April 12, 2016

Want to stop Trump? Offer something better.

Victor Davis Hanson, at National Review wrote this recently, in regard to Donald Trump:
In sum, the white lower and middle classes are angry, and they are tired of being blamed for the unhappiness of other tribes. In our world, in which uncouth tribal leaders can say almost anything, these whites wanted their own Sharpton or Ramos, and finally got him with Donald J. Trump. As is true of most revolutionary movements, the aggrieved are not as angry at their perceived opponents as they are contemptuous at the enablers of them.
I've lost a lot of respect for the real 'bitter clingers' at National Review with their vitriol towards Donald Trump. It's been coming across as a personal hatred - something I'd expect as a gut reaction from a progressive liberal, rather than a reasoned and thoughtful debate over his worthiness. The latter is what I'd expect from National Review. In fact early on, when Trump was a novelty candidate they were merely dismissive and not vitriolic. In retrospect, those early arguments were probably fairly reasoned. But as Trump's prospects rose, the shrillness at National Review seemed to rise in response.

But Victor Davis Hanson I do respect and he's not off the mark in assessing the rise of Trump here.
Given his cruelty, obnoxiousness, and buffoonery, Trump should have been a three-month flash in the pan, exactly as most of his critics had prophesied and dreamed. I hope he will still fade, as he should. But the fact that he has persisted this long may be because the hatred our elites so passionately claimed was aimed at the Other was actually directed at themselves.
Yes, there's vitriol towards Trump in that but also truth. The 'hatred' was certainly originally directed at the Other. That explains the victories in the Senate and Congress dating bacvk to 2010. But then nothing was done and there was a transfer of not hatred, but grievance towards Republican elites and their enablers. I expect that Hanson recognizes that some of that includes National Review. The cure is simple - don't become part of the problem, be part of the solution. In that light, Trump is merely a symptom of the angst and frustration. Not recognizing that is the real issue, and it's preventing the party elite from doing anything effective to stop Trump. You want a better alternative then offer voters something that does not validate or ensure the status quo.
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