Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Republicans have been...

...desperately searching for an heir to Ronald Reagan ever since the Gipper retired to his Santa Barbara ranch back in 1988. Although many have tried, so far no one has come close to connecting with voters like the 40th president. But I think the GOP has finally found its man.

Watch some of the video above and tell me that Donald Trump isn't Saint Ronald reincarnated, right down to his -- as President Gerald Ford used to put it -- premature orange hair.

Just like Reagan, the Donald's world is very simple and all of America's problems are easy to solve -- if only our government's "stupid" leaders would just get out of the way.

In that Q & A session in New Hampshire, Trump even begins by -- can you believe it? -- slamming Jimmy Carter! I've noticed that, like Reagan, Trump tells the same stories over and over and over, citing figures he either "read somewhere" or using "facts" he appears to have just made up on the fly. A tough talker (Republicans love swagger), Trump singles out China, Mexico and Japan for some reason (did they bar him from opening a hotel in Tokyo or something?) as our current international scapegoats instead of Reagan's bogeyman, the Soviet Union, and on occasion, some random South American "tinhorn dictator."

Also, like Reagan, the famous real estate mogul talks about the "old days" when our country was "strong and respected." (Republicans love the word "strong.") He appeals to his audience's basest fears and emotions by making vague promises to be "bold" (another big Republican word; just ask Scott Walker), knocks moderates like Mitt Romney, pledges to grow the economy (of course), slash regulations, negotiate from strength (there's that word "strong" again), defeat ISIS by bombing the hell out of their oil (as if no one in the State or Defense Departments had thought of that), build a wall along our southern border (and have Mexico pay for it somehow) and, naturally, have a "total commitment to the Second Amendment."

Trump, again like Reagan, sat out his generation's war but is "very big" on defense and veterans and promises to spend even more on defense (even though the U. S. already spends more than the next ten countries combined).

Finally, like the Gipper, Trump will just plain Make America Great Again. 

Think I'm wrong? Yesterday, Peter Wehner had a piece in the New York Times, "President Donald Trump? Just Say No," in which he pointed out (my emphasis):

For starters, Mr. Trump, though he claims to be a conservative, is nothing of the sort. He’s barely even a Republican. For most of the last decade, he was a registered Democrat. It wasn’t that long ago that most of his political contributions went to Democrats, including Senators Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton. Before he discovered his Republican roots, Mr. Trump favored a single-payer health care system and proposed a large “net worth tax” on wealthy individuals. He once declared himself “strongly pro-choice” and favored drug legalization. He is a vehement protectionist. Earlier this year he even accused Republicans running for president of “attacking” Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Why would conservatives find him the least bit appealing?

(Reagan was, of course, a New Deal Democrat at one time and was originally pro-choice as governor of California.)

Mr. Trump has no coherent governing philosophy. All he has is an attitude, and a crude one at that. As his announcement speech and subsequent statements have made clear, his command of the issues is superficial, his presentation often rambling and demagogic.

(Who does that remind you of?)

At the heart of Donald Trump’s candidacy is folie de grandeur. Mr. Trump will build a fence on the southern border — and get Mexico to pay for it. He’s got a “foolproof” plan to defeat the Islamic State “very quickly,” but when asked what it is, he told Fox’s Greta Van Susteren, “I’m not gonna tell you what it is tonight.” He’ll have a “great relationship” with Vladimir V. Putin while also keeping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. His policy views on China consist mostly of bluster (“Oh, would China be in trouble. The poor Chinese.”). Mr. Trump is eager to tell us that “there’s nobody bigger and better at the military than I am.” He also gets things done “better than anybody.” And he will be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”

Again, I ask, is this guy Reagan, or what?

As I wrote yesterday, don't underestimate Donald Trump. 

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