Trump is an equal opportunity offender

Trump is an equal opportunity offender

July 1st, 2016 in Opinion Times

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally onWednesday in Bangor, Maine.(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Photo by Robert F. Bukaty

Every time Donald Trump lashes out at his enemy of the day, he brings to mind comedian Mort Sahl's classic question to his audience: "Is there anyone here I haven't offended?"

He recently unloaded on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Republican cathedral. And to be sure not to forget anyone, he included Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, China, mainstream conservatives, and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka. In other words, anyone who isn't him.

He has ejected the decades-old conservative commitment to free trade, promising to junk trade deals such as the North America Free Trade Agreement negotiated over 20 years ago and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He seems convinced that if China promotes its national interest over American companies, a President Trump will speak and the world's most populous country will obey.

In deriding Clinton's alleged sellout to "global elites," Trump's wordy attack sounded like Howard Beale, news anchor in the film "Network." Voters, he said, should reject Clinton's "policy of fear and her policy of absolute nonsense because it's not working and it's grossly incompetent and we can't take it any longer, and we're not going to take it any longer."

In his appeal to blue-collar workers, Trump has managed to turn mainstream conservatives into collateral damage — thus in effect dismissing the likelihood that many will decide to stay home rather than supporting someone who is the antithesis of the party.

He alienated National Review, the best known conservative magazine. He prompted a Wall Street Journal columnist's conclusion that a vote for Clinton would be preferable to the disaster a Trump loss would inflict on the GOP. And last week, conservative columnist George Will cited Trumpism in resigning from the Republican Party.

The more Trump seeks to maintain the allegiance of his base, the more certain he becomes that will be enough to carry him to victory in November. He seems unaware that his toxic mix of nativism, misogyny and racism, combined with the GOP's failure to reach out to those who rejected John McCain and Mitt Romney, is not exactly a recipe for an electoral victory.

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