Postmodern Conservative

Trump, Identity Politics, and American Exceptionalism

Some scattered thoughts,

1.   How much would John Boehner and the rest of the Republican hacks give to replace Trump with Ted “Lucifer in the flesh” Cruz?

2.  Trump’s statement about the judge was just a mess.  Trump saying about the judge’s heritage is a conflict of interests because “I’m building a wall”  isn’t some brilliant act of political jujitsu. 

Trump put himself in the position of member of the Black Liberation Army arguing that he can’t a fair trial from a white judge in a bank robbery case because it is a conflict of interest since the BLA was trying to bring down the white supremacist power structure and blah, blah, blah.  The difference is that Trump isn’t some fringe violent radical, or an associate professor of literature, or some feminist journalist who wants Catholic to recuse themselves from abortion cases.  Trump is the nominee of a major political party.  If Obama had spent the 2008 campaign explaining that white judges had a conflict of interest in adjudicating Obama-related cases, he wouldn’t be president.

This gets to a very corrupting dynamic in defending Trump.  Whenever Trump steps in it, the instinct is find some liberal who did something similar or worse. Since you can always find some liberal who has done something wrong, it means that Trump defenders have adopted the worst things that any liberal has ever done as the standard for what they will accept in a president. 

And for what?  Trump isn’t making some point about the poisonousness of ethnic identity politics.  Trump is just working the ref in a case about his scam university.  If the judge were a white female, Trump would be going back to his menstruation jokes. 

Some conservatives are abandoning their e pluribus unum principles in return for helping a rich guy avoid losing a civil suit to the people he tricked.  This isn’t even a deal with the devil.  From the stories, the devil would at least give you money or earthly power in return for your soul. 

3.  The irony is that the same establishment Republicans whose self-dealing created the conditions for the Trump movement, and who surrendered to Trump, are going to prevent themselves as the reasonable, pragmatic, tolerant, replacements for Trump after the election. 

Just remember: there would have been a lot less space for Trump to run if it hadn’t been for the RNC autopsy and the Gang of Eight bill. 

4.  I share Trump’s distaste for the term “American Exceptionalism.”        


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