At this point in the presidential round, one listens to what they say, not that they’ll do stuff, but that you hope to get a hint of the character they might bring to the job. I’ve never understood Hillary’s assumption of entitlement, but that’s ok. Bernie reminds us that the problem with Socialism is Socialism. Isn’t there some obscure ex-gov running around on the Donk side? That’s it? Pending Handsy Joe Biden’s entrance, of course.
It’s hard to keep track of all the Heffalumps. Most of them might be ok in the job, especially for folks like me who would like to see a government of more modest scope. Do we actually need Rabbit Inspectors? I like Ben Carson; he’s a decent man. I think we may need someone with more skill in the foreign and military areas. I enjoy listening to Carly talk; she knows how to turn her interviewer’s attempted trap questions inside out. She’s well prepared, and that’s different. And I enjoy the spectacle of the dominant media trying to turn Scott Walker’s reasonable answers to loaded questions inside out. They’re worried about him. Fun. Rubio is likeable and works hard, Kasich decent and sensible (if dull. But a dull president has a place, too. Maybe dull would be good), and Cruz is smart and interesting, but he might have too much fun in the job.
But Trump worries me. He has no visible character, no policies that are not of the moment, and his public presentation reminds me far too much of bygone, strutting European politicians. I’ll refer you to the first chapter of Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism. His hyper-masculinity, rudeness, and brazen manipulation of media and public worries are too familiar; he turns his ignorance into an asset, too. “See? I’m not like those guys, those politicians.” These are a bundle of traits that are often appealing in overstressed democracies. He’d be a disastrously bad president.
The speculation that he was planted by the Clintons – they were at his most recent wedding, remember – as a sort of disruptive clown has some plausibility. Trump has been an expert manipulator of crony capitalism, a deal maker but not a producer, a skillful user of media. And completely without any trace of character or principle. He’s pretty much the epitome of the RINO. He’s running against the Republicans: compare him with Carly, he’s made herself sort of a Hillary-seeking missle. Jeb Bush, to his credit (and no, we don’t need dynasties), seems to be taking on the task of going toe-to-toe with Trump. Good for him.