Noonan in WSJ: Trump “Was, as They Say, Declaring That He Didn’t Want to Invade the World and Invite the World.”
Peggy Noonan writes in her column in the WSJ:
You know he’s a nut. What if he weren’t?
By PEGGY NOONAN
Oct. 20, 2016 7:07 p.m. ET
Look, he’s a nut and you know he’s a nut. I go to battleground states and talk to anyone, everyone. They all know Donald Trump’s a nut. Some will vote for him anyway. Many are in madman-versus-criminal mode, living with (or making) their final decision. They got the blues. Everyone does. They’re worried about the whole edifice: If this is where we are, where are we going?
I get the Reagan fantasy—big guy with a nonstandard résumé comes in from the outside, cleans out the stables, saves the day. But it’s a fantasy and does not apply to this moment. I get the Jacksonian fantasy—crude, rude populist comes in from the hinterlands and upends a decadent establishment to the huzzahs of normal people with mud on their boots. But it’s a fantasy, and doesn’t apply.
Because he’s not a grizzled general who bears on his face the scars of a British sword, and not a shining citizen-patriot. He’s a screwball. Do you need examples? You do not, because you’re already thinking of them. For a year you’ve been observing the TV funhouse that is his brain.
Actually, Trump strikes me as remarkably psychologically stable under the decades of stressful situations he has thrust himself into. Compare Trump to poor Ross Perot who broke down in the summer of 1992 under the strain of running for President and disappeared for two months. Trump, in contrast, seems more like, say, George Steinbrenner, the combative owner of the New York Yankees from 1973-2010.
Mr. Trump’s great historical role was to reveal to the Republican Party what half of its own base really thinks about the big issues. The party’s leaders didn’t know! They were shocked, so much that they indulged in sheer denial and made believe it wasn’t happening.
The party’s leaders accept more or less open borders and like big trade deals. Half the base does not! It is longtime GOP doctrine to cut entitlement spending. Half the base doesn’t want to, not right now! Republican leaders have what might be called assertive foreign-policy impulses. When Mr. Trump insulted George W. Bush and nation-building and said he’d opposed the Iraq invasion, the crowds, taking him at his word, cheered. He was, as they say, declaring that he didn’t want to invade the world and invite the world. Not only did half the base cheer him, at least half the remaining half joined in when the primaries ended.
The Republican Party will now begin the long process of redefining itself or continue its long national collapse. This is an epochal event. It happened because Donald Trump intuited where things were and are going.
Since I am more in accord with Mr. Trump’s stands than not, I am particularly sorry that as an individual human being he’s a nut.
Which gives rise to a question, for me a poignant one.
What if there had been a Sane Donald Trump?
Oh my God, Sane Trump would have won in a landslide.
Perhaps, but would Sane Trump have bothered to take on the world?
Sane Donald Trump, just to start, would look normal and happy, not grim and glowering. He would be able to hear and act on good advice. He would explain his positions with clarity and depth, not with the impatient half-grasping of a notion that marks real Donald Trump’s public persona.
Perhaps, but it could also be that Trump’s lack of verbal fluency contributes to his aversion to the conventional BS.