Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a notorious immigration enthusiast and one-time neocon-backed GOP presidential candidate, surprised a lot of people in the summer when he said of Donald Trump: “We might have a little bit of a Ronald Reagan here.” But he’s not backed down [Giuliani: Trump Has Been “Underestimated” Like Ronald Reagan, RealClearPolitics.com, October 13, 2015]. VDARE.com senior management drove up to Worcester, MA, last week to inspect this phenomenon. Our conclusion: It’s a phenomenon.
In fact, Trump’s November 18 Worcester appearance may have been a watershed. The next day, the Washington Post’s Chris Cilliza specifically referred to it in making a powerful argument (presaged by moi!) that Yes, Donald Trump could absolutely be the Republican nominee in 2016 (November 19, 2015):
Take a look at this shot captured by WaPo’s Jenna Johnson at Trump’s rally in Massachusetts on Wednesday night.
What do you see? People. Everywhere. Trump regularly draws thousands of people wherever he goes. While crowd size is an imperfect predictor of political success, it is a good indicator of the sort of organic passion and commitment a candidate is able to generate. People who take time out of their day (or night) to attend a political rally are the most motivated of supporters–and the sort of supporters every campaign covets.
Similarly, Rush Limbaugh mentioned Worcester in his ferocious monologue dancing on the conventional wisdom’s grave after Trump’s recent, widely unanticipated, poll surge:
I watched the video of this. Trump is drawing crowds that they’re not reporting on anymore. These crowds are huge where he’s going. This was in Worcester, Massachusetts, last night at a campaign event, and he got heckled. Now, this guy . . . You watch this video. Trump is just . . . It looks like he’s having more fun than I’ve ever seen anybody have on a campaign trail. Ted Cruz looks like that, too. But Trump just stands up there and smirks. You know, he’s just in total control. He knows the audience is eating it up.
Listen to what happened here . . .
Trump Rises After Paris Attack, Drive-Bys and Beltway Establishment Stunned, rushlimbaugh.com, November 19, 2015. VDARE.com emphasis added.
- Excellent organization.
Trump often gives the impression of being a one-man band, reinforced in Worcester by the absence of warm-up speakers or any aides: he just walked out on to the stage by himself. But the huge crowd (MSM estimates were 10-12,000 in a city of only 180,000, it completely filled the DCU Center) was moved into the building and through metal detectors very smoothly, to be pounced on and closely questioned by numerous Trump volunteers who said they were getting signatures to put him on the primary ballot. (Is this really necessary? Is Trump still thinking of an independent run–as indeed he has subsequently hinted [Donald Trump Isn’t Ruling Out Independent Run, by Jordan Phelps, ABC News, November 22, 2015]?)
Perhaps this is to the credit of the Worcester Police Department and the Secret Service (who were there in significant force–fortunately, see below). But my impression: there’s more depth to the Trump campaign than meets the eye.
- The huge (yuge?) crowd
Besides being huge (yuge?), the crowd was overwhelmingly white–as in, there may have been a dozen blacks (who, however, seemed as supportive as everyone else). I saw no other minorities. But Worcester was only 69.6% white in 2010.
The crowd was also overwhelmingly working class. Lydia thought the only people wearing jackets were Trump, the Secret Service, two of the protestors, and me. (She had correctly advised against a tie).
Worcester is a blue collar town (household income $46,000, vs. $67,000 for Massachusetts and $53,000 for the U.S.) but it has colleges and major medical schools, as well as (presumably) a professional class. They were not in evidence, unless they were the ones wearing the American flag suits, hats and muscle shirts.
How are you gonna jeer Donald Trump if you don’t go inside? Oh yea, and if you do decide to do this, just understand that this ins’t some naniburger with cheese like Bernie Sanders or Martin O’Malley. Trumps people will toss your ass out of there and your whole protest will go up in flames . . . [Hyperlinks added].
And it is true that the Trump crowd did react fiercely to the protesters (see below), although not much faster than the impressively efficient security. For some reason–well, for the usual reason–this has not made the MSM like the subsequent disruption of Trump’s speech in South Carolina [Black Lives Matter protester beaten and kicked after disrupting Donald Trump’s speech, by Dennis Slattery, New York Daily News, November 21, 2015).
But otherwise, and contrary to angry-white-male stereotype, the Worcester crowd contained many females and families and it was very happy–and seriously committed. In his article, WaPo’s Cillizza qualified judiciously: “Sure, some of the people who come to Trump rallies are only there to see the celebrity and bask in the spectacle.” I didn’t see that. These people were already completely sold.
This of course vindicates the insight of William A. Galston in the Wall Street Journal (not the Editorial Page): Trump Rides a Blue-Collar Wave|Fifty-five percent of his supporters are white working-class (November 17, 2015):
The biggest surprise of the presidential election so far is the emergence and persistent strength of Donald Trump. Although Ben Carson is remarkable in many respects, he is the latest iteration of a familiar figure in Republican primary campaigns: the favored candidate of conservative evangelicals.
By contrast, Mr. Trump is the staunchest champion of the white working class that American politics has seen in decades.
Thanks to a recently released survey, a collaboration between the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and the Brookings Institution, we can now identify with much greater precision the sources of Mr. Trump’s support and the sentiments of his supporters.
Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 39% of the white working class backs Mr. Trump, twice his share of white college-educated voters. Fifty-five percent of his supporters are white working class, compared with 35% for the rest of the Republican field and only 32% for Mr. Carson. (Links in original).
Which is precisely the demographic that the Republican Party desperately needs–the much-missed “Reagan Democrats.” The GOP needs, not minority outreach, but majority inreach, especially in the states of Greater New England–the northern tier from Portland, ME, to Portland, OR. Here, in the second-largest city in (actual) New England, Trump showed that he has that demographic eating out of his hand.
- The Creature From The TV Lagoon
The great, albeit immigration-shy, Charles Murray begins his Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010, with a portrait of America on November 21, 1963–the day before President John F. Kennedy was shot:
The Beverly Hillbillies with a rating of 34.9, meaning that 34.9 percent of all American homes with a television set were watching it. Since 93 percent of American homes had a television set by 1963, the upshot was that the same program was being watched in almost a third of all the homes in the United States. Those same staggering numbers went deep into the lineup. All of the top thirty-one shows had ratings of at least 20. By way of comparison, the number one show in the 2009–10 season, American Idol, considered to be a gigantic hit, had a rating of 9.1.
Murray’s thesis is that, in contrast, the top five percent of America now have quite different habits from the rest:
Members of the new upper class don’t watch much television. If they watch television news, it is likely to be the PBS NewsHour. Many don’t use the television for entertainment except to watch films. Others have a few series that they watch faithfully–in recent years, perhaps House or Mad Men. Satirical animated shows such as The Simpsons and South Park have some loyal followers among the new upper class. But these favorites are unlikely to account for more than half a dozen hours of viewing a week. Meanwhile, the average American watches about thirty-five hours of television per week.Much of that viewing in mainstream America consists of material that is invisible to most of the new upper class–game shows, soap operas, music videos, home shopping, and hit series that members of the new upper class have never watched even once. Emphasis added.
Trump has been on “mainstream television” for, approximately, ever—The Apprentice had been renewed for its fifteenth season when he declared for president, and he’s appeared on all kinds of other things I’ve never heard of. The crowd laughed knowingly when he referred to The Apprentice, and when he wound up his speech with “You’re fired!” These grassroots Americans simply feel they know Trump. He’s been a regular guest in their living rooms.
Perhaps this explains two peculiar features of Trump speeches–his dwelling on his poll numbers and on his net worth, as revealed by the financial statements he was compelled by election law (he says eagerly) to file. The Worcester crowd received these, respectively, with enthusiasm and surprising good humor. They seemed to regard them as a sort of sports report, which after all must make up a lot of those 35 hours of TV.
- The Ominous Protestors
Turtleboy has a funny if profane review of the protestors here. I thought it notable that the rather ridiculous group outside seemed predominantly female.
But I also thought it notable that two of the (male) protesters inside resisted removal, after being deliberately disruptive–one of them, in Turtleboy’s words, “like a wild cow that wouldn’t be branded.” Given that the MSM is obviously trying to construct a false meme that Trump crowds are violent neo-Nazis, it’s worth emphasizing that America’s Leftists really are violent–an aspect of their clearly-increasing sense that they are entitled to repress alternative viewpoints and openly wish death on their opponents, documented in Worcester by Turtleboy here and here.
As it turns, the wild cow, a Hispanic named Peter Rondon, has actually been convicted of trying to bomb a Marine recruiting office [Peter Rondon, protester arrested at Donald Trump’s rally, once left bomb at military facility in Worcester, by Lindsay Corcoran, masslive.com November 19, 2015].
She was apparently fired from her job–and called the police in an attempt to file charges against Turtleboy. (See what I mean?)
So the Trump protesters included a convicted terrorist and an inciter to murder. Great. But I can find essentially no national MSM coverage of the former, and not even local MSM coverage of the latter.
And this is very serious. Trump alluded in his Worcester speech to the fact that running for president has involved financial sacrifices for him. Unspoken, and undiscussed in the MSM, is the fact that it also involves a very real risk of assassination.
The MSM/ American ruling class has made repeated efforts, notably after the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, to blame conservatives for allegedly creating the climate that makes such things possible. Yet here it is making the wildest claims about Trump (Donald Trump’s Plan for a Muslim Database Draws Comparison to Nazi Germany, by Vaughn Hillyard, nbcnews.com, November 20, 2015–although until the Clinton Administration all resident aliens were required to report their whereabouts annually) while at the same time suppressing ominous evidence that the Left’s many crazies and savages are starting to respond.
This not headed in a good direction.
- The Speech: What You See Is Not What You Get
Trump famously speaks without a text or teleprompter. It’s really a sort of stream-of-consciousness monologue, with real wit and feel for the audience but no carefully-contrived effect. (Watch the speech here.)
This means that a Trump speech can’t really be analyzed for nuance like that of a conventional politician. For example, ever-focused on VDARE.com’s key interest, I noted suspiciously that Trump actually said nothing about legal immigration, despite the wonderful plan he has announced–talking instead about stopping illegal immigration at the border with no mention of interior enforcement, which is at least as important. But it turns out that, in Trump’s press conference just before the speech, he was as hard-edged as ever, explicitly saying that Syrian refugees in the U.S. must ultimately leave and repeated that he would consider shutting down certain mosques [Trump defends idea of shutting down mosques, slams Carson on foreign policy, by Sopan Deb, cbsnews.com, November 19, 2015].
My guess: Trump either forgot to mention this issue in his speech or just didn’t get around to it. After all, he had enough applause lines.
One Trump point on illegal aliens that seemed new to me, however: after decrying (to great effect) the murder of Kate Steinle, Trump said he would start deporting illegal alien gang bangers (“they’re GONE”) even before building his border wall.
Trump Raids to match the Palmer Raids? Unlike Obamnesty, there’s no doubt the Executive Branch has the authority to do it. The effect would be devastating–the most dramatic form of Strategic Deportation.
And while we were waiting for Trump to begin, one audience member provoked thunderous spontaneous applause by producing a sign emblazoned “BUILD THE WALL.” Subsequently, in Saturday in Alabama, a similar thing occurred: “The crowd . . . began chanting ‘build that wall’ as Trump hit on his signature issue–immigration.” [Donald Trump in Birmingham: ‘The silent majority’ roars at GOP candidate’s stance on immigration, Syrian refugees, by Howard Koplowitz. al.com, November 21 2015].
To forget his “signature issue,” Trump would have to be not merely stupid (which Rudy Giuliani says he emphatically is not), but deaf.
- Thank Heaven, Fasting, For A Good Trump’s Love
But, mistress, know yourself: down on your knees,
And thank heaven, fasting, for a good man’s love
Rosalind’s warning in As You Like It now applies urgently to the GOP Establishment: they should thank heaven, fasting, for a good Trump’s love. No-one else, and none but the issues he has pioneered, have comparable resonance with the white working class, the GOP’s must-have demographic.
Like Rudy Giuliani, I am old enough to remember the GOP Establishment’s now-forgotten but very similar incredulity, horror and panic as 1979 wore on and the nomination of Ronald Reagan–not seen then by any means as the grandfatherly figure of subsequent legend–appeared increasingly likely. The overwhelming MSM conventional wisdom (which the Stupid Party Establishment of course believed) was that Reagan could not win the general election. What now appear ludicrous expedients like imposing Gerald Ford as a “co-president” were very seriously attempted.
In fact, it took only one sound bite.
So, needless to say, the Stupid Party Establishment (urged on by the parasitical consultants who brought us President Romney) is gearing up to destroy Trump: Donors line up behind Kasich Super PAC planning Trump attack, by Emily Flitter, reuters.com, November 22, 2015.
The GOP is preparing to shoot itself, not in the foot, but in the testicles.