“Does Donald Trump ruin the Republican brand,” asks Peggy Noonan in the WSJ. Well he certainly enjoys disparaging them and highlighting their weaknesses, while setting himself apart from Republican contenders.
But Donald does have a real following, and not just among Republicans. In what Ms. Noonan describes as “anecdotal,” here is what several people said to Peggy about why they like Trump:
They think he’s real, that he’s under nobody’s thumb, that maybe he’s a big-mouth but he’s a truth-teller. He’s afraid of no one, he’s not politically correct. He’s rich and can’t be bought by some billionaire, because he is the billionaire. He’s talking about what people are thinking and don’t feel free to say. He can turn the economy around because he made a lot of money, so he probably knows how to make jobs.
On Mexico and immigration, did Trump say, as crude as it was, what a lot of people are afraid to say, especially in the wake of the San Fran murder of a young women by an illegal-alien felon who had been deported five times? Illegal immigration is a calamity, says Ms. Noonan. “It is an admission by a nation that it has lost control not only of its borders but of itself. It is no longer functioning as a sovereign nation; it has lost its self-protectiveness and dignity.”
Dick and I just returned from a 10-day Harley trip through the Berkshires, into Vermont, New Hampshire, and over to the coast of Maine. Everywhere we go—whether driving 2,000 miles between Key West and Newport, or visiting tiny villages in New England on our motorcycles—immigrants from all over are working happily and efficiently in service jobs. To me, Ms. Noonan’s comments on NYC’s immigrants seem especially accurate:
We’re all limited by the facts of where we live and what we see, but I live in New York, surrounded by immigrants of all nations, many but by no means all from points south, and they are the hardest-working people in the city. They keep the place up and operating each day. Everyone thinks of them as the good guys—they make nothing worse and a lot of things better. Whether they are legal or illegal, I see how they work and what they do to educate their children and as human beings I honor them.
Peggy Noonan admonishes Mr. Trump, especially since he is a native New Yorker, for not remembering why paddy wagons are named that. “Think of how powerful he’d be if he had a longer memory, or could take tough stands without maligning people. That’s his weakness. Blowhards don’t wear well.” Read more of Ms. Noonan here.