Donald Trump has a special knack. No, it’s not for legally avoiding paying federal income taxes, though if a New York Times expose is right he may have done just that, perhaps for almost two decades. Nor is it for showing restraint. He recently told cheering fans in Pennsylvania that Hillary Clinton “could actually be crazy,” and that on September 11 “She couldn’t even make it 15 feet to a car,” and then pretended, like Hillary, to stumble before staggering around the stage. No, Donald Trump’s special knack is to make his most loyal supporters look downright foolish.
Speaking about Trump’s decision at the presidential debate not to throw Bill Clinton’s sex scandals in Hillary’s face, his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, went on television to say, “It was an exercise in tremendous restraint and restraint is a virtue, and in fact it’s a presidential virtue.”
Donald Trump has tremendous restraint? Who knew!
He’s also made his running mate Mike Pence, who repeatedly has to explain Trump’s behavior look foolish. And the same goes for Trump’s loyal surrogates, like Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, who are constantly trying to defend the indefensible.
As Yogi Berra is alleged to have said, “Predictions are hard; especially when they’re about the future.” With that in mind, I will cautiously say, I don’t think Trump is going to win.
But if he does it may be because millions of Americans who say they just can’t vote for him may change their minds – because they’ve had enough of Hillary’s smug supporters – including her loyal allies in the media – who look down their holier-than-thou noses at anyone who might even be considering pulling the lever for Trump.
In other words, as much as they don’t like Donald, they detest Hillary’s pompous supporters even more.
Let me get this on the record before we go any further: I do not support Donald Trump. I think he’s intellectually lazy, thin-skinned, and can’t control his impulse to humiliate his detractors.
But the Trump haters aren’t exactly candidates for sainthood themselves. A lot of them aren’t content with simply bashing Trump. They have precious little respect for anyone who doesn’t think he should be put in handcuffs and shot into outer space.
Let’s start with New York Times columnist Charles Blow. He recently wrote that, “If you support Trump, you are on some level supporting his bigotry and racism. You don’t get to have a puppy and not pick up the poop. … Supporting Trump is indefensible and it makes you as much of a pariah as he is.”
The very first line in a piece in the Chicago Tribune asks this question: “How can a decent human being support Donald Trump?
The piece goes on to explain how decent people can indeed support Trump, but I don’t recall reading a story in a big city mainstream publication that began: “How can a decent human being support Hillary Clinton.”
Then there’s this from NPR: “For long-time Republican Matthew Higgins, the moment of truth came when his nine-year-old son came to him with a question.
‘So daddy, is this how the political process works?’ said Higgins, recalling his son’s query one evening. ‘If you’re a member of the Republican Party, does that mean you have to vote Republican, even if you don’t agree with what the Republican is saying?'”
Really? What nine-year old kid talks that way? My guess is … none!
Apparently worried that some women might actually support Trump because his daughter Ivanka seems so reasonable, the Washington Post ran this headline:
“The contractor that designs Ivanka Trump’s clothes does not offer a single day of paid maternity leave”
And that’s her fault? Never mind that Ivanka runs a company that does provides paid maternity leave — where’s the story about Chelsea Clinton’s business dealings?
We all know that Hillary Clinton told a fundraiser of like-minded liberal swells in Manhattan that half of Trump’s supporters are so vile that they belong in a “basket of deplorables,” before apologizing – not for the essence of her comment but for the 50 percent part. So what percentage of Americans who support Trump does she think are deplorable? Forty percent? Thirty percent? Or maybe, a number closer to 100 percent.
I recently spoke to a woman who came up with that 100 percent number, a woman who normally votes Republican, but said she’s planning on sitting this one out because she just can’t support Donald Trump. “But,” she quickly added, “If there’s one thing that will get me to change my mind it’s this beyond annoying condescension and smugness that keeps coming from Hillary’s supporters. I can’t take much more of that.”
I suspect she’s not alone.