Donald Trump, the centrist, has attracted an army of disaffected patriots

Trump’s infelicities are legend, and are disconcerting, though in some cases they have been exaggerated. But he has cast the Archie Bunker net to pull in the masses of the angry Americans who won’t take it anymore and whose presence was unnoticed by everyone else seeking the White House. Now he is gradually refining his message to placate the traditional and more decorous and centrist voters. In Indiana on Tuesday, he polled almost as many votes as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders combined. Trump has steadily risen in the polls from what was assumed, as late as his defeat at the hands of Sen. Ted Cruz in Wisconsin last month, to be a bubble that could burst any day to securing the Republican nomination and running closely with Clinton…

Most Canadian media on the Trump candidacy have drunk the liberal Kool-Aid that he is a knuckle-dragging reactionary. Typical was a Huffington Post piece on May 2 by Remi Francoeur that tried to incite fears that Trump would act against Canada in the NAFTA agreement. He has made it abundantly clear that his problems are not with U.S.-Canada free trade, but with the $58-billion trade deficit with Mexico, and the steady inflow of illegal immigrants. He has never uttered a word of recrimination against Canada.

Apart from taking a hard line against Islamist extremists and horrifying trade deficits, he is the radical centre. Useless idiots on the left who try to disrupt his meetings are responding to a caricature — the conservative intelligentsia have more reason to despair that he isn’t one of them. He isn’t, but the United States is not governed from the right-wing end zone, any more than from the opposite end of the field, where Hillary is scruffing after votes with Sanders. Donald Trump is a centrist who has attracted an army of disaffected, economically vulnerable, patriots. There is nothing very frightening in that.

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