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Tuesday
Sep122017

POLITICS (National): President Donald Trump, ideology? or just "winning"?: Commentary (Op-Ed: Jonah Goldberg), "Trump and his supporters don't care about ideology. They just want to 'win.'" ....

***President Donald Trump, ideology? or just "winning"?

* Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed: Jonah Goldberg):  "Trump and his supporters don't care about ideology. They just want to 'win'" - From the LAT:

I used to worry that Donald Trump was Lonesome Rhodes in a better suit. I’m starting to wonder if he’s Chance the Gardener in a worse suit.

Just in case you don’t get the references, Rhodes was the lead character, played by Andy Griffith, in Elia Kazan’s 1957 film, “A Face in the Crowd,” the best movie ever made about the dangers of populism and mass media. Chance the Gardener was the lead character, played by Peter Sellers, in Hal Ashby’s “Being There,” a brilliant, 1979 film based on the Jerzy Kosinski novel about a simple-minded gardener who had never been outside his employer’s home until the man died. Because Chance speaks in fortune cookie aphorisms about gardening, he’s mistaken for a man of deep wisdom and is lifted to heights of power in Washington.

President Trump isn’t nearly as kind-hearted nor as dimwitted , but there are two relevant similarities: Both Chance and Donald have an unhealthy addiction to television, preferring it to reading. Second, neither really understands what’s going on around them but benefits from being surrounded by people who see what they want to see.

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Despite his “fake news” refrain, Trump doesn’t hate the mainstream media the way his most ardent supporters do. They sincerely believe it’s a hostile opponent in the culture war, while Trump’s anger is more that of a jilted lover. His whole life has been marked by an obsession with publicity.

His supporters, though, are oddly blind to that fact. Normally, when conservatives or Republicans deviate from the party line, the knee-jerk assumption among activists is that they are doing so out of a desire to win praise from the liberal media and invitations to Georgetown cocktail parties. If that’s often unfair, it may actually be the case for Trump, and yet his base insists that if he “wins,” it must also be a win for conservatives. So deep is the desire to see the Trump they thought they were getting, they bend the facts to fit their heroic narrative.

The widespread animosity toward the GOP leadership among many Trump supporters only fuels the delusion that Trump can do no wrong . . . . . . . .

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The truth is that Trump’s real mandate was to be “not Hillary Clinton” — and he fulfilled it on Day 1. With the exception of appointing conservative judges, all of Trump’s other scattershot policies earned only partial support from GOP voters, which is why Ryan and most other Republicans over-performed Trump in the election.

The other truth is that Trump craves praise more than he cares about implementing his defenestrated strategist’s “economic nationalism.” And his supporters want Trump “wins” more than conservative ones, which is why we can expect more of what we saw last week.