Donald Trump Sounds Like a Drug-Addled Rock Star By Charles C. W. Cooke

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Throughout, Trump made considerable hay of his not being a politician, to the point of boorish demagoguery. Given the scale of the dissatisfaction with Washington, D.C., one can understand why. One cannot, however, comprehend why his audience should not know better than to accept the ruse. In a cynical attempt to tap into latent unrest, Trump has set himself up not merely as another option, but as a veritable messiah who will bring salvation by sheer force of will, and who does therefore not have time to waste discussing details. As Alabama confirmed, it is not merely the case that Donald Trump is no politician; he’s not engaged in politics at all. In style, Trump’s shtick is akin to Barack Obama’s, pre-2009 — but, in the place of faux-moderation and ersatz Greek columns, he is offering mass public resentment and a kickass laser show.

All of which is to say that Donald Trump has matured in precisely the wrong direction, having moved from bumbling dilettante to Dunning-Kruger poster-boy in a single leap. Politics in a free republic consists of modesty, of compromise, and of dull perseverance. It is, by its very nature, the precise opposite of rock and roll. Self-described “conservatives” have historically prided themselves on their aversion to our gaudy celebrity culture and their disgust at the conflation of reality TV and the quotidian workings of the government. They should not abandon this virtuous instinct just because a rich and famous entertainer has donned an oversized hat and pandered to their prejudices for a summer. Not all stars that fall on Alabama should be given access to the nation’s nuclear arsenal. Let us leave Donald Trump to his trip.

— Charles C. W. Cooke is a staff writer at National Review.

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