One of the enduring mysteries surrounding the rise and continued popularity of Donald Trump, at least from the point of view of liberal Democrats, is how that can be when he is such a racist, sexist, homophobe who crushes the little guy beneath his heel. The bill of particulars against Trump is well known. He’s called certain women who have irritated him “pigs” and worse. He has implied that Hispanic illegal immigrants are criminals and rapists. To call his business practices shady is to put the matter mildly. No one knows where the homophobia charge comes from. Trump was probably for same-sex marriage before Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were and in any case follows what Ted Cruz called “New York values” where it comes to LGBT people.
Jonah Goldberg recently hit upon the answer in a recent National Review piece. The reason people don’t care if #Donald Trump is a racist, sexist, homophobe who despoils the poor and cheats his business associates is that is what the media and the Democrats always say about Republicans. Mitt Romney, John McCain, both George Bushes, Bob Dole, and even the great Ronald Reagan were devils in the imagination of their enemies. The result is that when someone more fitting the labels comes along, his supporters just roll their eyes and ignore the shouting, first by his #Republican opponents, then by Hillary Clinton and her acolytes. The boy who cried wolf has met the liberal who cried bigot.
To be sure, no evidence suggests that Trump’s rhetoric has ever been matched by actions in his personal and business dealings. Trump will cheat vendors out of paying what his owes them. He has made creative used of the bankruptcy laws and imminent domain that don’t hold up to closer scrutiny. Trump has been a hypocrite where it comes to employing immigrant labor instead of native-born Americans. He also, as George Will once noted, has every disagreeable personal failure known to humanity. He is a political chameleon who has changed a lot of his political positions to make himself more acceptable to Republicans. But he has never been known to shaft anyone solely based on their race, gender, or sexual preference.
But all of that doesn’t matter. American voters, or at least enough of them, have decided that they have fallen for the bigotry charge once too often. When told that Trump is the devil, they respond, “Well, of course, that is what they always say.”
Then, too, Hillary Clinton is hardly a repository of virtue. Two-thirds of Americans think she is a chronic liar, an accurate assessment. Americans are therefore faced with the lesser of two evils. Forced to choose between Clinton, with her decades of experience with corruption and incompetence, and Trump, with his propensity to say anything, no matter how alarming, it looks like Americans will go for Trump. If that means they will be more likely to get a good job and less likely to be killed by a criminal or terrorist, it is a sacrifice Americans are willing to make. #Election 2016