Thursday, February 25, 2016

Nobody Knows What Trump Would Do

The common hit on Donald Trump, now the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, is that he is all bluster and no program. What, after all, are his ten point programs for immigration and health care and growth and Supreme Court nominees?

Me too. I'm a conservative libertarian and I like a candidate that spells out chapter and verse. Only there is one little problem. Politics just doesn't work that way.

All skilled politicians are the despair of people like me. They make a lifetime career out of saying things that get people enthusiastic, but avoiding things, what the media call "specifics," that might give their supporters pause. Here's an example.

Derek Hunter faults Trump on college loans. A woman asks Trump what he is going to do about college costs and he delivers a bromide.
We gotta do something with the cost of colleges. Now, what’s happening is you’re a conduit for government to give money to you to give to the college. And the colleges, their costs are going up by a factor that’s faster than anything else, practically, is going up. People are making phenomenal salaries at the top.
Trump goes on to say that he is going to "look into this" and "come up" with something. Yes, but what exactly is his ten point program to do something about this? Trump doesn't say. Therefore he is an enigma and we conservatives have no clue what we would be electing if we make him president in November.

But that's what politicians always do. They make sure to sound concerned about a constituent's problem and then utter some meaningless bromide. Of course they do. That's how politics is played.

But let's pause for a moment. Look at the quote above. In response to the question "what are your plans to make college more affordable?" he accurately spells out the problem, that students are a conduit for government to give money to the college. How cool is that?

Really, we can't ask for more than that, on education, the man we elect to be President of the United States understands the problem of high college costs. The only thing he left out is that students are left with the bill. He would be a fool to get down to specifics, because the specifics would tell us who is going to pay for any program to make college more affordable. And that would annoy both students and colleges. It's pretty obvious what needs to be done. We need to stop sloshing free money around. But don't tell the students, and don't tell the college administrators, or you won't get elected president.

Nobody knows what Trump will do. But maybe that's not a bug, but a feature. I'd say that in the US right now practically everyone except the ruling educated class is feeling that nobody cares about them. Here's Donald Trump that has found a way of rallying the non-conservative middle Americans to his banner.

Isn't that what the wise heads have been telling the GOP to do since whenever? That the GOP has to break out of the base, do outreach, and create a message that resonates not just with white conservatives but with, e.g., Hispanics?

Suppose that is exactly what Trump is doing, except that he is not doing outreach specifically to Hispanics but to the whole universe of non-college-educated Americans, white, black, and Hispanic.

Can he do that? Is he doing that? Well, latest word is that the Democrats are starting to get nervous.

Because maybe Donald Trump has found a way to appeal to nominally Democratic voters that the Democrats have owned for the last generation with their race and gender politics.

Imagine if the Democrats woke up one day and pressed the race button and nothing happened.

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