I am attending my second annual RedState Gathering, this one here in Atlanta, which is good for me because it’s close to home and I can drive there. An unfortunate result of being close to home, but not close enough to drive home every night, is that I need to be home Saturday evening to resume my regularly scheduled activities. This means missing the big RedState tailgate party.
And the guest speaker for the party is Donald Trump, the leading brand who’s campaign slogan is that he’s better than the leading brand.
When I first saw Trump’s name on the agenda, I felt bad at having to miss the shindig. For about 3 seconds. Then I realized I’m not missing much.
The other candidates (notably minus [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ]) are giving 30 minute speeches to engaged audiences in a ballroom filled with press and politicos. Christie, Perry, Jindal, Fiorina, Rubio, Huckabee, Cruz, Bush, and Walker: they are all there on the schedule (listed in the order they are speaking). For good or for bad, they are going to face the audience fairly–hitting with their best shots.
And Trump will be taking his shot when everyone is drinking shots at the tailgate party.
That should mean something. Maybe it means that Donald Trump can’t speak clearly to sober people for 30 minutes without sounding a bit wacky or lightweight. Maybe it means that informed voters have to have a few belts under their belt to listen to Trump without catcalls.
Maybe The Donald just likes to party. Nope, actually Trump’s a teetotaler.
Possibly, after his debate performance tonight, he’ll decide to start imbibing.
So I’m going to miss Donald Trump regaling people with “Make America Great” at a tailgate party, and instead I’m going to go home and give my kids a bath and put them to bed. I wonder if Trump has ever done that?
I doubt it. Donald Trump claims to speak for Americans, and has a lot of traction saying things that tickle people’s ears, but it’s all marketing. He was born into money, and has little in common with people who weren’t. His father, Fred Trump, was worth in the neighborhood of a quarter of a billion dollars. It’s unlikely Fred was giving young Donald any baths.
But Fred did give him a fortune–a stake in the world, and the same sage advice Sky Masterson’s daddy gave him when he made his way out into the world. Donald Trump is no fool, and only bets on winners. When his bets lose, he still wins because he covers them with other people’s money, then moves on to the next deal.
When Donald Trump addresses the crowd Saturday night, he’ll likely tell them he’s a conservative (after all, RedStaters are actually informed voters). He’ll tell them he’s a strong advocate of immigration enforcement. He’ll tell them the GOP is the party of rolling back government stupidity, stopping the flood of illegals from Mexico, and making America great again. And he’ll say he’s the only candidate who can do it.
More likely, everyone will politely listen as they drink their beer and bourbon, spare Trump the heckling and smirks he’d inevitably get if he faced them in a sober ballroom, and realize that they just listened to a sales pitch for Burnham’s Tonic: it will cure you, no matter what ails you. Trump knows that there are no Trumpkins* at the RedState gathering, so he’s not about to face the crowd head on (and get an earful of cider).
As the ever-sane (and sober) Kevin Williamson noted in National Review:
Trump has switched between the Republican and Democratic parties more times than he has switched wives (you think his ex-wives would call him a truth-teller?) and is a longtime political and financial patron of [mc_name name=’Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’S000148′ ], [mc_name name=’Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’P000197′ ], [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ], and Hillary Rodham Clinton, the woman against whom he presumably would be running if the Republican party were to lose its damned mind and nominate him.
What’s Trump got that seems to mesmerize people? Money–a flashy wad of cash like Eddy Murphy’s character in “Trading Places.” Trump’s message? “You wish you were me, don’t you?” Really, that’s it.
Nobody seriously believes that “President Trump” would be able to build a Mexican border wall, and have Mexico pay for it, or somehow “take” Middle Eastern oil. What’s he proposing, a Fourth Reich? But this time we wouldn’t lose Ploesti? Only a boob would believe such fantasies. Trump is running on pure celebrity and testosterone, and like his marriages, those things never last.
While I’m sorry I will miss what might be a helluva tailgate party (it would be a helluva party more if it was at Georgia Tech, where they’ve got a helluva engineer! instead of the College Football Hall of Fame down the street from empty Philips Arena), I’m not sorry that I’ll miss its headliner and guest speaker.
Thanks for the invite, but this year I’m going to miss the Trumpgate Follies.
*Trumpkins are Kevin Williamson’s pet name for Trump followers, “the intellectually and morally stunted Oompa Loompas who have rallied to the candidacy of this grotesque charlatan.” (Not to be confused with the antisocial dwarf in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books.) Others call them Trumppets–although that also refers to Trump’s Luxury Pet Friendly Hotels (for the rich and stupid who don’t use airbnb or VRBO instead of a hotel filled with dog hair). Don’t get me started about pet friendly hotels. The ones I’ve stayed in are decidedly people-unfriendly, unless you’re a Norweigian supermodel with no luggage and a fetish for watching yourself shower–never mind trying to bring kids along because there’s generally no lock or even a door on the bathroom. It’s telling that Trump enriches himself on that kind of effete narcissistic crowd while hucking his political wares to the hoi poloi.