President Trump can’t win. Whatever he does, or does not do, will provoke hate-motivated criticism from the Media, Never Trumpers, and the Left. “He’s not presidential!” they whine, gnashing their teeth and rending their garments in mock despair and outrage. George W. Bush was the very model of presidential deportment. This, and far worse, is what it got him:
Granted, Mr. Trump occasionally says things I would not say, but he was elected because he fights those that would turn America into Venezuela. He fights the Media, who, in large part, think normal Americans deplorable, and are far from supporters of American Constitutionalism in general, with the possible exception of the First Amendment, and that only to protect their speech, no one else’s.
An ostensibly conservative pundit, who if not a Never Trumper, is the next best thing, is Jonah Goldberg. Let us consider his recent article in National Review, titled: The Pittsburgh Massacre Is Not Trump’s Fault, But He’s Not Helping.
Here’s a better question: Is Trump helping?
The answer is obviously no — and that’s bad enough.
Let us stipulate that the pro-Israel father of Ivanka Trump, who converted to Judaism when she married Jared Kushner, is not ‘literally Hitler.’
How big of Goldberg. Is Trump then figuratively Hitler? Metaphorically? In some other way? Is there a Hitler dog whistle?
But let’s also stipulate that there’s something about Trump and his MAGA nationalism that’s been, and remains, very attractive to bigots. This doesn’t mean that everyone who jumped aboard the Trump train is a bigot. Far from it. But it is simply true that some who did are bigots, and Trump and his team have been dismayingly unconcerned about this fact.
Goldberg apparently disapproves of “MAGA nationalism.” Is non-MAGA nationalism acceptable? Under Mr. Trump, by most rational measures, America is doing far, far better than it was under Barack Obama, who sagely told us we would never again have a higher than 2% GDP because a magic wand would be required to accomplish it. So brilliant was he, nothing less than supernatural means could ever exceed his performance. Apparently Mr. Trump found that wand. There may be something to this MAGA nationalism, but we are told there is something about it, which Mr. Goldberg does not identify, that is “very attractive to bigots.” One could easily note there is something about leftism that is very attractive to bigots, tyrants, anarchists, violent leftist thugs, communist murderers, and the media, but one thing at a time.
Goldberg, who is Jewish, reveals his anti-Trump animus, reaching back to 2000, and perhaps earlier. He really doesn’t like the “alt-right,” but let us, gentle readers, remain in the present. By all means, take the link and read his entire article.
By the way, I have no idea what “alt-right’ means, nor have I ever met anyone who so identifies. I know it is something bad, and is routinely used by the left. Merriam Webster defines it thus:
a right-wing, primarily online political movement or grouping based in the U.S. whose members reject mainstream conservative politics and espouse extremist beliefs and policies typically centered on ideas of white nationalism.
Ah! In other words, it’s conservatives that do not buy into establishment/swamp republicanism. They are people who are not the go-along-to-get-along and get-invited-to-the-right-parties type. People who don’t care about the media saying nice things about them, petting them in print for being the right kind of Republican. People who are not in the least racist, but it’s convenient for the Left, and people like Goldberg, to call them “white nationalists.”
Trump is even more ignorant about how to be presidential. He’s the first president who doesn’t even know how to pretend to be a unifying figure, at least for longer than it takes to read a statement. Instead, he’s enraptured by the rapture of his base, feeding them red meat, dog whistles, and cultural wedge issues — anything to keep all of the attention, negative or positive, on him. He often says it would be ‘so easy to be presidential’ but, as he said at a Pennsylvania rally in March, ‘You’d all be out of here right now, you’d be so bored.’ Why try to unify the country if the price is a little less applause and attention?
Goldberg is a bit disingenuous. Mr. Trump was merely acknowledging why people voted for him: he’s not a Walter Mitty Republican. He fights, for them, for himself, and for America. He is unabashedly pro-America, which because we haven’t seen that in some time, can be jarring, particularly to those who, like New York Governor Cuomo, believe America never was great.
Notice Goldberg’s disdain for normal Americans. They’re moral and intellectual reprobates, drooling sub-humans just waiting for Mr. Trump to toss them red meat, able to hear white nationalist dog whistles, and anxious to be given new cultural wedge issues, because if one isn’t a Democrat, that’s what they’re all about. Apparently Democrats do not speak to their supporters about issues they have in common? Or is it merely that their issues are much more lofty, possessed of a purity the crude Trump can never recognize or equal? Quiche instead of red meat? Uplifting global philosophy instead of wedges?
Trump long resisted calling himself a ‘nationalist,’ fearing it was kooky Bannon stuff. Now he embraces it, heedless of its implications to others not already on his team. The media has gone from being biased (it is), to being ‘fake’ (it’s not), to being the ‘enemy of the people’ and tantamount to a fifth column.
Let us assume Mr. Goldberg is right. Are presidents not allowed, after time in office and exposure to circumstances and realities they can’t imagine, to change their minds about things? Is “nationalism” a bad thing in an American president? Obviously, it’s rare, and Barack Obama was as far from an American nationalist as one might imagine, but shouldn’t every American expect the POTUS to look out for American interests first, last and always? Isn’t that what the Constitution requires? Isn’t that what Americans—at least normal Americans—expect?
Let us also understand that nationalism is a benign word, potentially positive in intent and application, yet in the hands of Goldberg, and Mr. Trump’s enemies—which must include much of the press—it becomes malignant and destructive, particularly when “white” precedes it. Thus are there terrible “implications” Mr. Trump and his supporters are unable to understand. Goldberg admits the media is biased, but seemingly denies there is such a thing as “fake” news, or at the least, our Media is not fake. This may be splitting hairs, but when entire networks routinely publish false stories, even those actually made up, what better term describes them?
When people exercising a very necessary and vital service for Americans can no longer be trusted because they have knowingly abandoned the very reasons for a free press, it is not out of bounds to think them enemies. Americans need to be able to rely on the press for honest, un-biased information. With few exceptions, that is no longer possible. I do not, however, recall Mr. Trump, nor does Goldberg provide any examples, calling the Media a “fifth column.” It may certainly be reasonably argued, however, that at least some of them are sabotaging—harming–our Republic.
Many in the Trumpified right-wing media amplify and reinforce all of this because they, too, are addicted to the same base.
I wonder what this “Trumpified right-wing media” might be? Any media outlet that does not meet the standard of 90+% negative coverage of Mr. Trump? Or is Goldberg upset that some bloggers and social media might not be entirely hostile to Mr. Trump and the normal Americans that embrace him?
Amid the mail-bomb scare last week Trump tweeted about how unfair it is that CNN can criticize him ‘yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, ‘It’s just not Presidential!’ The false equivalence is lost on him and on his biggest defenders. CNN isn’t the president. It’s in a different lane. And while some of its coverage is worthy of criticism, it isn’t — or shouldn’t be — a warrant for Trump to leave his lane.
Ah. Now I understand. Mr. Goldberg is ultimately upset Mr. Trump does not remain in his “lane.” This would seem to require Mr. Trump, like Mr. Bush, to endure endless, vicious criticism without response or complaint. After all, that worked so well for Mr. Bush. It earned him the respect and admiration of the media and the Left. Didn’t it?
“False equivalence?” The media can engage in the most vile, unprofessional, false and personal attacks on Mr. Trump—is that staying in their lane?–and he must stay in his lane and not respond? Responding to outrageous attacks, and there have been many, is “false equivalence”?
What Goldberg seems to demand, or at least see as preferable, is unilateral disarmament. Normal Americans, who Mr. Trump represents, must just shut up and take it. How dare they think of America first? How dare they refuse to accept the idea that unifying the country requires complete acceptance of the Democrat Party platform? How dare they mistrust the Media? How double dog dare they criticize the media and its noble, selfless advocates?
What we do know is Democrats and their media propaganda arm constantly claim Mr. Trump is solely and uniquely dividing America. Mr. Goldberg seems to think the same. There, gentle readers, is false equivalence. There is actual intellectual blindness, pointing out the mote of dust in Mr. Trump’s eye while ignoring the planks in theirs. Why, one might go so far as to think Mr. Goldberg is not helping.