The Corner

Politics & Policy

‘Trump’s Normality Problem’

I wrote in Politico today about how Trump has become a normal Republican, at least for the time being, on a number of issues at the same time he himself hasn’t become normal at all: 

One would have thought the sweet spot for President Donald Trump would be enough policy heterodoxy to convince marginal working-class voters that he’s a different kind of Republican, coupled with enough conventional behavior to take the edge off his radioactive image.

Instead, after about 75 days, it’s been the opposite on both counts. With some exceptions (banging on companies on Twitter for outsourcing, the heavy emphasis on immigration enforcement), the substance has been conventionally Republican, while the behavior has been outlandishly Trump.

The two are related. Since Trump is undisciplined, doesn’t have well-formulated policy views and will change his mind based on the last person he’s talked to, he’s not well-suited to driving an agenda, to put it mildly.

The result could well be a Republican president with the kind of policy agenda that leads people to believe the party is out of touch, presented in the most off-putting and needlessly combative way possible.


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