Donald Trump and His Supporters Are a Cancer on the Body Politic

Trump Since Donald Trump persists in his effort to bring down the Republican party–and the republic itself–through his reprehensible antics and despicable demagoguery, it is necessary to make abundantly clear to all and sundry just how vile Trump is. Fortunately, George Will is up for the job:

Every sulfurous belch from the molten interior of the volcanic Trump phenomenon injures the chances of a Republican presidency. After Donald Trump finishes plastering a snarling face on conservatism, any Republican nominee will face a dauntingly steep climb to reach even the paltry numbers that doomed Mitt Romney.

It is perhaps quixotic to try to distract Trump’s supporters with facts, which their leader, who is no stickler for dignity, considers beneath him. Still, consider these:

The white percentage of the electorate has been shrinking for decades and will be about 2 points smaller in 2016 than in 2012. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first president elected while losing the white vote by double digits. In 2012, Hispanics, the nation’s largest minority, were for the first time a double-digit (10 percent) portion of the electorate. White voters were nearly 90 percent of Romney’s vote. In 1988, George H.W. Bush won 59 percent of the white vote, which translated into 426 electoral votes. Twenty-four years later, Romney won 59 percent of the white vote and just 206 electoral votes. He lost the nonwhite vote by 63 points, receiving just 17 percent of it. If the Republicans’ 2016 nominee does not do better than Romney did among nonwhite voters, he will need 65 percent of the white vote, which was last achieved by Ronald Reagan when carrying 49 states in 1984. Romney did even slightly worse among Asian Americans — the fastest-growing minority — than among Hispanics. Evidently, minorities generally detected Republican ambivalence, even animus, about them. This was before Trump began receiving rapturous receptions because he obliterates inhibitions about venting hostility.

Trump is indifferent to those conservative tenets (e.g., frugality: He welcomed Obama’s stimulus) to which he is not hostile (e.g., property rights: He adored the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision vastly expanding government’s power of eminent domain). So, Trump’s appeal must derive primarily from his views about immigration. Including legal immigration, concerning which he favors a “pause” of unspecified duration.

Some supporters simply find Trump entertainingly naughty. Others, however, have remarkable cognitive dissonance. They properly execrate Obama’s executive high-handedness that expresses progressivism’s traditional disdain for the separation of powers that often makes government action difficult. But these same Trumpkins simultaneously despise GOP congressional leaders because they do not somehow jettison the separation of powers and work conservatism’s unimpeded will from Capitol Hill.

[. . .]

Republicans are the party of growth, or they are superfluous. The other party relishes allocating scarcities — full employment for the administrative state.

Trump assumes a zero-sum society, where one person’s job is another’s loss. Hence his rage against other nations’ “stealing” jobs — “our” jobs.

To be sure, it is not enough to point out just how revolting Trump is. It is necessary as well to point out that his supporters are no collective prize either:

To the extent that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is about any actual issue, it is about opposition to immigration. Trump has, among other things, proposed deporting 11 million unauthorized immigrants currently in the United States, expressed support for reducing legal immigration levels, jeered at immigrant “anchor babies,” and called for an end to birthright citizenship, even though it is constitutionally required.

Trump’s slogan, the catchall phrase that binds his scattershot campaign together, is “Make This Country Great Again.” In combination with his immigration platform, the clear implication of the slogan is that America has, over the years, become a not great place, and immigrants are at least one reason—perhaps the primary reason—why.

Nativism is at the core of Donald Trump’s campaign; it is one of the keys to his appeal. And amongst his supporters and admirers, that aggressive nativism often shades into outright racism.

Read the whole thing. Lie down with dogs, and . . . well, you know the rest. Some might be unwilling to blame Trump for the racism of his supporters. I am not unwilling; it should surprise precisely no one that Trump’s nativist, hate-filled campaign would attract racists to it. After all, we are talking about a candidate whose first response to the beating of a homeless Hispanic man by two thugs–one of whom “was inspired” by Trump’s anti-immigration language–was to say that “. . . I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”

And of course, such a response is not presidential. In fact, it’s not even human.

Donald Trump and his supporters don’t belong in the Republican party. They belong more properly in the ranks of organizations like ISIL. They are both buffoonish and barbaric, and should be laughed out of any civilized political gathering–especially political gatherings that seek to choose the next president of the United States.

(Cross-posted.)