I must admit to not fully understanding the current Republican adoration of Donald Trump. I get that Republican voters are tired of the establishment, of political “girlyboys” who whimper in the face of political correctness and seem to enjoy polishing the shoes of Progressives. What I don’t understand is that the same voters who complained of the Obama’s lack of political substance have now embraced Donald Trump, a man who has thus far displayed a staggering lack of political substance.
To illustrate my point, I would first like to revisit the interview Chuck Todd conducted with Trump two weeks ago. Todd began his interview with Trump by asking him to define Conservatism. Trump spoke of fiscal strength and military strength, but never mentioned liberty. Central to any definition of Conservatism is the concept of liberty. In fact, I would go so far as to say that any definition of Conservatism must BEGIN with the idea that no man can own another man, that all men, no matter their race, religion, or economic status, own the fruits of their own labor. There may be other ideas about which Conservatives will quibble, but on this, there can be no question. And Trump didn’t mention Liberty once.
More disturbing (for Conservatives) is the almost frightening lack of detail Trump offers for any of his grand proclamations. For instance, Trump’s bravado at sending troops into Syria and Iraq. Trump says, “Now we go in and knock the hell out of them. Take their wealth.” What exactly does that mean, “go in and knock the hell out of them?” As the father of a son at West Point, I rather resent such a caviler attitude about sacrificing the lives of Americans for oil.
Trump proclaims that he “will be the greatest jobs president God ever created;” that he will bring manufacturing jobs back from Korea and Mexico. Trump tells Todd that he will create so many jobs that no one will need to discuss minimum wage increases.
Trump is going to deport all 30 million illegal immigrants and build a wall that he will MAKE Mexico pay for. What Trump doesn’t say is HOW he will do all of this. The best I can understand is that he can do it because, well because he is smarter than everyone else. Talk about empty campaign promises! This talk of solving all of our problems because he is smarter than everyone else evokes in me memories of Obama’s ridiculous declaration that his nomination will calm the oceans and heal the sick. For absolute arrogance, Obama now has a rival (and may have been outdone) in Donald Trump.
The benefit of having Donald Trump in the race is that he knows how to talk the talk; he is introducing issues that are of concern to the electorate – issues that Republican representatives seem inclined to ignore. Trump has hit a nerve in the Republican voter that says, “we are tired of promises that go unfulfilled! We are tired of voting for candidates who declare that they are Conservative only to have them out Progressive the Left!” But a candidate must do more than touch a nerve. Any candidate of substance, must not only identify the issues, but also offer a plan to move forward. So, far Trump is all talk and that talk of little substance.