Andrew Sullivan asks, “Is Donald Trump testing democracy’s singular weakness — its susceptibility to the demagogue — by blasting through the firewalls we once had in place to prevent such a person from seizing power? Or am I overreacting?”
I would say, Andrew, that, yes, you’re overreacting. You’ve been as it were caught by the Donald. But the man Trump is certainly not a demagogue, someone attracting, leading, and then compelling people into being a part of his own fantastic scheme to turn the entire country into some ugly and evil chaotic and broken democracy where there are only a few winners and mostly losers, as in the Russia of Stalin, the Germany of Hitler, and the China of Mao.
But Donald Trump? Whatever he is he is not at their level of expertise. In fact Trump, whatever he may be, is not evil, has no evil scheme for the country, probably doesn’t know enough to have one.
At the end of his sophomoric tirade against the Donald Sullivan writes this:
For Trump is not just a wacky politician of the far right, or a riveting television spectacle, or a Twitter phenom and bizarre working-class hero. He is not just another candidate to be parsed and analyzed by TV pundits in the same breath as all the others. In terms of our liberal democracy and constitutional order, Trump is an extinction-level event. It’s long past time we started treating him as such.
In what he says here, again, Sullivan is hugely overreacting, an “extinction-level event”?!! And furthermore,in just about everything he says about Trump, Sullivan is simply mistaken. For one thing, Trump is not “of the far right” (whatever that may mean). In most of Trump’s opinions regarding the issues, those few that he does have, he is, and has been in the past, as much on the left as on the right, probably more liberal than conservative, more like Hillary, as “LyingTed” has been trying to tell us.
For if nothing else the Donald is too much in love with his golf courses , beauty pageants, and reality TV, not to mention game rooms and wrestling rings and other such to be seriously preoccupied by any well-reasoned political agenda, let alone one that Andrew Sullivan says would “blast apart our protective fire walls” and tear apart our democracy.
Sullivan may or may not be correct about “Trump not being just another candidate to be parsed and analyzed by TV pundits.” But he is wrong about Trump’s candidacy being a threat to our democracy. It would be more correct to say that Trump is no candidate at all, and to that extent no threat at all. In fact he’s running for president without having ever been a normal candidate (and not just because he uses his own money to pay most of his expenses.)
In fact his being a kind of non-candidate, not the typical guy running for president, is probably the single most important reason for his position at the top of the polls. His success, although so far only in the primaries, comes most of all from his being an outsider, and as an outsider the country is happy to listen to him. For much of the country has had it up to here with political insiders, with the typical candidates for political office.
This is also probably why the comfortable suburban populations made up of Republican primary voters have given Trump huge majorities, 60% or more in the recent elections in the Northeast. The voters are much amused and probably more than a bit intrigued by his “plain talking,” and just as much taken by his being a kind of know-nothing guy, who speaks with confidence directly off the cuff about things he may know nothing about. His listeners are always asking themselves what is he going to say next. Has anyone ever asked that about Hillary?
C’mon Andrew, an “extinction-level event”? Like the rock from outer space that did away with the dinosaurs? Yeah sure.