Camille Paglia: "This Is Why Trump Is Winning"
This week’s horrific terrorist attacks on the Brussels airport and metro raised the pressure in the already tight U.S. presidential campaign. Candidates of both parties were instantly measured against voter expectations of how a president could and should behave in a similar crisis.
Meanwhile, it was jarring to see a beaming President Obama relaxing at a Cuban baseball game, while grisly photos of the wrecked terminal and dazed, bloodied victims in Belgium were on steady media feed all over the world.
Given that most people, sequestered at their workplace, were unable to monitor the full range of responses throughout the day, the candidate who emerged on top was almost certainly Donald Trump.
Despite his alarming enthusiasm for waterboarding and torture, Trump’s central campaign theme of securing the borders and more stringently vetting immigrants was strengthened by the events in Brussels, a historic city whose changing demographics he had already controversially warned about.
Hillary Clinton’s Brussels response was basically boilerplate, calling for solidarity with Europe and playing chess with Trump to paint him as a greenhorn and hothead. Bernie Sanders (whom I support and contribute to) had little to say, beyond conveying condolences to the Belgian people, because foreign affairs have unfortunately remained a sideline for him.
Neither Sanders nor Martin O’Malley ever went after Hillary’s disastrous record as Secretary of State with the tenacity that they should have—a failure of strategy that has proved costly in the long run.
Ted Cruz took the prize for dolt of the day, however, with his call for U.S. law enforcement to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”
What exactly are the telltale signs of creeping radicalization that roving patrol cars would be able to spot—an uptick in Bedouin garb and the waving of scimitars in the street, as in a Rudolph Valentino movie? And how would American police “secure” any neighborhood without violating basic constitutional rights?
Trump may be raw, crude and uninformed, but he’s also smart, intuitive and a quick study who will presumably get up to passable speed as he assembles a brain trust over the coming months.
Whether Trump can temper his shoot-from-the-hip impetuosity is another matter. There is a huge gap between the teeth-gnashing fulminations of the anti-Trump mainstream media and the perfectly reasonable Trump supporters whom I hear calling into radio talk shows.
The machinations of the old-guard GOP establishment to thwart Trump voters and subvert the primary process are an absolute disgrace.GO READ THE WHOLE THING.