Sunday, August 14, 2016

Stranger in a Strange Land: Trump's Conservatism as Second Language

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
For Trump, conservatism is a foreign realm to visit on the way to his final destination.
On Monday evening, Donald Trump gave a speech in which he attempted to lay out his economic plans for the nation. The speech represented his usual combination of good policy (tax cuts and regulatory loosening) and incoherent ignorance (free trade as the devil). But because Trump stuck to the teleprompter, for the first time in a week, Trump starved the media of a juicy headline — a gaffe that would distract from Hillary Clinton’s hurricane of incompetence.
And that minor amount of message discipline bore dividends: Within twelve hours, the news story of the day was that Hillary’s team had not only allowed the father of Orlando jihadist Omar Mateen into one of her rallies, but she had seated him behind her in full view of the audience and media. In other Hillary news, families of the Benghazi dead filed a lawsuit against Clinton. And in still other news, Hillary now has to answer questions about why there was material on her private server about an Iranian spy.
For nearly a full day, the news cycle seemed to spin Trump’s way.
Then the timer on his phone went off, and he realized it was time once again to shove his head up his ample orange rump. So, in the middle of a rally, he began rambling about Hillary Clinton’s Supreme Court picks. “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Trump mused. “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is.”
This is silly stuff even if we assume that Trump knew that the Second Amendment pertains to firearms (always a mildly questionable proposition, given his knowledge of the Twelve Articles of the Constitution). It’s silly because a Supreme Court ruling overturning Heller isn’t going to lead gun owners to storm the White House and take Hillary Clinton hostage. That’s a slur on gun owners. Gun owners would probably take violent action against government agents if those government agents showed up on their doorsteps and entered their homes to confiscate their rightfully held guns. It’s condescending and dumb of Trump to portray “Second Amendment people” as sitting around, oiling their AR-15s, waiting on the edge of their chairs for the moment Justice Obama rules that we have no individual right to keep and bear arms. Violence against the government is the last resort for law-abiding gun owners; Trump treats “Second Amendment people” as vigilantes on the loose.
But that’s the natural result of nominating a man who speaks conservative as a second language.
Read the rest of Ben Shapiro's op-ed HERE.

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