In FrontPage today, I explain why Trump is so appealing to so many Americans — which is the same reason why the mainstream media hates him so passionately:
Donald Trump has just released his first television ad, and the predictable Leftist firestorm has ensued. Instead of being embarrassed by his proposal for a moratorium on Muslim immigration in the face of the ongoing jihad threat, Trump has featured it front and center. And it turns out that his talk about securing the Southern border is accompanied by footage not of Mexicans, but of…Moroccans! The hard-Left self-proclaimed “fact checker” PolitiFact has given the ad a “Pants on Fire” rating, and pundits everywhere are tut-tutting about how the shoot-from-the-hip blowhard has done it again, and surely, surely this time, surely, he has finally torpedoed his own campaign.
Responding to the nontroversy, NBC News stated that “Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told NBC News, ‘No sh—it’s not the Mexican border, but that’s what our country is going to look like. This was 1,000 percent on purpose.’” PolitiFact declared itself unsatisfied by this explanation – but its attention to this issue epitomizes how desperate the mainstream media is to derail Trump’s campaign, and how it keeps on trying to do it in a way that is certain to be ineffective.
Consider, after all, who will care that Trump’s campaign used footage of Moroccans when talking about Mexicans: Leftists who will crow about how Trump can’t tell his Brown-People-Whose-Names-Start-with-M apart, and who were never going to vote for him anyway. No one else. Back in the United States of America, no one cares. Trump will probably pick up some supporters from among those who know that border security and illegal immigration are major problems, and remain major problems even if Trump’s commercial uses video from some other place with border security and illegal immigration problems.
I am no fan of Trump. After he denounced our free-speech event in Garland, Texas, last May, which was attacked by Islamic jihadists, it is not at all clear that Donald Trump understands the jihad imperative or the war against free speech, or is at all equipped to counter them. When violent jihadis commit murder to prevent people from drawing Muhammad, to desist voluntarily from drawing Muhammad is to reward violent intimidation, and encourage more. When Trump said, “They can’t do something else? They have to be in the middle of Texas doing something on Muhammad and insulting everybody?,” he was revealing that he did not grasp that essential point, and was willing to acquiesce to Sharia restrictions on the freedom of speech.
It was an odd moment in a campaign that has been remarkable for Trump’s willingness to take on the Left’s sacred cows. He infuriates the mainstream media because he, unlike any other major candidate in recent memory, won’t dance to their tune: when Leftist journalists confront him about some supposedly egregious thing he has said, he doesn’t apologize, he doesn’t explain, he doesn’t back down – generally he doubles down, and with a cheerful defiance that has lifted the heart of everyone who has seen the arena of free discourse inexorably narrowed over the last few decades by the authoritarian enforcers of political correctness.
Many Americans love Trump because he says what they have been thinking, and have been thinking for a long time, even as they have been browbeaten into silence by a media culture that has been working for years to transform genuine and reasoned opposition to its political line into a faux pas, a “gaffe,” a step outside the realm of acceptable political discourse. Not content with electoral victories and effective control of the media, the educational system, and the entertainment industry, the Left has been pressing for total victory: the moment when anyone who dares to utter a commonsensical conservative view, such as “We need to take steps to stop Islamic jihad terrorism,” or “We need to secure our Southern border and end this massive illegal immigration,” will immediately stop, apologize, and correct himself. Trump will have none of it, and that is why he is so widely beloved.
The rot, however, is already very severely advanced. A few years back, Muslims who plotted a jihad mass murder attack at Fort Dix approached a young man in a video store, asking him to transfer their VHS tapes to DVD. In the course of doing this job, the young man discovered that the tapes were gory jihad videos of beheadings and shootings and other bloodshed, and he surmised that these men might be up to no good. But before he called police (which, to his credit, he ultimately did, and the plot was foiled), he stopped to ask his boss whether his concern about the jihad material was “racist.”
That young man’s hesitation was a testament to the effectiveness of the Left’s war on common sense and reason. Now Trump is fighting back – and horror of horrors! He featured Moroccans in his commercial when speaking about Mexicans! That the media is now grasping at such straws as these, and expecting anyone, much less Donald Trump, to care, reveals how avid the Leftist establishment is to stop this man who threatens their hegemony.
Whatever happens to the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump, his challenge to that hegemony has been and is refreshing. If his insouciance in the face of those who set themselves up as our moral and intellectual superiors, and refusal to toe their line, survives his candidacy and spreads to others, he will have done the country an unparalleled service, no matter who is elected in November.