In an attempt to stress a point I find either agreeable or disagreeable, it will be the wont of this blog on occasion to bring to you other writers’ works, and such works I intend to reproduce wholly or in part — and with acknowledgement, too.
Today, I treat you to parts of a visceral attack by George F. Will of the Washington Post on Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate. It is, at best, a psychoanalytical piece written from the heart, and I’m sharing excerpts from it partly for that reason.
Another reason I’m bringing this to you is this: Will, like Trump, is a Republican, and it is not often that you see a conservative Republican take a fellow traveler to the woodshed as Will has done here. President Ronald Reagan, after all, once commanded: No Republican should speak ill of another. For the greater interest of the Republican soul increasingly threatened by putrefaction, Will has elected to violate that principle. If anything, Will’s evisceration of the real estate billionaire foreshadows a looming civil war inside the Republican party if Trump, as evidence seems to suggest, eventually clinches the nomination.
“If you look beyond Donald Trump’s comprehensive unpleasantness — is there a disagreeable human trait he does not have? — you might see this: He is a fundamentally sad figure. His compulsive boasting is evidence of insecurity. His unassuageable neediness suggests an aching hunger for others’ approval to ratify his self-admiration. His incessant announcements of his self-esteem indicate that he is not self-persuaded. Now, panting with a puppy’s insatiable eagerness to be petted, Trump has reveled in the approval of Vladimir Putin, murderer and war criminal.”
The columnist continues:
“Putin slyly stirred America’s politics by saying Trump is “very . . . talented,” adding that he welcomed Trump’s promise of “closer, deeper relations,” whatever that might mean, with Russia. Trump announced himself flattered to be “so nicely complimented” by a “highly respected” man: “When people call you brilliant, it’s always good.” When MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said Putin “kills journalists, political opponents and invades countries,” Trump replied that “at least he’s a leader.” Besides, Trump breezily asserted, “I think our country does plenty of killing also.” Two days later, Trump, who rarely feigns judiciousness, said: “It has not been proven that he’s killed reporters.”
Again, my comment: I do disagree on an awful lot with Will, who is also a Fox News analyst. But I agree totally with him here on Trump. But if I find anything missing from the entire piece (please read all of it), it is his failure to go beyond Trump by asking, and sincerely answering, the question: Why is Trump succeeding at all? The answer is simple. There is something fundamentally wrong with the people who are sustaining Trump in the polls. On August 8, I wrote on Facebook after the first Republican presidential debate: “One might [also] ask for the umpteenth time: how could such a fellow with no filter in his brain be inspiring such a committed following?”
Like Will, you do have quite a lot of people who, driven by political correctness, would not say a thing that comes even remotely across as trivializing the Republican base that is giving oxygen to the Trump campaign. Until they start to address that crucial part of the equation, condemning Trump alone won’t take us even near the solution: they’ll be merely swabbing at the symptoms instead of confronting the ailment itself.
Merry Xmas to you all!