The Anger Games

 

TrumpThe Trump bump tells us something about the state of American politics. Progressives are panting to interpret his surge as evidence of Republicans’ black hearts. Some Donald Trump supporters have suggested that his success, such as it is/was (this is being written after the McCain flap and before polls have gauged its impact), is an indictment of the limp “Republican establishment.” It’s neither.

There are 116 candidates for the Republican nomination (I exaggerate slightly). In recent polls, Trump got 24 percent — more than any other candidate. But Scott Walker and Jeb Bush together got 25 percent of the total, and there are so many others that assigning a frontrunner is like trying to catch one guppy with a net. Besides, 54 percent say his views do not represent the values of the Republican Party. He’s been a big donor to Hillary Clinton, Terry McAuliffe and other Democrats. He was pro-choice until about 6:30 this morning. He was for a single-payer health care system, and he’s been remarkably uncharitable for a wealthy man.

Ah, they say, but Republicans are seething with hatred for Hispanics, especially illegal immigrants, and this accounts for Trump’s hot-air liftoff. Illegal immigration does enrage some portions of the base, but only some. In a recent Pew poll, fully 66 percent of Republicans said illegal Mexican immigrants are “mostly honest,” while only 19 percent said they are “mainly undesirable.”

There is a talk-radio drumbeat about illegal-immigrant criminals. Still, most Republican voters are not strongly anti-immigration. They’re ambivalent, with 56 percent favoring a path to legal status for aliens living here, according to a Pew poll, but 63 percent viewing immigrants as a burden.

Whatever one’s views about immigration, the very worst way to broach the topic is to smear all Mexican illegals as “rapists” and criminals. It’s obviously false. It’s not even true that illegal immigrants commit a disproportionate share of crimes. Honest anti-immigration groups like the Center for Immigration Studies agree that first-generation immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-borns. (And immigration rates are falling.)

Well, we’re told, people are choking on political correctness, and Trump is a breath of fresh air. So the best way to discredit political correctness is to embody the worst stereotype of an aggressive bigot?

Trump’s moment is probably fading, but his little balloon ride is disturbing nonetheless. It’s evidence that political intemperance is not limited to the left.

Thanks to the execrable leadership of the Democratic Party and its allies in the press, we have witnessed several years of stoked racial hatred in America. From the Trayvon Martin episode and Michael Brown’s death, to the tragic cases of Eric Garner and the Charleston massacre, the country has been bathed in mendacious incitement. Opinion leaders insist it’s still Selma in 1965. “Black lives matter” has become a movement — as if any decent person disagreed; as if the country had not spent half a century sedulously scrubbing racism from our polity; as if affirmative action were not a feature of educational, corporate and government policy; as if we hadn’t elected and reelected a black president. Democratic candidates for president have been reduced to apologizing simply for saying “all lives matter.”

The civil pieties that were once taken for granted in the political sphere — “all men are created equal” — are now controversial. The triumph of identity politics is complete on the left.

Barack Obama rose on a promise of harmony, but has used power to rend the nation along all of its weakest seams. This brand of leadership has not left his followers happier, but more bitter. As for his opponents, they are by turns grieving and disbelieving at the damage he’s been able to inflict.

The only answer to division and hatred on the left is inclusion and unity on the right. A number of Republican candidates for president have been seeking to recast the Republican Party as the party of reform and outreach. They recognize that a party that lost not just the Hispanic vote, the black vote, the women’s vote and the youth vote, but also the Asian vote has an image problem. As any number of successful Republican senators and governors have shown, it isn’t necessary to adopt any particular policy (e.g., amnesty) to attract the votes of more Hispanics or Asians. It is necessary for the party to convey a welcoming spirit. Such a tone may even attract fence-sitting white voters who are left cold by a party that appears uninterested in the plight of the poor.

That is the Republican challenge and opportunity. Success beckons — but only post-Trump.

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  1. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    The rise of Trump does indeed tell us something: the Republican establishment doesn’t give a tinker’s damn about controlling the border or curbing illegal immigration.  That’s something I’ve known via personal experience for a very, very long time.

    • #1
  2. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Clearly we need a compromise candidate.

    I propose we draft Ivana Trump into the race to beat The Donald. She did it once, she can do it again!

    • #2
  3. Mona Charen Member
    Mona Charen
    @MonaCharen

    Points for humor Mr. Murrey!

    • #3
  4. Paul A. Rahe Member
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    Mona, you left one thing out — the fact that the Republicans in control of Congress were elected because of the country’s frustration with Barack Obama and have done next to nothing to improve things. Trump is a clown but he is tapping into the frustration of the base. You are right in everything that you say against him, but these things will not matter if the party nominates another fellow who takes direction from the Chamber of Commerce. Are borders are, in effect, open — and no one, Republican or Democrat, has done anything to assert control over them. The way to disarm a demagogue like Trump is to address the legitimate concerns that he is exploiting.

    • #4
  5. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Paul A. Rahe:Mona, you left one thing out — the fact that the Republicans in control of Congress were elected because of the country’s frustration with Barack Obama and have done next to nothing to improve things. Trump is a clown but he is tapping into the frustration of the base. You are right in everything that you say against him, but these things will not matter if the party nominates another fellow who takes direction from the Chamber of Commerce. Are borders are, in effect, open — and no one, Republican or Democrat, has done anything to assert control over them. The way to disarm a demagogue like Trump is to address the legitimate concerns that he is exploiting.

    My sentiments exactly.

    • #5
  6. Tommy De Seno Member
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Mona Charen: It’s not even true that illegal immigrants commit a disproportionate share of crimes. Honest anti-immigration groups like the Center for Immigration Studies agree that first-generation immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-borns.

    Are you conflating legal first generation immigrants and illegal first generation immigrant crime in this section?

    • #6
  7. user_514635 Inactive
    user_514635
    @BobMadani

    I do not know about anyone else, but today when he started to threaten to run as an independent I felt sick to my stomach.  While it is certainly true the we will never hear Trump taking the oath of office, I do worry that some people that might have pulled the lever for the republican candidate will vote for him and cause us to enter into the reign of Hilary. Hopefully this is all some sort of game that will end before this blowhard damages the country.

    • #7
  8. Tommy De Seno Member
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Bob Madani:I do not know about anyone else, but today when he started to threaten to run as an independent I felt sick to my stomach. While it is certainly true the we will never hear Trump taking the oath of office, I do worry that some people that might have pulled the lever for the republican candidate will vote for him and cause us to enter into the reign of Hilary. Hopefully this is all some sort of game that will end before this blowhard damages the country.

    I think this is way more likely than not, unfortunately.  I can recall his relentless bashing of President Bush, so much so I thought him a Democrat.  As Mona points out he has some lefty views.

    I remember him asking to negotiate with the Russians way back when, I think when Clinton was President. He seems very proud of his negotiation skills.  I fear that’s all he is looking forward to, and is generally uninterested in the remainder of governing.

    • #8
  9. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    I can’t help but wondering if the best outcome is for him to try to run as mayor of New York.  Surely even he could figure out he might have a better chance of pulling that one off.

    He says he’ll think about running third-party if he doesn’t think the RNC is “fair” to him.  But what does he perceive as “fair?”  He’s not going to lose Iowa because the RNC is unfair, he’s going to lose Iowa because Iowans don’t want him to be the nominee.  But will he be able to accept that?

    • #9
  10. Pilli Inactive
    Pilli
    @Pilli

    The more I see and hear from Mr. Trump, the more I come to realize that he is working directly for the Democrat Party and probably for Hillary.

    Everything he has done has been directly aimed at fragmenting the Republican Party.  (Not that it hasn’t done enough of that itself.)  But if you look at everything he has done or said since he proclaimed himself a candidate, it has had the direct effect of helping the Democrats and hurting Republicans.  His success is stunning in that respect.  Now, if he goes 3rd party, it will ensure a Democrat win…again.  Mission accomplished.

    • #10
  11. Tommy De Seno Member
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Cognitive Dissonance: Every member of the news media using air time to ponder why Trump is dominating the news’ air time.

    • #11
  12. Franco Inactive
    Franco
    @Franco

    Mona Charen: Whatever one’s views about immigration, the very worst way to broach the topic is to smear all Mexican illegals as “rapists” and criminals. It’s obviously false. It’s not even true that illegal immigrants commit a disproportionate share of crimes. Honest anti-immigration groups like the Center for Immigration Studies agree that first-generation immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-borns. (And immigration rates are falling.)

    Here we have another Republican moderate willing to promote the false progressive narrative.

    He never said that. Do we perpetually have to say Mexicans – not all of them, mind you – are rapists? Just saying that makes you sound like you are some closet racist. It’s ridiculous.   How many hoops do we have to jump through? There are a lot of bad guys coming in over the southern border. Its a fact. And there is a subset who rape, kill, drive drunk, scam and everything else including child molesters. There is no order, and it simply must stop. People are getting raped and killed by thugs who have no business being in our country. We are allowing people to come into our country who have criminal backgrounds. There was a time that the USA would not let John Lennon in  because of a drug bust on his record. Imagine.

    • #12
  13. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Tommy De Seno:Cognitive Dissonance: Every member of the news media using air time to ponder why Trump is dominating the news’ air time.

    CNN’s schedule until the next plane disappearance, or correct sort of mass murder, revealed:

    TrumpSchedule

    • #13
  14. Ball Diamond Ball Member
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Mona,
    I stopped reading after you spent your third and fourth paragraphs smearing circumstantially connected issues into one ugly mass.
    It is hard to see how you do not simply equate illegal immigration with legal immigration, citizens with non-citizens, and yes, Mexicans with crime.
    The GOP has a huge image problem regarding immigration — it is you.

    • #14
  15. Ball Diamond Ball Member
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Tommy De Seno
    >Mona Charen: It’s not even true that illegal immigrants commit a disproportionate share of crimes. Honest anti-immigration groups like the Center for Immigration Studies agree that first-generation immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-borns.

    Are you conflating legal first generation immigrants and illegal first generation immigrant crime in this section?”
    ———
    I believe she is.

    • #15
  16. Franco Inactive
    Franco
    @Franco

    Half of Mexican illegals are women, by the way, so I’d like Mona Charen to explain how Trump believes that women rape, because he said “all Mexicans” rape.

    So taking Mona literally, as she is taking Trump, is she saying that we are so idiotic to believe that “all” Mexicans rape?

    The reference was to the criminal element that Mexico is exporting into our country. I would think that even Mexican illegals would like these particular individuals kept out of their neighborhoods while they are here in the shadows of America too. With porous borders, criminals already providing pathways to el norte, the thieves, muggers and rapists are gonna go to the land of plenty.

    This goes way beyond the Trump distraction. The Elite Republicans allow the progressive narratives to dominate, especially when they have their own problems with that particular candidate. Rand Paul or Ted Cruz or omygosh! Donald Trump.

    The meta message from these people is. Don’t Rock The Boat. I’m scared to be called a bigot so I’m a trained seal. Everything’s fine. Jeb’s not my fist choice but I’ll capitulate if they insist.

    Everything is NOT fine.

    • #16
  17. Ball Diamond Ball Member
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Mona Charen: So the best way to discredit political correctness is to embody the worst stereotype of an aggressive bigot? Trump’s moment is probably fading, but his little balloon ride is disturbing nonetheless. It’s evidence that political intemperance is not limited to the left.

    Well, there it is.  Big establishment sneer at the little racists of the base who are A) too bigoted to appreciate the benefits of unrestricted “immigration” and B) too stupid to base our opinions on anything but bigotry.

    Mona, Ricochet has hosted better arguments than the ugly straw man you keep defeating,  You should read it some time.  You may expect continued hostility from those whom you simultaneously indict, lecture, and ignore.  You are picking a fight — don’t be surprised when you get it.

    • #17
  18. Franco Inactive
    Franco
    @Franco

    Bob Madani:I do not know about anyone else, but today when he started to threaten to run as an independent I felt sick to my stomach. While it is certainly true the we will never hear Trump taking the oath of office, I do worry that some people that might have pulled the lever for the republican candidate will vote for him and cause us to enter into the reign of Hilary. Hopefully this is all some sort of game that will end before this blowhard damages the country.

    It is sad that it has come to this. I tried.

    But when people decide to go third party, that’s a sign. Maybe there is something wrong. When you stop going to a restaurant there’s a reason for that.

    • #18
  19. Ball Diamond Ball Member
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Pilli:The more I see and hear from Mr. Trump, the more I come to realize that he is working directly for the Democrat Party and probably for Hillary.

    Everything he has done has been directly aimed at fragmenting the Republican Party. (Not that it hasn’t done enough of that itself.) But if you look at everything he has done or said since he proclaimed himself a candidate, it has had the direct effect of helping the Democrats and hurting Republicans. His success is stunning in that respect. Now, if he goes 3rd party, it will ensure a Democrat win…again. Mission accomplished.

    What a bunch of hooey.  What do you think of articles such as the one we’re commenting on?
    EDIT
    And by “hooey”, I mean to specifically refute your sweeping allegations that “everything he has done is aimed at fragmenting the Republican Party”.
    I am here to tell you that the Republican Party has been thoroughly fragmented for some time. Some people refuse to see this, however, and every time they see the old steaming faultline they think it just happened. How very “history begins today” progressive.

    • #19
  20. Franco Inactive
    Franco
    @Franco

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Mona Charen: So the best way to discredit political correctness is to embody the worst stereotype of an aggressive bigot? Trump’s moment is probably fading, but his little balloon ride is disturbing nonetheless. It’s evidence that political intemperance is not limited to the left.

    Well, there it is. Big establishment sneer at the little racists of the base who are A) too bigoted to appreciate the benefits of unrestricted “immigration” and B) too stupid to base our opinions on anything but bigotry.

    Mona, Ricochet has hosted better arguments than the ugly straw man you keep defeating, You should read it some time. You may expect continued hostility from those whom you simultaneously indict, lecture, and ignore. You are picking a fight — don’t be surprised when you get it.

    I hope she reads this. No. I hope she could understand this.

    • #20
  21. Howellis Inactive
    Howellis
    @ManWiththeAxe

    The Mexican issue is a difficult balancing act for Republicans. There are a lot of voters of Mexican extraction and it would be a good thing to get a sizable share of their votes. But there are also a lot of Mexicans in the country illegally and it would be a good thing to get a sizable share of them to leave. A way should be found to keep here the ones who are likely to contribute more than the burden they will impose. Those who will contribute less should be made to leave. No person should be allowed to enter or stay in the country illegally.

    The only way to get Mexican-Americans here legally to vote for Republicans is to persuade them that Republicans value them and care about their issues as much as we do any other ethnic block. But illegal immigration is non-negotiable.

    As for Trump. what a horse’s ass. If a bigger blowhard has ever lived I don’t know of him. If he serves the purpose of raising an issue or two and moves the party to consider taking stronger positions on immigration, etc., perhaps his absurd life will be redeemed.

    • #21
  22. Franco Inactive
    Franco
    @Franco

    Mona Charen: Illegal immigration does enrage some portions of the base, but only some. In a recent Pew poll, fully 66 percent of Republicans said illegal Mexican immigrants are “mostly honest,” while only 19 percent said they are “mainly undesirable.”

    Enrage. Strong word.

    Only some. Only some who are directly affected. In small ways and large. Let’s start with the large, shall we?

    List of illegal interloper crimes:[  google.com  ]

    Virtual Mona: That’s just anecdotal information. I deal in statistics and the preferences of the masses who say it’s not a problem for them. Fully 66% whahooo!

    • #22
  23. Tommy De Seno Member
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Franco:

    Mona Charen: Whatever one’s views about immigration, the very worst way to broach the topic is to smear all Mexican illegals as “rapists” and criminals. It’s obviously false. It’s not even true that illegal immigrants commit a disproportionate share of crimes. Honest anti-immigration groups like the Center for Immigration Studies agree that first-generation immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-borns. (And immigration rates are falling.)

    Here we have another Republican moderate willing to promote the false progressive narrative.

    He never said that. Do we perpetually have to say Mexicans – not all of them, mind you – are rapists?

    This is frustrating isn’t it?   I’ve seen so many false narratives already this year, from the Ferguson situation to this, where those trying to correct it simply have no chance.

    Here’s the GAO report about illegal immigrants and crime.  They average about 10,000 sexual assaults a year:  http://www.gao.gov/assets/320/316959.pdf

    But who cares.  Trump’s a racist.

    • #23
  24. Howellis Inactive
    Howellis
    @ManWiththeAxe

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Pilli:The more I see and hear from Mr. Trump, the more I come to realize that he is working directly for the Democrat Party and probably for Hillary.

    Everything he has done has been directly aimed at fragmenting the Republican Party. (Not that it hasn’t done enough of that itself.) But if you look at everything he has done or said since he proclaimed himself a candidate, it has had the direct effect of helping the Democrats and hurting Republicans. His success is stunning in that respect. Now, if he goes 3rd party, it will ensure a Democrat win…again. Mission accomplished.

    What a bunch of hooey. What do you think of articles such as the one we’re commenting on?

    It doesn’t sound like hooey to me. He is no conservative, and if God forbid he were president he would be as likely to govern to the left of Hillary as to her right. He is at heart a crony-capitalist without other convictions from what I can tell from looking at his political pronouncements over the years.

    • #24
  25. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @IWalton

    The hard right needs to take Trump down with facts and his own past positions.  Obviously some significant percent of the Republican base are deeply anti hispanic, even though they do not know any or what that means.

    • #25
  26. Ball Diamond Ball Member
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Man with Axe, what you say may very well ALL be true. The problem is that’s not what we’re talking about, because that sort of argument will allow conservatives the upper hand. No, we must be derided as racists, while those Chamber of Commerce and lobbyist consultant types who actually do see all Mexicans as either crime or inhumanely cheap labor join forces with the left in cowardly, dishonest attacks on the conservative base.

    • #26
  27. Franco Inactive
    Franco
    @Franco

    Mona Charen: The only answer to division and hatred on the left is inclusion and unity on the right. A number of Republican candidates for president have been seeking to recast the Republican Party as the party of reform and outreach. They recognize that a party that lost not just the Hispanic vote, the black vote, the women’s vote and the youth vote, but also the Asian vote has an image problem.

    So it’s image we should seek, right? We need to re-brand. Be nicer to those groups. Do the same as the Democrats do to get their votes. Win. This kind of approach perpetuates the Democrat narrative. That there are tribes. America was not founded on tribal constructs. It is the opposite of tribe. That’s why this country has succeeded.

    There’s a difference between people who come here to be Americans which  is wanting a new life, free (er) of race, class and ethnicity, and those who come here and wish to promote their background and culture.

    The elites assume way too much.

    • #27
  28. Franco Inactive
    Franco
    @Franco

    Mona Charen: There is a talk-radio drumbeat about illegal-immigrant criminals. Still, most Republican voters are not strongly anti-immigration. They’re ambivalent…

    How does Mona know this? What does “strongly” mean? Everyone’s ambivalent about everything. Any poll is burdened by its assumptions. Ms. Charen can interpret “ambivalence ” from a poll?  This is top-down elitism trying to promote an agenda.

    • #28
  29. Mark Belling Fan Inactive
    Mark Belling Fan
    @MBF

    Man With the Axe:

    As for Trump. what a horse’s ass. If a bigger blowhard has ever lived I don’t know of him. If he serves the purpose of raising an issue or two and moves the party to consider taking stronger positions on immigration, etc., perhaps his absurd life will be redeemed.

    Pretty much. But I admit I am really enjoying watching certain people/factions squirm in reaction to Trump.

    • #29
  30. Franco Inactive
    Franco
    @Franco

    Mona Charen: “Black lives matter” has become a movement — as if any decent person disagreed; as if the country had not spent half a century sedulously scrubbing racism from our polity; as if affirmative action were not a feature of educational, corporate and government policy; as if we hadn’t elected and reelected a black president. Democratic candidates for president have been reduced to apologizing simply for saying “all lives matter.”

    But Mona was so quick to label Trump a racist. Anyone who says “ALL blanks are BLANKS., is a racist.  She’s working against herself. She allows the left to smear Trump because he made a statement that didn’t include the required disclaimer. She allows the progressives – the left, as I call them, to advance in the realm of debate and narrative.

    • #30
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