February 20, 2016


Mad World: Part I (D.R. Tucker, 2/20/16, Washington Monthly)

Do you know anyone who's planning to vote for Donald Trump?

I know the late film critic Pauline Kael never actually said she didn't know anyone in her social circle who voted for Richard Nixon, but what was false for Kael is true for me: I do not know of anyone in my social circle who intends to vote for the prejudiced Pope-basher who's poised to win tonight's Republican primary in South Carolina. Yet the reality of Trump's broad support cannot be denied, nor can the prospect of him becoming the 45th President of the United States be gainsaid.

If you know a friend or family member who plans to vote for Trump, have you considered sitting down and having a heart-to-heart (or, I would argue, heart-to-heartless) talk with them? The point of this talk would not necessarily be to get them to change their minds, as the odds of such an event occurring are probably slim and none. The idea would be to sincerely ask them why they are so attracted to this man.

We've already voted here, so we know a fair number of people who voted for him or supported him (nearly every adolescent and teen-age boy) and we've visited Mass a few times and we have commenters and one thing seems to characterize them : opposition to immigrants and/or support for carpet bombing Muslims.  He's been so vague on what he'd do as president that no one actually supports him for any kind of policy platform. It's just fear and loathing.  It's one of the reasons that nearly the same percentage of Democrats as Republicans support him. 

In such conversations as Mr. Tucker proposes, all you have to do is ask : how would he be different than President Obama and that is what will come flooding out, animus towards the others.


After discussing the barbarism of ISIS and his belief that the United States needs to use tactics much worse than waterboarding, Trump told an almost certainly false story about General Pershing's execution Muslim terrorists in the Phillippines. "I read a story, it's a terrible story, but I'll tell you," Trump said. "Early in the century, last century, General Pershing--did you ever hear--rough guy, rough guy. And they had a terrorism problem. And there's a whole thing with swine and animals and pigs, and you know the story. They don't like that. They were having a tremendous problem with terrorism."

After Pershing caught 50 terrorists, "he took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pig's blood," Trump said. "And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said, 'You go back to your people and you tell them what happened.' And for 25 years there wasn't a problem, okay?"

"We better start getting tough and we better start getting vigilant, and we better start using our heads or we're not gonna have a country, folks," Trump added.

Posted by at February 20, 2016 9:42 AM