Ben Shapiro’s insight that the media created Donald Trump reminds me of nothing so much as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters.
It’s no secret that Ben Shapiro does not like Donald Trump. Shapiro, a refined type himself, really struggles to see past Trump’s vulgarity and the constant dodging and weaving of someone for whom everything is a negotiation. Still, Shapiro is an honest man, and he recently acknowledged that Trump is the most conservative president in his lifetime:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 5, 2018
The above clip reveals that Shapiro has yet to figure out that Trump’s rhetoric is not wild, but tightly controlled, and is part of his power. But that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about one other thing that Ben Shapiro said in an article he recently wrote. Shapiro thinks, and I agree, that it was reasonable to believe when Trump, a lifetime Democrat and a social liberal, started campaigning, the he would have governed as a centrist or even as a soft Leftist. Certainly that’s what most conservatives worried about when they thought of President Trump. I wouldn’t denigrate Trump as Shapiro does, but he’s right about the fact that a warm Democrat embrace would have resulted in a very different Trump presidency:
Democrats had a massive opportunity when Trump was elected. As an ideological nonconformist and a reactionary personality, Trump seems particularly susceptible to praise and flattery. Imagine if Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) had strolled into the Oval Office during the first week of Trump’s presidency, sidled up to Trump, and told him that they’d love to impose indelible change on America by granting everyone comprehensive health care. There’s a decent shot that with the help of then–White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, Trump would have gone full Bernie Sanders. That isn’t complete speculation — in September 2017, Trump went over the heads of congressional Republicans in favor of working with Schumer and Pelosi to avoid a government shutdown.
Democrats, though, were so invested in Hillary, and so reflexively hostile to anything Republican, that they went in an entirely different direction. First, they ridiculed Trump: [Read more…]