Jonah Goldberg on “The Donald”

From his column over at National Review:

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.

15 Responses to “Jonah Goldberg on “The Donald””

  1. Hiram says:

    Trump is a joke… he’s a Trojan Horse for the Dems. He’ll divide & confuse the Republicans & the Hildebeast will be a shoe-in for POTUS 2016.

  2. Jacob says:

    Trump’s biggest supporters appear to be motivated by anger, not substance.

  3. Trump is a loon. We all know this. However, that loon is polling at or near the top of Republican hopefuls (last I looked anyway).

    If THAT doesn’t clue in the party leadership that they have driven the train completely off the rails, I don’t know what will (probably nothing).

  4. RAH says:

    Trump resonates because 1) he fights and pushing back against illegal immigrants that have invaded our country and many of those illegals commit violent crimes . 2) He refused to apologize for wanting the illegal invasion stopped. I recall I had a drunk Mexican ( illegal) and crashed a party, was chased out and the wrecked into 3 cars. One house down from mine. It was 3 am and we (neighbors) grabbed them straight out through the window and called the cops

    Most of us are against the flood of illegals We even want the legal immigration reduced or stopped . Americans have hard enough getting jobs without competition to work for less wages. This is simple supply and demand . Trump voices this view. Why are we bad for wanting to keep America for Americans?

    • Sebastian says:

      I didn’t say you were. What people have been saying is Trump doesn’t really believe these things, and he’s telling people what they want to hear.

    • Whetherman says:

      “Why are we bad for wanting to keep America for Americans?”

      If I could, I’d check in with my Irish g-grandparents to see what they thought when the Know Nothings asked that 160 years ago, and the American congress was trying to use the Maritime Laws to keep them out.

      • Ian Argent says:

        Ask the Italians and the eastern europeans what the Irish thought of them a generation later. There was still enough ill will from that history that my wife’s relatives on the italian side muttered about her taking up with an irishman.

        • Whetherman says:

          We’re actually on the same page. I personally think it has been disgusting how every wave of immigrants has taken their turn at saying “I’ve got mine, you get yours.” But, apparently that is human nature. I could only comment from the oral history that was my own, though.

          If you haven’t before, look up the book How the Irish Became White. It chronicles not only how the Irish were regarded as racially non-white at one time, but how they turned “white” in their attitudes once they had established themselves in terms of economic and political power.

  5. rd says:

    Trump is appealing to a huge segment of the voters that are NOT being courted by the establishment candidates. A lot of people, not just Republicans think ILLEGAL Immigration is a major problem. Ask the average blue collar union workers, ask the police officers in the street, ask the carpenters, electricians and plumbers. If you ask the roofers, drywall installers or landscapers, you better be fluent in Spanish.

    Bernie “I am a Proud Socialist” Sanders is likewise appealing to the Democrats that dislike their establishment (Hillary) candidate.

    Trump maybe an ass, but I’ll ride that jack-ass until one of the establishment candidates says “I will stop illegal immigration” rather than subsidizing it.

  6. Roger Wilson says:

    Customer relations 101. rule 1 “The customer is always right” rule 2. “If the customer is wrong, see rule one.”. The trick is to convince the customer what you want to give them is what they really want.

  7. harp1034 says:

    Love or hate Trump. Or like don’t care either way, the Donald is an ego-maniac. If he thinks he can take the cheese away from Hillary and the others he will do it. His thinking is I can go down in history as another rich guy or I can go down in history as President and a great leader. Which one will he pick?

  8. John says:

    Trump is the epitome of a loathsome crony “capitalist.”

    Read about his attempt to steal an old lady’s house:

    The fact that he is popular means the establishment GOP is in serious trouble with its base.

    They need to wake up.