I’m extremely supportive of Donald Trump. I’m really happy that he’s saying what he’s saying, and I sincerely hope he never apologizes for any of it. If anything, I hope he applies his blunt rhetorical abilities to lots of other issues. This is a free country – Donald Trump should be able to say whatever he wants about anything, such as women’s reproductive rights or the Confederate flag, preferably while standing in front of a huge banner with the Republican Party’s logo on it.
If you took the comments section beneath a Fox News article, gave it a lumpy, orange body with fake hair, and then brought it to life, you'd have Donald Trump. He's the end result of 30 years of conservative orthodoxy that has come increasingly unmoored from reality over the past few election cycles. The pipe dream of trickle down economics and all of its glowing, fetishy deference to rich people gave us a billionaire candidate who says he’s qualified to run the free world because he’s rich. Obsession with confrontational, ideologically pure candidates gave us a reality TV star who rode a Rain Man escalator into his new identity as presidential candidate. A tradition of pandering to the loudest, meanest segments of the Republican Party gave us a proud racist who thinks the president isn’t American.
The Donald is a Frankenstein monster made out of everything that’s gone wrong with our political system (and entertainment industry) over the past few years, and right now he’s polling higher than most other Republicans in the race. It’s not going to last, of course, but by the time he finds a self-important excuse to stop running for president, he will have made the Republican Party’s brand look about as bad as Jared Fogle’s does right now.
And that’s why I love Donald Trump.
The tricky thing about democracy is that the system tends to reward candidates who most of the people in the country like, and the country as a whole hates Donald Trump more than anybody who’s run for president in the past 35 years. Democrats hate him. Independents hate him. Nearly two thirds of Republicans hate him. Politics aside, most people don’t think that a guy with his own line of custom fragrances should be given the authority to launch nuclear missiles.
The other tricky thing is that we have so many Latino voters in this country now that it’s pretty difficult to become president unless a lot of them vote for you. And regardless of what you think about illegal immigrants, most Latinos don’t think they’re a rampaging horde of murdering rapists. (For what it’s worth, the facts back that up, too.) What I’m hoping happens, and what a lot of Republican donors hope doesn’t happen, is that even after Trump is gone his fragrance will linger. No matter who the Republican candidate winds up being, millions of absolutely crucial Latino voters in swing states will just see him as the latest offering from the party where a racist beauty pageant tycoon was able to thrive. It doesn’t help that it took most of the candidates – including Jeb Bush, whose wife and kids are Mexican-American – a couple of weeks to get around to calling out Trump’s racism.
What’s more, whoever winds up getting the nomination is going to have an immigration policy that is still pretty damn similar to the sort of thing Trump wants. Most of the candidates ultimately just want to put more guards on the border and leave it at that; Bush wants to overhaul the legal immigration system but doesn’t want a way for the 11 million illegals who already have lives here to become citizens. So about the best thing the eventual Republican candidate can say to distance himself from Trump is, “I’m going to do most of the things he wants to do to keep you people from coming to this country, but I’m going to be a lot more polite about it – and that’s a promise!”
Donald Trump’s big appeal to his supporters is that unlike some wishy washy career politician, he’s not afraid to speak the truth. And all the racist, xenophobic, demonstrably false garbage he’s spraying is the truth behind the GOP’s anti-immigration policies; it’s just not dressed up with safe, focus-tested language politicians use like ‘self deportation’ or ‘amnesty.’ Foreigners are overrunning our country, taking our jobs, and raping our women. Vote for me if you want to live. Every Republican candidate is selling some version of that message; Trump is just selling it straight.