BREAKING: Secret Service Director Resigns
CNN's Jim Acosta Did Not Just Say That Regarding Trump's Remarks About the...
NBC Pollster Hurls Kamala Harris' Candidacy Into a Furnace
Here's What Top Dems Allegedly Threatened Biden With During Their 'Palace Coup'
Whistleblower: Snipers Were Stationed on the Roof During Trump Rally But Left Due...
The Soviet Playbook to Dismantle Christianity & Take Over Culture
Harris Locks Up Enough Support Among Dem Delegates to Become Party's Nominee
Why This Prominent Biden Donor Is Holding Back Now That Harris Is at...
Musk Reveals the Very Personal Reason He's Vowed to Destroy the 'Woke Mind...
Here's What Biden Told Trump After Assassination Attempt
Another 'Conspiracy Theory' Becomes Reality
A Massive Illegal Immigrant Caravan Just Left Southern Mexico for the U.S.
New Climate Change Theory: Excessive Heat Is Making Days Longer
Democrat Governor Reverses Course, Says She Will Not Serve As Harris' VP
Don't Overthink It, Republicans. The Case Against Kamala Harris Is Straightforward.
OPINION

Why People Like Trump

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Last week, 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump dropped his second headline-making comment of the race. Responding to statements from Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., in which McCain labeled Trump's supporters on immigration "crazies," Trump shot back that McCain wasn't a war hero, because he had been captured. "I like people who weren't captured," Trump said, paraphrasing a 2008 Chris Rock routine in Michael Scott-like fashion.

Advertisement

Trump's shot was mean, nasty, uncalled for, and idiotic.

The media world immediately declared Trump's campaign over. A few days before the comments, Huffington Post -- a publication created by onetime failed California gubernatorial candidate Arianna Huffington -- announced that it would feature Trump in its entertainment section rather than its politics section. The Wall Street Journal editorial board opined, "It came slightly ahead of schedule, but Donald Trump's inevitable self-immolation arrived on the weekend when he assailed John McCain's war record. The question now is how long his political and media apologists on the right will keep pretending he's a serious candidate."

Trump's rival candidates leapt on the opportunity to throw dirt on Trump's political grave. Governor Rick Perry, R-Texas, said, "I have no confidence that he could adeptly lead our nation's armed forces. His comments over the weekend should completely and immediately disqualify him from seeking our nation's highest office." Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said, "I do think it's a disqualifier as commander in chief." Both trail Trump substantially in the polls.

Trump will, and ought to, take a serious hit in those polls after his McCain idiocy. But he will not go down this easily. That's because Trump exemplifies two qualities many Republican voters seek: brashness and an unwillingness to back down in the face of critics.

Advertisement

Trump's brashness is both his blessing and his curse -- but unlike Spider-Man, Trump seems unable to comprehend that with great power comes great responsibility. He says foolish things, and then refuses to back down from them. But that stubbornness seems to act as a counterweight to his brashness, in an odd way: Conservatives hungry for an unapologetic candidate resonate to Trump, even if he should apologize for his latest tomfoolery. Trump puts himself in a position to draw fire from both the establishment Republicans and the media; when he draws that fire, even for good reason, the base leaps to his defense.

Even better for Trump, his long history of making inane comments means that it will be tough for any one comment to finish him. Like Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, Trump is so flawed a candidate that it's difficult to tell where the fatal flaw may lie. In such a scenario, flaws become assets. Trump has shifted his positions? Sure, but he's done so constantly -- he's a man of the moment, many believe, and thus we can believe whatever nostrum falls from his lips now. Trump has engaged in corrupt dealings? Sure, but he's so rich that he won't need to take payoffs, unlike those he's already paid off. Trump never shuts up? Well, at least he won't shut up when told to by those in power.

Advertisement

Upper echelon Republicans make a mistake in disqualifying Trump. Democrats never do this: Hillary won't call Bernie Sanders unfit for office, or vice versa. Trump will undoubtedly disqualify himself eventually, as well he should. Republicans can either learn from Trump's better qualities while discarding his worse ones, or they can try to destroy Trump as quickly as possible. The first strategy would be useful, the second wildly counterproductive. Unfortunately, as usual, the Republicans seem to be pursuing the worst possible option.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Recommended

Trending on Townhall Videos