Distrust Yourself before You Distrust the Candidate

Trust can be a double-edged sword when it is not founded on insight. In politics as in personal relations, one can trust the wrong person or distrust the right one — with unfortunate consequences. Political candidates almost universally craft their public image to play to the voter’s perception of their character — the “kissing babies” syndrome. They know that their audience is susceptible to emotional manipulation and so present themselves as deeply concerned with the public welfare, as scrupulously honest and, most importantly, as likeable and trustworthy.

But let the candidate refuse to play by the rules of the electoral game, to cast politically-correct caution to the wind, and to say directly what is on his mind without hedging or skirting contentious issues, and he will immediately be trashed as a moral pariah or an unsophisticated pleb. Establishment politicians will turn against him in an orgy of vilification and horror, and a partisan media will launch incessant volleys of contempt, vituperation and slander against both his character and his candidacy, dismissing him as a demagogue-in-the-making, a Republican version of Bernie Sanders, a social barbarian, a ruthless capitalist, and so on. In an access of unconscionable blindness, even so generally astute a commentator as Carolyn Glick has fallen for this canard, erroneously claiming that Trump offers no solutions to America’s problems, merely focuses on blaming others while channeling hate. The disreputable tactic of blaming Trump for the programmatic violence of the Left — a disingenuous maneuver of which even Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz (aka TrusTed) were not innocent — is another instance of such malfeasance.