As I write this, I’m listening to Hillary Clinton address the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and it strikes me as almost inevitable: should Trump be the GOP nominee against her in November, based on the quality and timbre of her speech, she should have little trouble dispatching the hot-headed faux-con. Not least because this is likely true:
But it is impossible to ignore the fact that AIPAC, the biggest, most powerful group in the Israel Lobby, has got serious juice when it comes to Washington politicking. The group has one of the most sophisticated lobbying efforts around, including a highly professional set of lobbyists on the Hill who know how to get congressman to vote their way when it comes to issues affecting Israel. They also have representatives throughout the country who can lobby congressman from their home districts.
And it is also likely true that there is a walk-out planned for when The Donald takes the stage later today at the same conference. Which highlights, in stark relief, the supposed divide between what many of the talking heads over at Fox monotonously call “the will of the people” and the will of the movers and shakers that make Washington run.
Now, I’m no apologist for the bureaucracy. As a conservative, I’ve been as critical as they come about the fact that the nature of government is generally the opposite of the nature of the free market: that is to say, government produces nothing except more government, and must tax and create revenue-generating programs to pay for itself, often to simply justify its own existence.
But the will of the people, as much as the Trump-loving media would like to convince all of us otherwise, is tied inextricably to how Washington functions. As such, it’s not only frightening and premature to call for revolution (and Trump and his crew are coming dangerously close to doing that), it’s also unwise.
Because the only way Trump can defeat Hillary is by unifying the party. And he’s not really doing that. And he’s meeting with GOP leaders today, which is being spun as Trump’s attempt at going the distance to try to begin the process of unifying, but is actually probably more useful to GOP leaders. For when the time comes for them to make the argument they tried to get the man to calm down the rhetoric and stop sounding like a pissed-off middle schooler, people will see they did meet with him and ask for his cooperation. And he couldn’t put the cork in. And so they had no choice but to have the contested convention. (Although word is it’s mostly his supporters that will be in attendance today.)
Perhaps its worth addressing that for many conservatives — the ones that don’t think cold-cocking protestors or manhandling reporters should be a goal in our political dialogue, and certainly isn’t to be celebrated if it happens — are, thus far fairly sedately, annoyed that the populism of Donald Trump is being sold as conservative and is being used as a cudgel to force us into voting for the man. Because we’re not so sure the “establishment” created Donald Trump. (As an aside: it is the weirdest thing to see the old-school “establishment” Republicans who worked with Reagan and the absolutely establishment media elites at Fox talk about aligning themselves with the “anti-establishment” Trump and Friends. It’s like bizarro world.)
Because since when, in our representative version of the Democratic process, does the will of the people dictate who someone should press a button or darken a circle for in the voting booth? In fact, argues Erick Erickson, “the will of the people is crap.”
Mike Huckabee says that “when voters make a decision, you suck it up and accept it.”
The former governor may not know this, but I’m a voter. And my decision is to oppose Donald Trump. So he can suck it up and accept it. This “will of the people” stuff does nothing for me as the will of the people is the very mob rule our founders worked hard to constrain.
In fact, people of America, rather than blame the representatives you elected to The Hill and the conservatives here in Washington who actually do empathize with your circumstances because many of us come from other places and have families out in the wilds of the country, you should start looking to the marketing manipulation of cable news and mainstream media outlets and the squishy conservatives within their ranks who sold you out to progressives the last election cycle.
Well, it’s a lesson for a lot of people in the punditocracy, of whom Brooks — who famously endorsed Barack Obama after viewing his sharply creased pants — is just one. And if Brooks et al. had paid attention, the roots of the Trump phenomenon wouldn’t have been so difficult to fathom.
Brooks is, of course, horrified at Trump and his supporters, whom he finds childish, thuggish and contemptuous of the things that David Brooks likes about today’s America. It’s clear that he’d like a social/political revolution that was more refined, better-mannered, more focused on the Constitution and, well, more bourgeois as opposed to in-your-face and working class.
Because, and it would be good for all of you to realize this now before you promote a man whose chances of beating Hillary are simply not encouraging, they are about to do it again.
(The question about Trump dropping out and endorsing Hillary at that last link is downright fascinating…)