I haven’t followed Donald Trump too closely due to my dual theories that
1) an amateur cannot win a party’s nomination
This analysis of the Trump phenomenon by a Washington insider is interesting, however, even if Trump himself is not. Here are some excerpts:
Consider the conservative nonprofit establishment, which seems to employ most right-of-center adults in Washington. Over the past 40 years, how much donated money have all those think tanks and foundations consumed? Billions, certainly. (Someone better at math and less prone to melancholy should probably figure out the precise number.) Has America become more conservative over that same period? Come on. Most of that cash went to self-perpetuation: Salaries, bonuses, retirement funds, medical, dental, lunches, car services, leases on high-end office space, retreats in Mexico, more fundraising. Unless you were the direct beneficiary of any of that, you’d have to consider it wasted.
Pretty embarrassing. And yet they’re not embarrassed. Many of those same overpaid, underperforming tax-exempt sinecure-holders are now demanding that Trump be stopped. Why? Because, as his critics have noted in a rising chorus of hysteria, Trump represents “an existential threat to conservatism.”
Let that sink in. Conservative voters are being scolded for supporting a candidate they consider conservative because it would be bad for conservatism? And by the way, the people doing the scolding? They’re the ones who’ve been advocating for open borders, and nation-building in countries whose populations hate us, and trade deals that eliminated jobs while enriching their donors, all while implicitly mocking the base for its worries about abortion and gay marriage and the pace of demographic change. Now they’re telling their voters to shut up and obey, and if they don’t, they’re liberal.
If you live in an affluent ZIP code, it’s hard to see a downside to mass low-wage immigration. Your kids don’t go to public school. You don’t take the bus or use the emergency room for health care. No immigrant is competing for your job. (The day Hondurans start getting hired as green energy lobbyists is the day my neighbors become nativists.) Plus, you get cheap servants, and get to feel welcoming and virtuous while paying them less per hour than your kids make at a summer job on Nantucket. It’s all good.
Separately from this fun piece of writing… I think that Trump’s relative popularity can be attributed to the fact that the professional politicians in the Republican race are so numerous. Thus the multiple professionals, who are barely distinguishable to the average voter, each get only a fraction of the people who want to vote for a professional politician while Trump gets 100 percent of the voters who prefer an amateur.
[Separately, let’s not forget that if that Nantucket job results in a pregnancy with a high-income visitor, there could be 23 years of lucrative payments (minimum total: $1 million, tax-free) under Massachusetts family law or a $250,000 to $500,000 abortion sale.]