American Proscenium

The Bull in the GOP China Shop

There is little in Donald Trump’s record to inspire confidence in conservatives.  He supported John Kerry in 2004 and John McCain in 2008, and the list of candidates to whom he has given money—which includes Rudy Giuliani, Charles Schumer, Harry Reid, Newt Gingrich, and Hillary Clinton—contains not a single bona fide conservative.  Trump has embraced the noxious celebrity culture that envelops today’s America, and his boast of business prowess is undermined by his record of business bankruptcies.  Although he now claims to be pro-life, the twice-divorced Trump has no history as a social conservative.  Indeed, he first tested the presidential waters by briefly emerging as the leader of the anti-Buchanan forces within the Reform Party, before that mantle fell on the shoulders of an acolyte of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Despite all this, Trump is making headway with GOP voters.  According to an April NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Trump has risen to second place among likely Republican primary voters, at 17 percent, tied with Mike Huckabee and just behind Mitt Romney’s 21 percent.  Trump has already shown an ability to shape the debate.  Trump can legitimately take credit for President Obama’s decision to release the long form of his birth certificate.  If Trump can get the same attention from the other Republican candidates that he has already gotten from Obama, it may well...

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