International businessman, entrepreneur, builder and reality TV star Donald J. Trump once again displayed his uncanny and unprecedented ability to both dominate the national dialogue and roil the political waters with his most recent proposal to temporarily halt Muslim immigration.
Not surprisingly the mainstream media and the political establishment demonstrated their willingness to do anything necessary to smear Trump, distort his proposals and derail his candidacy.
The pundit class and their allies in the political establishment are already flummoxed by their failed prediction that the “summer of Trump” would dissipate in the Autumn as voters became “more serious” and looked again at the career politicians running for President. These are, of course, the very same people who said that Trump would never run to begin with and that his candidacy was simply a publicity stunt designed to burnish his brand.
The firestorm began when Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” Incredibly, NBC would edit Trump’s remarks to delete “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on” to make it appear Trump would close the country to Muslims forever, not at all what he proposed.
This bastardization of what Trump actually proposed then unleashed an unprecedented torrent of criticism that included most of Trump’s Republican rivals and all of the usual talking heads. Not since 1974 and the full out media assault against the embattled Richard Nixon have I seen such a one sided media attack designed to destroy the political future of a prominent public figure.
Some in the media even trotted out an old trick of canvasing White Supremacist groups in order to quote them praising Trump. Politico used this tactic in a breathless report by Ben Schreckinger. This reminded me of when CBS reported during Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign for President claiming that he had “met with Neo-Nazi elements” while on a vacation to Germany. It was of course a false report.
It’s incredible how many of the talking heads used the straw man of Trump’s supposed proposal to ban Muslim immigration permanently to denounce him as a bigot and a fascist and to argue that Trump’s proposal was “unconstitutional” as if foreign nationals possess US Constitutional rights. Trump, of course proposed no such thing. In fact federal law makes it clear that as President, Trump would certainly possess the authority to freeze Muslim immigration.
8 USC §1182 states: Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.
Once again, however, those Washington insiders in the lobbyist and consultant class will be sorely disappointed if they think that this flap will derail Trump’s candidacy. An examination of the Reuters Daily Tracking Pollshows that while Trump’s specific proposal was not tested, Republican Primary voters are deeply suspicious about the infiltration of the Muslim community by terrorist elements and are therefore far likely to put public safety over political correctness.
Indeed by Wednesday a Bloomberg poll revealed the 2/3 of Republican Primary voters agreed with Trump’s proposal to freeze Muslim immigration until a proper screening process can be put in place to vet those who would enter the United States.
Incredibly Trump’s rivals and critics have still not figured out that establishment attacks on Trump only galvanized his substantial lead in the polls and make the possibility that he could run the table in the early caucuses and primaries.
Trump’s fundamental appeal is based on a voter perception that he is not part of the “political class” and that because he is self financing, he is not beholden to any special interest, corporate interests, billionaires, or Washington insiders. Voters believe that Trump could therefore take on a fetid system that they see corrupted by corporate money and highly paid lobbyists.
Unhinged attacks on Trump that reached near hysterical levels this week only reinforce Trump’s status as an outsider as voters increasingly lump big media with big government and big business in their disgust.
America has lacked leadership for so long that when an unscripted uncoached and genuine Donald Trump lays out a blunt prescription for America in a straightforward display of alpha male leadership, voters in unprecedented fashion respond.
I confess to being a Trump partisan. I have wanted Donald Trump to run for President as early as 1988 when I arranged for him to address a Portsmouth, NH Chamber of Commerce luncheon that drew a “yuge” crowd. I served as Chairman of Trump’s Presidential Exploratory Committee in 2000 when Reform party leaders tried to entice Trump into seeking that party’s nomination to oppose George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore.
I was among those who wanted Trump to challenge the hapless Mitt Romney three years ago because I was convinced of Mitt’s inability to win a general election against Barack Obama. Although I have no formal or informal role in the Trump campaign, I remain a strong and vocal Trump supporter and I am confident that his most recent proposal designed to bar Islamic terrorist from the United States will help catapult him to the White House.