Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Art of El Donald, He's Waiting for His Republi-CON Deal

UPDATE:  "There is nothing secret about the nativist views of Donald Trump, a dyspeptic business tycoon running for the Republican presidential nomination. His finger-jabbing speeches about Mexican rapists and murderers, flowing across the border “like water”, and American jobs being shipped to China have taken him to the top of most polls. More dismaying, his apparent popularity has unmanned more conventional presidential rivals, only some of whom have chided him for his bigotry. . .

The Trump surge has been startling. After all, lots of conservatives growl about immigrants changing America, and shops full of cheap Chinese goods, without enjoying such success. Mr Trump is funding his campaign himself, which means he has no need to flatter donors. Is it this outsider status as a non-politician that marks him out? Or perhaps the unfiltered quality of his rage?

The Trump technique involves confiding in unhappy Americans that they are victims of a plot—and a plot, what is more, that could be easily thwarted. In his telling, scheming foreign governments have outwitted a soft political elite in Washington and preyed on America’s openness and generosity. He is tapping into a political tradition with deep roots. The Know-Nothings are only one example. The “America First” movement of the early 1940s accused decadent Europeans and well-connected Jews of conspiring to drag America into a new world war. In the 1960s the John Birch Society saw communist cunning at every turn."

Read The Economist, El Donald

The article includes an interesting historical reminder, which I forgot if I ever heard:

"IT WAS a winter night in 1854 when nine men broke into the building site of the Washington Monument, stole a slab of marble and—according to a later confession—heaved it into the Potomac river. The stone, which once belonged to the Temple of Concord in Rome, was a gift from Pope Pius IX. The attackers belonged to an anti-Catholic political movement, nicknamed “Know-Nothings” on account of their strict code of secrecy. Their movement considered Catholic immigrants a menace to the republic. At its peak, followers included dozens of congressmen, some governors and an ex-president. The Know-Nothings feared that the papal stone was a coded call to arms, sent to spark an immigrant uprising. Their vandalism helped to halt the monument’s construction for years. To this day a change in stone colour, part-way up the obelisk, betrays that nativist moment."

"Mr Trump is in the real-estate business, an industry rife with red tape, in which a little political leverage can be worth a fortune. . .

You'd have to be astoundingly brazen to run for president, churning up toxic xenophobic sentiments, just to get the political leverage to win a huge tax break, or to build a casino or to stop somebody else's casino. But Mr Trump is neither a meek nor public-spirited man. And, astonishingly enough, he may have actually succeeded in putting the Republican Party in a corner.

If cutting a sweet deal is what Mr Trump was aiming to do all along, we might have to admit that he is more than the attention-seeking buffoon he appears to be. It may be that he is a attention-seeking, buffoonish genius.  In any case, Mr Trump has floated the possibility that he may try to wreck the Republican Party's presidential chances unless it coughs up a little 'fair' treatment, whatever that means. If the GOP doesn't think it can neutralise Mr Trump's threat of a third-party run by utterly demolishing his reputation, then they're going to have to consider a little fairness. Not a bad month's work for Mr Trump."

Read The Economist, Donald Trump's brazen genius.