His biggest fans disappoint in other ways as well. I marvel at how they can simultaneously despise Obama’s arrogance but revel in Trump’s. (I chuckle at all of the people who tell me he’s a heroic truth-teller for “telling it like it is” and “calling it as he sees it” but who at the same time fume at me when I tell it like it is about Trump and call it as I see it.)
I’ve learned over the years that you get in trouble for actually calling things as you see them. Where you are on safe ground is being in the business of telling people what they want to hear and emotionally validating them. That’s the business Trump is engaged in. Jonah then lays out the case for Trump being a fraud. I’ve said before, he’s a stalking horse for Hillary.
Look, these are rough times for conservatives, for reasons too lengthy, and all too familiar, to go into here. But none of our problems — demographic, political, cultural — can be solved unless conservatives take the cause of persuasion to heart. All of our problems can be fixed by convincing people to join our cause. That is what politics is about — persuading people that their interests and concerns are better addressed by coming to our side. And, given the degraded nature of our culture, I won’t deny that having a celebrity on our side has its utility. But it’s only helpful if that celebrity convinces people to switch sides. As a purely mathematical proposition, it is insane to believe that Donald Trump will convert more voters than he will repel.
Rhetoric matters. It takes more than emotional validation to win elections. The candidate I’m looking for in 2016 will be the one who can manage things well behind the scenes to destroy the bureaucratic monstrosity the left has built, and restore constitutional government, while publicly smiling to the camera, charming reporters, and convincing the country what a swell guy (or gal) he or she is. It’s a rare talent, especially among Republicans, but it’s what I’m looking for.