Charles Krauthammer is a prominent neoconservative commentator who has been reliably Republican for as long as I can remember. But he is also one of the few Republicans who have been critical of Donald Trump. In his latest column, he points out some examples of Trump’s ridiculously grandiose claims that I and other commentators have missed, and how his supporters simply lap it up.
Take the most striking — and overlooked — moment of Trump’s GOP convention speech. He actually promised that under him, “the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon — and I mean very soon — come to an end.”
Not “be reduced.” End.
Humanity has been at this since, oh, Hammurabi. But the audience didn’t laugh. It applauded.
Nor was this mere spur of the moment hyperbole. Trump was reading from a teleprompter. As he was a few weeks earlier when he told a conference in North Dakota, “Politicians have used you and stolen your votes. They have given you nothing. I will give you everything.”
Everything, mind you. “I will give you what you’ve been looking for for 50 years.” No laughter recorded.
In launching his African American outreach at a speech in Charlotte, Trump catalogued the horrors that he believes define black life in America today. Then promised: “I will fix it.”
How primitive have our politics become? Fix what? Family structure? Social inheritance? Self-destructive habits? How? He doesn’t say. He’ll will it. Trust him, as he likes to say.
After 15 months, the suspension of disbelief has become so ubiquitous that we hardly notice anymore. We are operating in an alternate universe where the geometry is non-Euclidean, facts don’t matter, history and logic have disappeared.
One thing that Krauthammer and his fellow conservatives, neoconservatives, and Republicans do not acknowledge is the fact that Trump did not materialize out of nothing. It is people like Krauthammer and the rest of the party establishment that created the very climate that allowed Trump to become the leader of the party. He did after all break the record for the most votes ever cast for a Republican nominee. That is not a sign of a hostile takeover but of a warm embrace.