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Video: Donald Trump, Rachel Dolezal, and 'Cultural Rubbernecking'

Last evening, Mary Katharine Ham and I made a rare appearance on CNN to promote End of Discussion and weigh in on the news of the day. Host Don Lemon asked us why Americans seem to have an insatiable appetite for real-life cartoon characters like Donald Trump and Rachel Dolezal. I likened The Donald's 
supremely Trumpian presidential announcement and the bizarre Dolezal spectacle to the car crash on the side of the road at which you can't help but slow down and gape:

On the 2016 implications of Trump's candidacy, I made it a point to mention that the real estate mogul's hard-charging, unapologetic style (and dripping contempt for the political class) may appeal to some conservatives -- but he's no conservative. He's a Hillary Clinton donor many times over who's supported single-payer healthcare, trade protectionism, gun control, tax increases and abortion. Donald Trump is a one-man political party unto himself, regardless of the label he's chosen for the moment. And perhaps his greatest skill is generating attention, which is why we were invited to talk about his announced candidacy on Fox and CNN on the same day. Meanwhile, the ridiculous Dolezal story boils down to a delusional woman who invented a racial identity, complicating the Left's identity politics rules -- at least for the moment.  Is she a villain for cynically stealing another group's privilege while refusing to own and check hers, or is "trans-racialness" a thing now?  She self-identifies as black.  Is that insufficient?  The details of this story are beyond strange: Her many lies, her lawsuit over racial discrimination as a white person, her (hilarious, in retrospect) racial attacks against the Tea Party, and her laugh-out-loud movie boycott campaign mentioned in the clip above.

And though my quip about Elizabeth Warren near the end of our exchange may seem like a cheap shot...is it?  Warren baselessly claimed a highly-sought-after minority identity during crucial years of her developing career, asserting that she was a Native American as she rose though the ranks in her chosen profession. Once she reached the pinnacle of that profession (as a tenured professor at Harvard law), she stopped "checking the box," so to speak.  Elizabeth Warren and Rachel Dolezal are just a couple of white people who pretended to be non-white, in furtherance of their personal and professional interests.  One is a national phenomenon and laughingstock. The other is a sitting Senator, beloved by the race- and privilege-obsessed Left.  Go figure.  We highlight Warren's 'stolen privilege' transgressions at some length in End of Discussion.  I'll leave you with our segment with Bill Hemmer on the impact of Trump and Jeb Bush's respective entries into the 2016 race:


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