While Trump’s signature issue is immigration, his real strength as a candidate is his promise to “Make America Great Again.” That is, he is an unreconstructed and unapologetic American nationalist.
Proposing a ban on all Muslim entry has an appeal because it is based on unalloyed, in your face, self interest. To hell with world opinion, the U. N., our allies, the Pope, or anybody else. This is what’s best for the USA, and you can all go stuff it. It’s precisely the sort of thing Vladimir Putin would do.
It works so exceedingly well because it is in such stark contrast to Obama. He does not pursue the best interests of the United States. He does what he thinks best for humanity. If our national interest coincides, great. If not, tough. America is too big, too strong, and too pushy to begin with. If its interests have to be sacrificed for the betterment of the world, so be it. It’s only payback for two hundred years of racism and capitalist exploitation.
If you want to pick up support from the tribe of Trump, try working on your American nationalism.
I believe both the Cubans are full bore American nationalists, and aren’t afraid to show it. They need to start talking the talk. I was surprised when Cruz came out against TPP, the Asian trade deal. Right wing intellectuals like him are for free trade, philosophically, as am I. I’m not going to try and figure out if his opposition is justified. I’m not an economist. The fact that it was negotiated by the Obama crowd certainly gives me pause. Any Republican would get a better deal, so let’s put it off (Which will happen, regardless. It’s not up until 2017).
But regardless of the merits, opposing TPP lets Cruz draft right along behind Trump in the lead car.* All in all, Trump’s presence in the race so far has been a positive. It might have happened without him, but once Trump got in the race it was clear that the Republican nomination would only be won by a true immigration hawk, someone who can convince the Republican primary electorate that he will seal the border, and totally overhaul our broken immigration system. Bush mush wasn’t going to cut it.
With his call of closing our borders to Muslims, he has done us another favor. Hidden in all the outrage which greeted Trump’s proposal, Cruz was able to put out his own, drastic but reasonable plan without being condemned as an extremist. If Cruz had not been drafting behind the Donald, he’d have taken some heat. Thanks, D.
Because Cruz’s plan, besides being good on the merits, is political gold. As details of the sleeper cell which erupted in San Bernadino come out, the idea of bringing more of these people into our country is going to start to seem suicidal. How can this be in our national interest? This is a big issue, and it’s going to get bigger. Cruz has hit the sweet spot, and will reap the reward.
When I was getting ready to start my freshman year at Cal in 1962 I ordered a Goldwater sweatshirt from National Review so I’d have something to wear. There was this guy teaching ECON 101, a socialist named Andreas Papandreou. 600 kids in an auditorium, so I’d get there a little early so I could sit in the front row and stare at him. What a dumb bastard. He became Prime Minster of Greece in 1981, and began laying the foundation for the collapse of the Greek economy. I don’t think he knew who Goldwater was.
Because I wanted to be a politician I took a class in Speech. I thought it would have to do something with speaking, which I figured I was pretty good at. Not so. I can’t remember what the hell it was about. But the Professor knew who Goldwater was, and made plain he didn’t care for him. Finally one day, as a class exercise in “Speech”, he said, he started off a discussion about politicians, and what we really know about them. He says, “What do we really know about Barry Goldwater? What do we know for sure? Well, we know that he’s the senior Senator from Arizona — ” at which point I interrupt, and explain that Goldwater is the junior Senator.
I got a C in ECON and a D in Speech. I took off my Goldwater sweatshirt, quit college and got a job.
I wasn’t cut out for academia.
Hat tip, Dr. Krauthammer.