1) The other day, Donald Trump had a lady from the audience come up and pull on his hair, to confirm that it was real. This was charming, refreshing, un-politician-y — Trump at his best, I think.
I had a memory of Walter Mondale. He was a very disciplined politician. He was on three national tickets. He would never put a hat on — and in those days, politicians were given all sorts of hats to put on (by firemen, ranchers, etc.). He would hold the hat off to the side, grinning, while the crowd cheered and photogs snapped pictures.
His team had an expression: “full Norwegian.” Mondale was constantly conscious of dignity and decorum (as he conceived them).
2) I believe Trump is a mortal threat to the Republican party — or not. It’s a little unclear. A couple of weeks ago, I said to myself, “I’m going to wait until Thanksgiving. If Trump is still riding high, then I’ll worry. But not till then.” A day or two later, I said, “Okay, Halloween. I’m going to give him till Halloween. Then I’ll worry.” A day or two after that, I was at Columbus Day — and that’s where I am now.
If Trump is still riding high by Columbus Day, I will take his candidacy seriously — very seriously — and worry accordingly.
It’s always difficult to know exactly when to panic, isn’t it?
(Note to college students: “Columbus Day” is what we used to call your “Indigenous Weekend,” or whatever it is you have.)
3) Mona Charen made a good point on our podcast last week (among other good points): Conservatives, more than most voters, have always prized character. Indeed, Peggy Noonan wrote a book about Reagan: When Character Was King.
Have you heard Trump talk about Megyn Kelly? Or John McCain? Have you seen honor, decency, and chivalry in him? I know that all “real” conservatives are supposed to hate the Bushes, plus Romney, because they are gentleman losers (in this cracked view). But really. Conservative does not equal lout. It never has.
4) When I was a young conservative, I’d occasionally see the clip of Goldwater saying, “Let’s grow up, conservatives!” I always resented that. I thought that Goldwater was being a little mean, preachy, and condescending. But, more and more, I get his point.
5) What I hear from Trump supporters, or apologists, is, “At least he got people talking about immigration! And political correctness!” Um . . . have we not talked about those things every day of our lives — every moment of our lives — for as long as most people can remember?
6) The thing about Trump supporters: You can’t shake them. You can’t move them from their man. You can’t introduce a sliver of doubt.
They don’t care where Trump has been on abortion, Kelo, D.C. statehood, health care, etc. (Single payer!) They don’t care whether he has given the Clintons $8 trillion. They don’t care whether he approves of Miley Cyrus at her twerkiest. I guess she’s the “conservative” poster girl now. The symbol of wholesome living!
The Donald could ax-murder four nuns in church, and his peeps would say the old biddies had it comin’.
All they care about is that he is opposing something called “the establishment”: the RNC, NR, and those other oppressors of men.
7) This is a gaudy, vulgar country — a wonderful one, too. Donald Trump, as I have said, is part of the parade. An American original, an American type. He adds to the gaiety of life. The dough, the broads, the glitz!
I get a kick out of Trump, I really do. Most guys would. (Not sure about women.)
But the American presidency is a fairly serious thing. And the Republican party is important. This country needs the GOP. It is all that is standing between us and — further Obamite “fundamental transformation.”
8) In honor of the old TV show Eight Is Enough, this is my last one: For months, some Republicans have fretted, “Will Donald go third-party on us? Will he go independent on us? Will he be 2016’s Perot?” Maybe the time will come when the Trumpsters worry, “Will some Republican go independent on us?”
Tension City (as Bush 41, that Trumpster favorite, once said).