By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK
Back in 2011, the last time Donald Trump was talking about himself as a candidate for the presidency, I took the position in this space in The Wanderer that we “should not fall” for his sales pitch. I argued that Trump was all bluster and slogans, with no serious, thought-out policy recommendations; that he never moved beyond self-congratulatory rhetoric about how “smart, really smart” and “tough” he is.
Things have not changed since 2011. Trump is still all sizzle and no steak, with a campaign filled with promises to not let our enemies “walk all over us” and to “make America great again,” with no specifics about how he will do these things. Does that mean I still recommend that people not pay attention to Trump? No. Something has changed.
Such as? Look: Trump is not going to win the Republican nomination. By the time you read these words, his habit of putting his foot in his mouth may have effectively removed him from the race. He looks less presidential every day. But what we have ask ourselves is not whether Trump can become president, but why so many people are backing him, including many, I suspect, who agree with what he has to say but tell the pollsters that they would not vote for him.
Trump’s moment at center stage — however brief it turns out to be — is creating the pressure needed to move the eventual Republican nominee to run a campaign that addresses the issues that catapulted Trump to the top of the polls in mid-July. It would be a good thing to keep Trump on the stage for a while. Maybe for quite a while. … Continue Reading