Monday, April 24, 2017

A Trump in a China Shop?

A Trump in a China Shop?: In hindsight, much of the coverage of Donald Trump’s candidacy could have run under the same headline: Unexpected bull poised to enter china shop. But commentators spent virtually all of their energy expounding on the first half of that metaphor. Our campaign ethologists incessantly analyzed the behavior of this curious new political animal. What conditions created the bull, who's feeding it, why is it acting this way?
This isn't totally surprising. Such analysis of presidential contenders is the grist of campaign mills. What was unusual is how matter-of-factly the analysts cast America's institutions as a china shop.
We were continuously advised of the porcelain-level delicacy of our system of government. Were Trump to burst in, he'd raze the building and pulverize its contents. Dire warnings were issued by progressive columnists like Jonathan Chait (extraordinary threat to American democracy) and Paul Krugman (a corrupt nation ruled by strongmen) and conservatives like Michael Gerson (genuine threat to the American form of self-government). The Washington Post editorial board called Trump, on different occasions, a unique threat to American democracy, a danger to the republic, and the candidate of the apocalypse.

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