Published on Townhall.com
On this, the Ides of March, the only man who can beat Donald Trump is Trump himself. “Donald, you talk an awful lot about looking presidential. Now, let’s see whatcha got.”
Granted, Trump is not a career politician, and some of his “trumpery”—if I might use the word—can be forgiven simply because he has rarely had to face oppositional audiences of the rowdy kind. As a businessman and financier, he has been accustomed to presentations at large gatherings of generally, well-behaved people not too different from himself. The debate audiences—occasional boos to the contrary notwithstanding—have been politely deceiving to a non-politician, whereas the likes of Bush-Cruz-Rubio-Kasich-et al cut their political teeth dealing with the loud and public ignorant behavior of others.
What happened in Chicago recently—no longer the vibrant center of boisterous freedom Carl Sandburg might have described—should give every lover of freedom a chill. Just when it became clear Trump could be competitive in his White House bid, out of nowhere step crowds of miscreants following the Saul Alinsky playbook and engaging in the First Amendment shutdown tactics the likes of George Soros, Michael Moore, Bernie the Mad Muppet, and Hillary the Free Felon might love.
What’s truly beautiful about Trump in the lead is not his sometimes crass, ill-filtered, stream of consciousness self-promotion. It’s not his ill conceived, half-thought about Syrian refugee immigration. It’s not his truly dumb comments about funding the legal expenses of A&B (that’s assault & battery) idiots amongst his supporters. What’s beautiful is that despite all the public and private plotting of right and left operatives, he has captured the ears of millions of disaffected Republicans, Democrats, and Independents—probably all of them (us) who actually work and pay taxes in this country, and are truly fed up with the status quo.
Of course, the powers are nervous because Trump may well move their cheese, upsetting decades of conventional political ineptitude with novel and successful approaches to problems without the “wisdom” of the establishment. What shakeup that comes may be much broader than, say, a Ronald Reagan setting aside a détente policy crafted by the fabled Henry Kissinger to move toward a, “We win, they lose,” approach vis a vis the Russians.
What’s not so beautiful is that the anti-Trump activities, high and low, above board and down dirty, subtract from the freedoms most of us say we want to enjoy. Worse, there are those—witness the shaky character in Dayton—with much more on their Todo list than a nasty shout-out. If the clear-eyed will take notice of Secret Service behaviors, those brave men and women, have their hands full—not because Trump is a problem—because way too many people who have frightened themselves about his ascendancy. One has to believe there have been credible threats against the candidate’s life, and the Secret Service is acting accordingly.
It is truly ironic—and sad—that people like Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich—men many could respect and vote for—so immediately jumped to the side of the State Media script points on the “violence” at Trump rallies. These guys all want to be the frontrunner, but have not completed the thought that if they were, those same thugs from the Bernie-Hillary-MoveOn.org crowd would be disrupting their campaign! In joining the claque of anti-Trump pap from the left, it could be argued they may be encouraging the very disruption and violence they now condemn. That’s the second thing that has to stop.
“Now, Donald, the first thing that has to happen is for you to have a serious talk with yourself about your first reactions to the unexpected. You are not responsible for the actions of others, but you are accountable for your own words and actions. Looking presidential means acting it, and for all women and men in front of a microphone, it means the filter must be in place. Don’t call them, “bad, bad, bad people,” for example because they’re probably not bad—they’re just the witless pawns of other, smarter establishmentarians. Instead of saying you’ll pay their legal expenses, insist that you will not pay their expenses because your people are better than that. You will not take the bait. You will not lower yourselves to the level of freebie-grubbers and do-nothings. The right strong words have a much more powerful effect: ‘Could Security please help these people leave for the job fair?’”
What Trump must internalize—assuming he remains the frontrunner after today—is that the very presence of the distupters means he is now the biggest threat to anyone who might oppose him. It means the powers of the political darkside see that only he stands between them and their prospective, progressive, political hegemony for the next generations. All by itself, that one factor is a powerful motivator. It makes people desperate, and the lovers of freedom under our Constitution must be increasingly vigilant.
All of the above should seem obvious to most people, but it must not be. The danger to Donald Trump—and to liberty—must be managed and managed well. Without a filter in place, he gains new voters but damages himself in the process. With a filter, he looks and acts presidential, and will harvest the vast numbers of new voters making a November victory all but inevitable.
Beyond that, an old saying, all too true, comes to mind: The dogs may bark, but the caravan always moves on.