As I read the Beltway Boys and Girls react to Donald Trump, I get the feeling it is 1979 when the guys who had their jobs then were warning that a popular celebrity would cost the Republicans a chance at winning back the White House. Populist. Demagogue. Racist. (Many a pearl necklace was clutched when he opened his campaign in Mississippi,) Oh sure, Ronald Reagan had some Democratic friends, but even going into the convention in Detroit, the party's establishment threatened to bolt. Indeed, John Anderson even made a third party run.
Outside of Breitbart, few conservative writers are willing to stand up for The Donald.
Laura Hollis is one. She wrote a column explaining why people support Trump:
People are tired of being silenced. A lot of Americans — not just middle-class whites — are tired of being told that their concerns are stupid, that they are racist or sexist or ableist or otherwise biased and should shut the hell up. They have questions. They have concerns. They have opinions; they have something to say. In comes Trump, who says what he thinks, insulated from political consequences by his fortune, and undaunted by the shame-and-blame game that the press has dutifully doled out for years to protect Democrat candidates and whittle the Republican herd. He has thumbed his nose at those who think they control the message in this country; he is speaking for a lot of people, and they are cheering for him.
Those who truly want to understand Trump's role in the 2016 presidential election would do well to spend less time listening to Trump and more time listening to those who support him.Then there is Michelle Malkin, no fan of Trump; they have a feud dating back to 2013. She told The Blaze:
I completely understand why so many of my friends have thrown in with Donald Trump despite what I think should be some underlying real concerns and suspicions about where his instincts are and where his gut is.
If I had to choose between Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton I wouldn’t have any hesitation pulling the lever for Donald Trump,Malkin's opposition to amnesty for illegal aliens trumps her personal dislike. That is admirable.
Today, Ross Douthat of the New York Times admitted he underestimated Trump:
First, Trump has had a very easy time turning his celebrity fan base into a meaningful constituency. Exactly how meaningful remains to be seen, but for months far more Republicans have told pollsters that they intend to vote for him than have rallied to any other banner. They may not all be Trump voters in the end, but that there is a significant Trump faction in our politics no sane observer can deny.
Second, that faction has turned out to include precisely the kind of voters Romney needed in 2012 and who stayed home instead: Blue-collar whites with moderate views on economics and a weak attachment to the institutional G.O.P. (So weak, a recent New York Times analysis makes clear, that many are still registered Democrats.) These “missing white voters” might not have put Romney over the top, but they certainly would have helped his chances in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan — all places where Trump is running strongly at the moment.
Third, even as he’s wooed the disaffected and non-ideological, Trump has also won over or at least neutralized an important segment of the conservative media. He isn’t Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin, sure, but they’ve both been covering for him, as have a raft of performers who like to portray themselves as keepers of True Conservatism’s flame. And this cover has enabled Trump — no True Conservative himself, to put it mildly — to put together an unusual coalition, a mix of hard-right and radical-center voters, that’s unlike anything in recent politics.And of course there is Scott Adams, but rare is the pundit who has anything good to say about the most popular Republican presidential candidate heading into this election year. You know when 40% of a party is for one candidate in a field of 14, maybe you ought to figure out why.