COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 8, 2016 — Donald Trump has won the GOP delegate battle, but he faces a more difficult war before he can get to the general election.
Enemies who so far have lined up against him include:
- Ideological conservatives: George Will, Charles Krauthammer and others in the conservative wing;
- Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferers: House Speaker Paul Ryan, the Wall Street Journal;
- sensitive, easily offended women everywhere;
- Black Lives Matter;
- former Mexican president Vicente Fox;
- and the Mainstream Media, for whom tone and political correctness trump substance and the lessons of world history.
Hillary Clinton and the general election may be the least of Trump’s barriers on the way to the White House.
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal editors advised Trump on Saturday that he should bridge the divide with Speaker Paul Ryan, despite the fact it is of Ryan’s own making. The editorial, festooned with superficial generalities, managed to trash Newt Gingrich, a lion of Capitol Hill, as they extolled the virtues of Ryan, who most recently rubber stamped President Obama’s final, budget-busting $3.871 trillion federal spending proposal.
Gingrich, who was responsible for the successful Contract with America and hold-the-line budgets, as well as the nation’s first real welfare reform act somehow failed the Journal’s litmus test. That test must not include loyalty to the party’s presumptive nominee. They recommend that candidate Trump go hat-in-hand to the budget buster and make nice.
According to the editorial, “The ‘bulk of the burden on unifying the party’ will have to come from Mr. Trump, Mr. Ryan said in a Thursday interview. … The truth is that Mr. Ryan is a conviction politician … Political parties are institutions that exist to advance principles, and some people join them for reasons other than power and ego.”
Trump retorted to Ryan’s comments, “Well, Two-Face, if you’re such a big-deal conservative, why did you push for that budget increasing spending by billions, funding Obama’s executive amnesty program, relocation of terrorist refugees and sanctuary cities, but somehow no money for the border fence? You’re a white Obama. Bad. Sad!!”
Perhaps the Journal has caught a little Trump Derangement Syndrome. Countering their pontification on Trump, Peggy Noonan’s less vitriolic Trump analysis appeared across the page from the editors’ advice column. Noonan, who appears to have kept her head, takes a long view of party history with a nod to the clearly necessary reformations now taking place in both the Republican and Democratic parties.
She may have had the Journal in mind when she observed, “Donald Trump will receive the Republican nomination for the presidency and nothing will be the same. How we do politics in America is changed and will not be going back. The usual standards and expectations have been turned on their head, and more than one establishment has been routed.”
One might wish to ask Noonan if she includes the mainstream media, including the Journal, in her reference to the “establishment.”
Do Black Lives Matter in TrumpWorld?
Seven and a half years ago, candidate Barack Obama promised a new, post-racial America. That project hasn’t gone well.
The Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013. It originated in the African-American community as a campaign against police violence against black people. In the summer of 2015, Black Lives Matter began to publicly challenge candidates, including Trump, heading into the 2016 presidential election.
One African-American woman, Lynne Patton, has countered the activists’ claims about Trump’s putative racism with her own video statement. She’s the director of the Eric Trump Foundation and assistant to Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. She says her YouTube video, in which she shares a letter she wrote about her own experiences with the Trump family, was done on her own to counter the vitriol being leveled at her boss.
“I can no longer remain silent about the repeated and reprehensible attempts to align my boss and his family with racist hate-mongering groups, campaigns and messaging,” says Patton.
“The Trump family that I know is, without question, one of the most generous, compassionate and philanthropic families I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing and the honor to call friends. They have been incredibly loyal to me and to the countless dedicated people they employ around the world—hiring more minority and female executives than any other company for which I’ve ever worked.”
“To equate racism with my boss’s call for a temporary moratorium on a flawed immigration system that radical Islamic terrorists continue to exploit, or the construction of an impassible wall to protect our borders from the influx of illegal drugs, is not only incendiary, it’s wholly irresponsible and only serves to embolden the very hatred these draconian groups espouse.”
She later criticized “paid protesters” who target Trump.
Allen West, a prominent, black, conservative commentator has added his own defense of Trump: “He has inspired fear like no one else in some time. His willingness to call a spade a spade (no, not a racist term, folks—look it up) and shatter the political correctness destroying our country is clearly striking a deep nerve with Americans.”
The truth, whether spoken harshly or with sugar coating, can often hurt. In the past two decades, Americans have increasingly veered away from using language perceived as harmful. Colleges have created “safe spaces” for students who are easily offended by frank discourse. Children have been taught, under the rubric of anti-bullying, to refrain from using any terms deemed hurtful.
No decent person condones bullying, but attempts to tame and control speech have gone beyond encouraging good manners. The media have been particularly useful in changing the culture and the language. Tone means everything today, more than actual content. Ask Chris Rock about that. Some comedy routines are no longer appropriate in the new America.
Speakers are so often gagged by protests or loss of venue that we might consider tossing out the First Amendment altogether. Will frankness eventually land speakers in re-education camps? Corporations and the government already hold seminars to teach correct speech in the workplace.
Along comes Donald Trump, a billionaire with his own views. And his own mouth, with no one able to fire him for using it. He’s free to tell America what he really thinks, as it comes to him. Americans not yet terminally PC, people like Noonan and West, recognize a truthful and just man when they hear him.
It may take a while for this honesty thing to catch on. When it does, perhaps we can give the media and political establishment lessons in frankness. It might sting at first, but honesty can throw necessary light onto the most intransigent of problems in our country today.
With a Trump presidency, there might be hyperbole, humor, and even a bad or discouraging word heard now and then. But we know there also will be honesty, and speaking truth to power can never be a bad thing.