As Trump continues to dominate the scene, it’s fascinating to watch longtime, stalwart conservatives try come to grips with it. Trump has pushed them to the edge of the abyss, and they are looking down into that abyss and are terrified by it.
Ben Domenech, writing at The Federalist, warns that the GOP is now at a dangerous tipping point away from a supposed "freedom" agenda to something much darker. "What Trump represents is the potential for a significant shift in the Republican Party toward white identity politics," he concludes, as if that light just now went off in his head. Charles Krauthammer writes that despite its popularity with the base, Trump's immigration policy "would all be merely ridiculous if it weren't morally obscene." And you can almost smell the panic from longtime GOP consultant Alex Castellanos, who warns that Trump's campaign "must now be taken seriously by a stunned Republican establishment," pointing out that "desperate people do desperate things … and the American people despair their country is failing."
But that’s the thing. Their country — our country — is not failing. We’ve been told it is failing by those invested in that failure, but it is not. Likewise, our government is not some foreign occupying power, nor is it our enemy. Our economy remains the envy of the world. The challenges that we face, while significant, are no more intimidating than those faced by previous generations.
However, if you’ve built an entire political movement around the notion that we face a dramatic threat, but you are unwilling to take dramatic action to fix it, then you’ve basically created the conditions for somebody to muscle into your little con game and hijack it for his own entertainment.
That’s why Donald Trump.