A guy just won the Republican nomination for president by spending no money, hiring no pollsters, running virtually no TV ads, and just saying what he truly believed no matter how many times people told him he couldn’t say that.
I always hoped I’d see this once before I died. It’s like to going to Mecca, for Americans. Pay attention, because it’s the last time we’re going to see it in our lifetimes.
For those of you not yet on the Trump Train, I know you don’t want to vote for Hillary, but all the pundits have been trying to convince you that Trump’s a complete fraud. (That was between their smug assurances that he wouldn’t make it out of Iowa.)
It’s odd. When Trump launched his campaign by talking about Mexican rapists and the wall, his critics hysterically denounced him, rushing to TV to say he did NOT represent the Republican Party! Only after it became resoundingly clear that large majorities of Americans agreed with Trump did his critics try a new tack: He doesn’t believe it!
That’s what my friend Andy McCarthy at the now-defunct National Review wrote recently. I had to spend the weekend figuring out how to attack a friend without saying, “This is the most retarded argument I’ve ever read.”
Here goes: This was not Andy’s best effort.
Of all the arguments that could be made against Trump, McCarthy settled on: I don’t trust him on immigration. (I’d love to have been a fly on the wall at that pitch meeting.)
He bases this claim on a remark Trump made as a businessman four years ago in which he regurgitated the official GOP line about Romney — and which was being stated as fact 1 million times a day on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.
To wit, Trump told Newsmax that Mitt Romney “had a crazy policy of self-deportation which was maniacal,” adding, “He lost all of the Latino vote … he lost everybody who is inspired to come into this country.”
It is strange that Trump would denounce “self-deportation,” which is like a chocolate sundae compared to his own plans for illegals.
But to give you the tenor of the interview, Trump went on to promote “Celebrity Apprentice,” note that he had just bought the Old Post Office building in Washington, D.C., and boast about his recently acquired Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and Spa in Jupiter, Fla. — “which is a phenomenal area.”
Also, a lot of people didn’t like the phrase “self-deportation.” Why not just say: “They’ll go home the same way they came”?
So is Trump lying about his signature issue, immigration? The countervailing evidence to that 2012 pop-off is:
— Nine months of Trump soaring to the top of the polls and slaying all comers by talking about how he’s going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it;
— His never, ever, ever backing down on the wall, sanctuary cities, anchor babies, suspending Muslim immigration, etc., etc., despite unprecedented attacks from both the liberal and “conservative” media;
— The fact that he talks about immigration at every single one of his massive rallies and always gets the biggest, most sustained standing ovations when he mentions the wall;
— The blizzard of tweets he sent out in 2013 denouncing Rubio’s amnesty bill as it was sailing through the Senate, supported by the entire liberal media, Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, most of talk radio, and every other GOP candidate for president this year, including, for a while, Ted Cruz (whose job was to know about bills being voted on in the Senate, unlike a Manhattan developer);
— Trump’s one and only policy guy is the magnificent Stephen Miller, who was Sen. Jeff Sessions’ main immigration guy.
And so on.
Maybe Trump is the Manchurian Candidate and contrary to his entire life’s work he really just wants fancy people in Manhattan to like him.
Maybe the window into his soul is what he said four years ago about Romney’s phrase “self-deportation.”
Maybe 50 years of Trump’s talking about the working class was all a clever ruse leading to this one shining moment when he would trick Americans into voting for him, so he could sell us out, like any other candidate would.
On the other hand, maybe he’s changed his mind about that 2012 remark.
I’m bitter and cynical enough on immigration that I don’t trust anyone not to betray us. But if there was ever a candidate we could believe will build a wall and stop the mass importation of the Third World, it’s Trump.