Why not Trump?

Or are we going to say we can’t elect him because he’s a jerk and a blowhard and has said awful things about women? Really? More awful than the things Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee have said about gay people? More inflammatory than the things virtually every Republican candidate has said about Russia or Iran? (I’ll take a leader who believes “Persians are great negotiators” over “Iran is run by a messianic suicide-cult” any day.) Or because he’s a man with terrible taste? You don’t think Trump would actually build a classier ballroom than Washington’s got now? Have you been to Washington lately?

Yes, Trump is basically executing a hostile takeover of the Republican Party. Is that supposed to make the civic-minded shudder? Does the Republican Party strike you as a particularly civic-minded organization? Is there any organization you can name more deeply deserving of being hostilely taken over in this manner?

Conor Friedersdorf asks why Trump supporters think Trump will treat them better than conventional politicians have given that his agenda has been utterly self-centered in the past. But that’s the wrong question. In his vanity, his self-centeredness, his egomania, Trump is very much a conventional politician. Few people run for high office because they are determined to accomplish a specific agenda. Most run for office because they see themselves as the man in the arena. Donald Trump is just particularly good at projecting the image that he is that man.

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