Many Trump voters, I think, are falling afoul of the principle of explosion by cherry picking from Trump’s Groundhog Day Sequence. More importantly, so are many of the smart commentators—like Tucker Carlson, Matt Continetti, and Michael Brendan Dougherty—who warn that the rise of Trumpism signals a sickness and a decay inside mainstream, fusionist conservatism.
That’s because one cannot tell a story about what policies, or ideas, or even sentiments Trump’s rise ought instruct the GOP to adopt without picking selectively from his oeuvre. His oeuvre is, of course, compatible with many such stories, some of which are dramatically at odds with others.
Trump is assembling a (maybe) winning coalition comprised on the one hand of voters who would vote for him no matter what and on the other of voters who are so despairing—like the terminally single foraging for companionship before last call—that they’re willing to overlook his many contradictions and absurdities. He’s won the latter by saying everything, and the former without having to say anything at all.