Donald Trump Would Be a Terrible President and He Is a Cancer on the American Body Politic

We Shall Overcomb

There is no limit to what one can write about Donald Trump’s deficiencies. His time in the spotlight has made it clear that he is an awful human-resembling-thing, whose presidential run is more about himself and not at all about serving the country. Every day, it seems, Trump does something to confirm the impression that as a president, he would be out of his depth, and as a candidate, his strategy is to bring out the worst in the country he claims to want to lead–apparently, even Trump knows that his best chance of winning is to appeal to our baser instincts as a nation.

The latest from Trump demonstrates anew that he has no business being president of the United States, and that we would be fools to elect him:

Donald Trump, leading in the polls and riding a wave of momentum in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, just hit a speed bump named Hugh Hewitt.

The conservative radio host peppered Trump with a host of foreign policy questions in a Thursday interview that produced some uncomfortable moments for the real estate mogul, who appeared upset at the line of questioning.

At one point, Hewitt asked Trump if he was familiar with “General  Soleimani” and the “Quds Forces.” (He referred to Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander of the elite Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard Corps.) Trump said he was but then appeared to mistake the Quds for the Kurds, a Middle Eastern ethnic group.

“The Kurds, by the way, have been horribly mistreated by us,” said Trump.

Hewitt corrected him: “No, not the Kurds, the Quds Forces, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Forces.”

After that, Trump said he thought Hewitt said “Kurds.”

“No, Quds,” responded Hewitt.

Later on, Hewitt insisted he didn’t believe “in gotcha questions.” Trump disagreed.

“Well, that is a gotcha question, though,” he said. “I mean, you know, when you’re asking me about who’s running this, this this, that’s not, that is not, I will be so good at the military, your head will spin.”

Asked what he would do as president if China were “to either accidentally or intentionally sink a Filipino or Japanese ship,” Trump refused to say.

“I wouldn’t want to tell you, because frankly, they have to, you know, somebody wrote a very good story about me recently, and they said there’s a certain unpredictable, and it was actually another businessman, said there’s a certain unpredictability about Trump that’s great, and it’s what made him a lot of money and a lot of success,” said Trump. “You don’t want to put, and you don’t want to let people know what you’re going to do with respect to certain things that happen.”

Hewitt told Trump that when it comes to terrorism, “I’m looking for the next commander in chief, to know who Hassan Nasrallah is, and Zawahiri, and al-Julani, and al-Baghdadi. Do you know the players without a scorecard, yet, Donald Trump?”

Trump said he did not.

Jennifer Rubin provides relevant portions of the transcript, along with her own commentary:

This is embarrassing but hardly surprising. Trump has gotten away with his act because the press has not done its job nor have his competitors in exposing how little he knows and how unfit for office he is. We are in a war, so this is a particularly inappropriate time to have an ignoramus as commander in chief. But then he’d never get that far. Imagine him on the stage in a debate with Hillary Clinton. She’d look like Henry Kissinger in comparison. And she’d win in a landslide.

And for the record, after the Trump interview Carly Fiorina answered the questions about terrorists with aplomb. Maybe the GOP rabble-rousers picked the wrong outsider. Each day Trump makes his followers look like buffoons, for why would any responsible voter take Trump seriously?

Good question. Speaking of Trump’s voters, they are in for a good and righteous denunciation. This is the part where I turn over the microphone to Bret Stephens:

If by now you don’t find Donald Trump appalling, you’re appalling.

If you have reached physical maturity and still chuckle at Mr. Trump’s pubescent jokes about Rosie O’Donnell or Heidi Klum, you will never reach mental maturity. If you watched Mr. Trump mock fellow candidate Lindsey Graham’s low poll numbers and didn’t cringe at the lack of class, you are incapable of class. If you think we need to build new airports in Queens the way they build them in Qatar, you should be sent to join the millions of forced laborers who do construction in the Persian Gulf. It would serve you right.

Since Mr. Trump joined the GOP presidential field and leaped to the top of the polls, several views have been offered to explain his popularity. He conveys a can-do image. He is the bluntest of the candidates in addressing public fears of cultural and economic dislocation. He toes no line, serves no PAC, abides no ideology, is beholden to no man. He addresses the broad disgust of everyday Americans with their failed political establishment.

And so forth and so on—a parade of semi-sophisticated theories that act as bathroom deodorizer to mask the stench of this candidacy. Mr. Trump is a loudmouth vulgarian appealing to quieter vulgarians. These vulgarians comprise a significant percentage of the GOP base. The leader isn’t the problem. The people are. It takes the demos to make the demagogue.

[. . .]

Because the Republican Party has not lost its mind—at least not yet—I doubt that Mr. Trump will be its presidential nominee. A single bad poll could break him. The summer before an election-year summer tends to be a political clown-time. Voters, like diners in a fancy restaurant, may entertain the idea of ordering the pigeon, but they’ll probably wind up with the chicken.

Still, Mr. Trump’s political star is rising in a period when fringe politics, both on the right and the left, are making a comeback in the West. Marine Le Pen in France. Beppe Grillo in Italy. Jeremy Corbyn in Great Britain. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party. Every now and then some of these characters get into office. Look at Viktor Orbán in Hungary, or Alexis Tsipras in Greece.

The only potential problem with Stephens’s rhetoric is that he is not ruthless enough in describing the lunacy of Trump supporters. But perhaps that is not possible without actually resorting to a string of cuss words that would make even the most hardened cuss-word user blush.

It should surprise precisely no one, of course, that Trump is now attacking Hugh Hewitt for having allowed Trump to reveal Trump’s ignorance.

(Photo via multiple social media sources.)

(Cross-posted.