Heather Wilhelm | A carnival of egos buoys GOP mess

Heather Wilhelm, Real Clear Politics:

Among other things, we’ve seen the incredible surge of an enthusiastic socialist—a disheveled old codger who thinks the federal government should be the solution to all of our problems—on the Democratic side of the aisle. Poor Hillary Clinton, no slouch in her love for government power, has had to struggle to keep up.

Perhaps this shouldn’t surprise anyone: The Democrats have peddled socialism, in multiple derivations, for years. What’s truly stunning, however, is the Republican side, where the ostensible party of “limited government” has a front-runner who might rival Bernie Sanders in his enthusiasm for government power. Donald Trump, after all, is a man who seems to think that the government can serve as a terrific solution to our problems, if only a man named Donald Trump is running that government like a well-oiled casino. Not like Trump’s actual casinos, though. Those tend to run into bankruptcy problems.

So, here we are—and in certain circles, the hobgoblin of panic lurks behind a particularly flimsy mental door. I suspect that people are starting to overthink Mr. Trump, particularly as his popularity refuses to ebb. Here’s the simple truth: The current state of politics is, in many ways, a farce. Too many politicians are inept, dishonest, or purveyors of the pseudo-sophisticated nonsense the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia memorably labeled “pure applesauce.” Trump supporters know this, and their candidate knows it, and he highlights this fact in a unique, entertaining, and sometimes dead-on way.

Is Trump really more outlandish than a kooky Bernie Sanders or a shady, power-hungry, and occasionally confused Hillary Clinton? Of course not—and yet, miraculously, in a campaign that should have been a Republican cakewalk, no one can seem to get out of anyone else’s way. It’s a veritable carnival of egos, paving the way for the biggest ego of them all.


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