But free men and reactionary nationalists are not the same thing. A reactionary wears the burdens of his office, and a nationalist defends his people. Trump brags about making a lot of money in Atlantic City, then ditching the place as it slid into misery.
And that’s the paradox. Trump is admired because he doesn’t give a crap about political conventions and niceties. But there is a reason why Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio bow and scrape before certain institutions — the party, the movement — which is that they are the very things that demonstrate some form of connection between a politician and the interests of a nation. Those mechanisms for accountability may be broken, or they may be weighted dangerously toward the wealthy, but they still serve a basic purpose.
Believing Trump will bring America back is as foolish as believing he would bring Atlantic City back. Unlike Rubio and Bush, he’s a free man — and perfectly willing to walk away and say it was your fault, but that he enjoyed the ride anyway.