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The Pearl-Clutching Class

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

“Can you believe what Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have said about Donald Trump? They’re acting in such an undignified, un-presidential manner!” said many a pundit and talk show host after the two underdog senators started playing a little rough with the leader for their party’s nomination.


The pearl-clutching over pointing out Trump’s record as a businessman isn’t a rags-to-riches story of unbridled success but one with a lot of flaws, failures, shady characters and scandals, has been something to behold. Sean Hannity was so upset to see The Donald get a dose of his own medicine that I thought he was going to faint right on the air.

Trump has not been a model citizen, but no one has. But to pretend you could live his life, work in his industry, fail as often as he has and leave every bathroom smelling like a meadow of fresh flowers is delusional. That any member of the professional political class would then feign outrage over it being broached as a subject in a campaign brings that delusion to a new level.

But that’s what most of Donald Trump’s campaign success has been based on – delusions.

I can’t say what he believes in is wrong, but only because he doesn’t appear to believe in anything. Yes, his website does contain some policy statements, but there’s little evidence he’s read them since he can’t articulate any coherent position on those or any issue.

His website, by the way, lists five “positions,” not issues, none of which are possible to change without Congress. Yet he’s shown no ability to work with anyone in politics except Democrats.


More importantly, he can’t speak about the five positions. His written tax “position” will lower rates, which is good, but he doesn’t seem to know it. Listening to him try to explain issues is like listening to high school students try to explain the theory of relativity. Part of his plan reads, “That removes nearly 75 million households – over 50% – from the income tax rolls. They get a new one page form to send the IRS saying, ‘I win.’”

Is that what the country needs? Even more people paying nothing but getting more from government? Isn’t that how we got where we are now?

Of the five “positions” Trump has offered, only one has any details to speak of – immigration. It’s detailed because it was basically written by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and his staff. But Trump himself said “everything is negotiable” when it comes to immigration.

That line actually was spoken in response to a question about what to do with the 11 to 30 million illegal aliens already in the country and whether he actually would deport them, as he’s said he would. You’d think that would throw up a red flag to those who jumped on the Trump train early because of immigration, but it hasn’t.

Rather than demand answers, the fainting couch club has marveled at Trump’s ability to command media attention and control the narrative.


First, a naked man in an intersection yelling at a manhole cover will command media attention, but you shouldn’t elect him president.

Second, the media has taken swipes at Trump, but if he gets the nomination, we’ll see a non-stop barrage of scandal until election day.

Trump hasn’t burdened the American people with details of his plans, or a vision for the country beyond “It’ll be great” and “We’ll win again,” but he has lowered the bar of political discourse to the point we need a shovel to find it. And forgive me if don’t take the word for what is “great” from a guy who finds everything covered with gold leaf to be “classy.”

Everyone is “fat,” “ugly,” stupid,” “a loser,” “a liar,” and everything else you’d overhear on a celebrity roast on Comedy Central. And it would be funny if this wasn’t a race for the White House.

His supporters either can’t see that, or won’t. Which makes their pearl-clutching over Rubio informing the world of fraud charges at Trump University and Cruz pointing out a guy in construction in New York City might know some unsavory people all the more pathetic.

Donald Trump is not God, in spite of what he may think. To see so many people I otherwise might respect throw down their coats to protect his shoes from a mud puddle when he turned on the hose is a shame.


I’m not saying not to vote for Donald Trump or even that you’re crazy if you do. All I’m saying is if we can’t ask for a few details about where he would lead the country, let alone the Republican Party, we’re no better than the Democrats with Barack Obama in 2008. Trump is everything to those who need such people to make their lives better. But he offers nothing in the way of specifics because those in position to demand them have not bothered to do so.

If everything is indeed negotiable, then nothing matters. If you have no core principles, there is no standard to which you can be held. People are projecting onto Donald Trump whatever they want him to be, whatever they need him to be. Shouldn’t someone ask what he actually believes at some point?

Trump fans appear contented in his being “different,” and an “outsider” who will “shake up the establishment.” Those are all meaningless. He’s been on every side of every issue, sometimes in the same speech, but sycophantic talking heads don’t bother to demand clarity.

So, allow me. I’d like some clarity.

I’m no fan of voting for the lesser of two evils, but I’m less of a fan of voting for someone on the possibility they won’t be what they tell us they will be. We can fight the devil we know because we know them. But replacing their egomaniac with a pen and a phone and no respect for the Constitution with our egomaniac with a pen and a phone and no respect for the Constitution does nothing to restore this country to greatness.


Unless and until Donald Trump can articulate a clear vision for the direction of the country, I can’t support him. I’m not saying it has to be a vision I like, but presidents shouldn’t be elected on spec. Delusional demigods with an (R) after their names are no better than delusional demigods with a (D) after theirs. If we can’t ask questions and get answers, if we’re just expected to follow because someone is leading, we’re no better than Democrats.

And until he demonstrates he does understand issues and can speak about solutions, expect other candidates to continue to ridicule him for it. If he wins the nomination you can be damn sure the Clinton machine and the media will.

You can let go of your pearls, now.

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