Last night in his victory speech, Donald Trump said:
Many many people are calling that you wouldn’t even believe. The media, the press, they wouldn’t believe. People that have said the worst things about me—I’ve never had anything said about me like this. You know in my businesses I’ve always been very respected [sic]. People didn’t talk to me this way. But in politics it’s easy. The worst things. And they’re calling now, and they’re calling us all, and they’re saying we’d love to get on the train, the Trump train… we’d love to get on the team.
And I actually spoke to one today. And—who was vicious! I mean, this guy was unbelievable. And I said I love having you, and, you know, I think it’s terrific, but after what you said about me, how can you possibly join our team? And he said, Mr. Trump don’t even think about it, don’t worry about it, there’ll be no problem. In other words he’s a politician. There’s no problem. I woulda had a hard time. But we have a lot of people coming on. Lots of congressmen, I have to thank Jeff Sessions . . .
Assuming he’s telling the truth — and I have reason to believe him – Trump has a great point here. Indeed, this taps into what I hate most about Washington and about politics. If you’ve been saying that Donald Trump is a threat to the Republic, that it would be dangerous and reckless to give him access to nuclear weapons or even that, if nominated, he would wreck the Republican Party, on what grounds can you now jump on board the Trump Train?
Were these people simply lying? If not, are they endorsing Trump regardless of what they actually believe? Is party loyalty that important?
I’m not talking about people who’ve sincerely supported Trump from way back. From what I can tell they truly believe that Trump is the patriotic choice. Nor am I talking about people who’ve never taken a strong position against Trump and now feel they must vote against Hillary.
But if you’ve been a committed Never Trump person and now, simply because he’s the nominee, you’re surrendering to Trump, shame on you. And it sounds like Trump agrees with me. He would have a “hard time” turning on a dime the way some of his new supplicants are, but that’s what politicians do. Even Trump holds the manhood of these late-joiners cheap — and he’s right. There’s a lesson there for those of you who think Chris Christie is some kind of hero: Trump has your number.
Well, contrary to an army of people flooding my email box and my twitter feed, I’m not a politician either. The “people have spoken” is not some abracadabra phrase that can change my opinions, never mind my convictions. If “the people” vote that I must hate dogs, I’m not going to start hating dogs. If a plurality of Republican primary voters tells me I have to like blue cheese, I’m not going to start liking blue cheese. And even if 99.99 percent of Americans tell me that I should shed my opinions of Donald Trump, I’m not going to do that either. New facts or some new argument — in theory — could make me change my mind. But crowds, mobs, twitter trolls, bullying hacks, eye-rolling apparatchiks – or even voters can’t just because they all shout at once. Why? Because I am not a politician.