This is an election where so far, every single interesting play was hatched by America’s favorite real estate tycoon. But Donald Trump’s stumbles over a shariah law scholar and Muslim immigration attorney remind us there’s a good reason the left dominates politics in America. If Trump is to win in November, he’d better learn from this.
This was a master play because, unlike Donald Trump, the left understands conservatives. Trump really doesn’t. He understands the media, as he’s been in the spotlight his whole life. He understands working-class whites, as he’s been working with them since he was a young man. But he doesn’t understand conservatives, as there aren’t many of those in New York City.
If it weren’t for the uniquely self-effacing psychology of conservatives, putting Khizr Khan on stage would have been a dopey move by amateurs. I mean, come on. The guy is on record, in print, in his own words, saying that the Constitution must be subordinated the Koran. He’s an immigration lawyer who profits from selling citizenship to whichever Arab can scrounge up the dough. He’s got financial ties to the Clinton Foundation and the Muslim Brotherhood. He’s dirty as a rat. He was an easy target. But the Democrats had an ace in the hole.
The right, especially its Wuss incarnation, absolutely worships the military. This isn’t about reason, this is about instincts. When a bald eagle, a uniform, and a flag-draped coffin come into the frame, the conservative drops to his knees, tears of holy joy streaming down his face. His instinct is to worship, to supplicate, and to adore. It doesn’t matter if the flag is a shield for a vicious leftist attack against our national existence. The conservative is to0 busy prostrating himself before it.
By contrast, when attacked, Trump’s instinct is to counterattack. This created the perfect storm. Trump appears to have been caught off guard, not realizing the entire power structure, media machine, and voting base of the party that just nominated him is completely psychologically short-circuited by dead soldiers and instinctively inclined to defend “our fallen heroes and their grieving parents,” regardless of context. And so when Trump moved to respond, he discovered that, rather than standing at the head of the flying wedge, he stood completely alone. The Republican Party abandoned him as casually and quickly as they abandoned Sarah Palin after the first media salvo. The right had preemptively surrendered. Many even joined the enemy. After all, there is nothing a conservative loves more than feeling that he was part of a moment when left and right stood together against a common enemy for sacred principle.
This was planned. The Democrats tossed out quite a lot of bait during the DNC. Maybe Trump would attack the retarded kid. Or the fat, ugly girl. Or the little Mexican girl. Each one was calculated to trigger a full-media, bipartisan assault on Trump if he took the bait by hitching leftist rhetoric to right-wing instincts. And when Khan took the stage, Trump bit. The Democrats knew conservatives wouldn’t take their own side in this fight, and they were right.
Of course, we can complain all day that a political party with real attack instincts would have begun digging up dirt on Khan the moment he took the stage. But that’s not the Republican Party. We can complain that a voter base that cares about its own interests should default to suspicion when its enemies, who openly despise the military, come marching in attack formation, bearing a flag-draped coffin before them. But that’s not the conservative base. The quivering moral cowardice in the heart of every traditional conservative and Republican leader is reprehensible, but it is for the moment an unchangeable fact of reality which Trump has to adjust for.
I absolutely do believe the polls that have Trump down eight points or so. They are consistent with the moral weakness of conservatives, the incredible power of an unopposed full media assault, and the complete inability of right-wing media to spread information beyond those already inclined to listen to it. We’re not going to raise any awareness of the Clinton Foundation’s crimes or Hillary’s brain damage. The only person who is capable of hurting Hillary Clinton is Donald Trump; he’s the only Republican who can force the media to put him on the air. But as this week has shown, despite his media talents, he’s not capable of fighting a two-front war. He’s got to learn how conservatives work and how to avoid the next trap the DNC-media complex lays.