Trump is the good guy

But his rather iconoclastic techniques and his promises to effect radical change if elected — and even to be at the head of an angry movement of scores of millions of Americans who feel their country has been stolen and mismanaged and that there is no point merely to ejecting the incumbents — has a profound appeal: They have tried turning the rascals out many times in the last 30 years and they just get worse rascals. The liberal media establishment is frenzied in its animosity to Donald Trump, and their hysteria is becoming more vociferous and desperate as he utters clangorous violations of the normal parameters of political discourse. The echo chamber explodes, the commentariat foams at the mouth, but he seems to pay no penalty in the polls. I think there are two explanations for this: Donald doesn’t really say such outrageous things as his opponents spinningly impute to him; and vast sections of the population are more bitterly disappointed and angry at the deterioration of their country and the misinformation of the mainstream media than the subjects of that resentment can imagine…

In general, his policy positions, though vague in places, and subject to being moved around in response to his apparently spontaneous aperçus and reminiscences, are not especially radical or provocative. The Trump effect appears to rest on his talent for shocking conventional opinion, and on his extreme contempt for the conventional wisdom, the degraded political modus operandi, and the snipers’ gallery of the biased and lazy senior media. He still leads the polls of those for whom people absolutely will not vote, and I suspect that in the end the elected Republican politicians will stand on each other’s shoulders and deny him the nomination, while making profound concessions to his policy preferences.

Donald Trump — who, I should disclose, is an old friend, a fine and generous and loyal man, and a delightful companion — is striking very close to the heart of the American problem: the corrupt, dysfunctional political system and the dishonest media. My view, as persevering readers know, is that it all started to go horribly wrong with Watergate, when one of the most successful administrations in the country’s history was torn apart for no remotely adequate reason and the mendacious assassins in the liberal media have been awarding themselves prizes and commendations for 40 years since. Ten times as many people believe Rush Limbaugh as Bob Woodward (and they are correct in that assessment), and Donald speaks in fact (obviously not ex officio) for many more people than Obama. I suspect the Bush-Clinton era, which had its moments, is ending, and that whatever happens next year, Donald Trump will have played an important role in it. But the desperation prayer of the liberals — that he will split the Republicans — will not happen: He was never going to run as an independent, and the Republicans recognize how great a bloc of voters he can bring to them. To adapt George Wallace’s old phrase, he has shaken the American political system “by the eyeteeth,” and it will be better for it.