what we’ve already got is a failure that is already upon us. I do wish the Trumpsters would see through Trump and realize that Cruz is the best option. If Trump goes down to flaming defeat in November, I’m hoping that the Trumpsters shake off Trumpism and in 2020 go for a Cruz or a Walker or a Jindal. But Trumpism is a going concern simply because those who have been running the show have been running America into the ground, and profiting greatly off the resultant disaster. Unless and until the Republican Party embraces revolutionary reform of the United States, Trump or someone like him will always find a ready ear at least among a large minority of Americans.