The Corner

Politics & Policy

‘Trump: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly’

Ramesh and I wrote a cover story for the new issue analyzing Trump:

Trump is truly a different kind of political phenomenon. He is supposed to be an outrageous right-winger, but he draws support fairly evenly across all factions of the Republican party and is heterodox or indeterminate on key policy questions.

It is tempting to dismiss him as merely a buffoon, given his routinely buffoonish behavior, and to dismiss his supporters as ill informed and misguided. This is, indeed, the approach taken by many of his journalistic critics and a few of his rivals. But their denunciations of Trump and the Trump phenomenon have frequently been overwrought, taking the momentary enthusiasm of a large fraction of a party to stand for the enduring convictions of the whole. 
 
They have also frequently been unfair to Trump’s supporters. It is important to understand Trump’s draw. If he is wholly unsuited to be the Republican nominee for a myriad of reasons, including that he isn’t a conservative, there are nonetheless lessons to be gleaned from his meteoric, madcap rise, ones that can make the other candidates better and the GOP more appealing.
 

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