Saturday, April 2, 2016

All Trumped Up

Maybe Susan Sarandon will think twice now before voting for Donald Trump.
The Republican front-runner managed to offend both abortion rights activists and anti-abortion activists by suggesting to Chris Matthews in an MSNBC town-hall program that women who have abortions deserve to be punished should the practice be made illegal. Even John Kasich, who has done a pretty good job of having it criminalized in Ohio as governor, found that remark to be stupid, and of course the National Abortion Rights Action League found it boneheaded beyond the pale. Trump, who later clarified, or attempted to clarify, his statement by saying that the punishment for illegal abortion should be against the doctors who perform them rather than the patients, accused Matthews of asking a convoluted question - even though Matthews' phrasing was clear and concise.
His air-headed rhetoric on foreign policy is even more terrifying, displaying ignorance of how trade treaties are enforced and of the need for the stable Western alliance represented by NATO.  When he said he wouldn't take nuclear weapons off the table - including where the Islamic State is concerned - the diplomatic salons of the world shook with justified fear.     
Ironically, Trump's own foreign policy advisers can make his stand on foreign affairs sound palatable, and even reasonable, as this PBS Newshour interview with Trump surrogate Walid Phares demonstrates.  When I saw this the other day, I asked myself, "If that's what Trump meant, why the heck didn't he just say all this himself?"  Because Trump is letting other people do his thinking for him.  
Maybe Trump, a formidable real estate developer, would make a better Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and maybe that's what he was actually running for when he began his presidential campaign.  But given his pig-ignorant (thank you, Roger Waters!) view of politics, and given his outrageous statements about abortion and foreign affairs (and don't forget his campaign manager's arrest for physically assaulting a reporter!), he likely wouldn't succeed at even that.  Either he will be a weakened Republican nominee or a failed candidate of what could be the first successfully contested  Republican national convention since Dwight Eisenhower overcame Robert Taft for the party's presidential nomination in 1952.
You know I might actually watch part of the 2016 Republican convention in Cleveland - it could be more entertaining than the Olympics! :-D      

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