Blue State Blues: Trump’s Closing Argument: You Can’t Always Get What You Want, But If You Try…

NEW YORK, New York — Donald Trump’s final pitch to voters is the same one he has been making the entire campaign. But it might not be the one you’re thinking of, as you consider the various slogans you have heard: “Make America great again,” “Repeal and replace Obamacare,” “Crooked Hillary.”

No, there is another pitch — and it is something you hear every single time he speaks, though it is not something he actually says.

It is the Rolling Stones song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” It plays at the end of every Trump speech, no matter what the circumstances might be.

It was there at the end of his nomination speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, as the ocean of balloons dropped.

It was there on Thursday night at The Farm in Selma, North Carolina, as fireworks exploded above an audience of 17,500 supporters.

And it has been at almost every campaign stop in between.

The song is an odd way to end a big political speech. First of all, it is a ballad, and runs much slower than typical Stones fare. Second, it begins with a choir — not pounding drums, or screaming guitars.

Most politicians prefer to go out with a bang, or at least a beat. But “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is more a kind of wistful consolation, an intimate word.

Yet there is a purpose to the song, and it lies in the lyrics. Not in the verses so much — though there is a reference to a woman with “blood-stained hands” — but rather in the chorus, which repeats the title of the song:

You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need

That is the subliminal message Trump has been quietly broadcasting into our nation’s collective brains over the past several months, and more.

And it makes sense, actually.

For conservatives, especially the “#NeverTrump” faction, Trump is far from the ideal candidate.

He is not the second coming of Ronald Reagan. He is not the fulfillment of the constitutionalist restoration that the Tea Party movement imagined, in its heyday. He is a former Democrat who still has big government instincts on several fundamental issues.

To liberals, Trump symbolizes everything they tell themselves they are against.

He is coarse, and politically incorrect. His policies on immigration and Islam reject the left’s multicultural ideal. He has attacked the central tenets of the leftist faith, from climate change to the war on cops. And, of course, he is now a Republican, which means he is, by extension, a racist and a fascist.

But the alternative has become intolerable.

Hillary Clinton is the first major presidential candidate to be under criminal investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during an election. That is not the FBI’s fault, or anyone else’s, except for Hillary Clinton herself. And the fact that the Democratic Party nominated her is a sign that her party is almost incapable of renewal.

Clinton also remains responsible for the deaths of four Americans at Benghazi — as does her boss, President Barack Obama. They have both said that they “take responsibility,” which is Washington’s way of ducking blame. But the fact is that the decisions they made before Benghazi allowed the attack to happen, and the decisions they made afterwards destroyed public trust.

Whoever wins the White House, America is about to face some very serious challenges — the overdue hangover of the Obama administration, whose negative consequences have been concealed by the media and ignored by the public.

Collectively, we wanted to feel good about the fact that we elected Obama, and so we turned away from what he has actually been doing to the country.

Starting Wednesday, you will begin to hear about the $20 trillion in debt, the stagnating economy, the calamity that health insurance has become, the imminent entitlement crisis, the growing threat of China and Russia and Iran and terrorism, and more.

As we face these problems — each one, a crisis on its own — we cannot trust the same people who are responsible for them. Nor can we trust the same policies.

We need someone new. And while Trump may not be the “someone” many of us imagined, he represents the only possibility of new leadership.

There is a relevant lesson here from the Biblical story of Noah, which Jews around the world will read in weekly services this Saturday.

The Bible describes Noah as a man who is righteous “for his generation.” (Genesis 6:9) It is a subtle criticism: Noah was not good in an absolute sense.

But in a generation of bad people, he was good enough.

When God is fed up with the corruption of the world, it falls to Noah, the best of a rotten lot, to save humanity by building the ark. (A big, beautiful ark.)

To some Americans, Trump is exactly what they want. They love him, and he loves them.

But Trump’s core supporters are a committed minority. For everyone else, there is Noah. Or the Rolling Stones.

You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.

Cue the fireworks. And the rainbow.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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