Glenn Beck doesn’t get it.
Specifically, Beck turned to a lengthy post on his Facebook page and asked (in part here) this about conservatives and Donald Trump:
This is not an attack, this is an honest question….
I really want to understand.
I get that Trump is reflective of what people are feeling; secure the border; fight to win; don’t give in to china etc. I really do understand that he is saying things that people are feeling. Justifiably.
I get the fact that he is saying that America is a great place and that we can be great again. That is rare and refreshing.
I understand that he is seen and has the proof in New York City, as a guy who can get things done.
I understand and like the fact that he just says what he is thinking. No politically correct bs; no focus groups and he does it with out apologizing.
But here is what I don’t understand.
He is part of the problem when he by his own admission, buys politicians; he said he identifies his “policies more as a democrat”; he makes President Obama look truly humble; he was very pro abortion until very recently; he still says “don’t defund planned parenthood”; he is pro “assault weapon ban”; he is in favor of a wealth tax that would just “take money out of people’s bank accounts”; he is for boots on the ground in Iraq and ‘taking the oil’ from the Iraqi people; he is a progressive ‘republican’; he says single payer health care works; he said he would give people more than just Obama care; the First Lady would be the first to have posed nude in lesbian porno shots; he said that he keeps all the bibles he is given in a “special place” out side the city — and he only goes to church on Christmas and Easter; he is generally not a likable guy; he has around 16% favorability with Hispanics and he has gone bankrupt 4 times.
This is an honest question. I really want to understand:
Why are big name “conservatives” supporting him? I get it if you are tired of politicians, a republican progressive, or you are only about winning (although those who say they would NEVER vote for him is over 50% of REPUBLICANS). Perhaps you are angry and you just want to make someone pay or just want something done and you don’t care how it gets done, but what PRINCIPLES does he have that they are attracted to?
I am not talking about the average Joe, I am talking about Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter. How about Savage or Rush?
Glenn’s question has been answered by Sean Hannity — in detail here. In part, Sean says this:
You are a friend and a patriot who has asked an honest and thoughtful question, and I will attempt to answer it in this post.
You asked, “Can we actually have a civil discourse based on facts? Not on emotion or feelings?” Of course we can! For all of you leftists out there in the media and elsewhere hoping this will become a “food fight,” you will be extremely disappointed.
Let me point out first that I am personally UNDECIDED as to whom I will support in the GOP primaries. The good news is the Iowa Caucus is February 1, 2016. That gives us over 5 1/2 months before the REAL process begins in deciding who the Republican nominee will be. Five and a half months is an eternity in political terms.
Sean goes on to say good things about all of the GOP candidates. He has in fact made a point to give these people plenty of air time on both his television and radio shows so that they can explain where they stand on the issues of the day. Since Glenn’s question was focused on Donald Trump, Hannity makes a point of answering in detail.
He gives a 15 point, very detailed answer to Beck’s questions on everything from guns to Iraq to healthcare to abortion and Planned Parenthood. Sean talks of Trump’s “refreshing” honesty about how the political system should be changed — because Trump has been a part of it and hates it. Sean makes a point of answering Glenn’s questions about Trump’s changes on issues over the years — by citing the changes Beck says he made in his own life. Or in other words, if Beck can change — why not Trump? On and on went Sean in his response, giving, I think, as thorough an answer to Glenn’s questions as could be had.
Beck: [Trump] says he is for boots on the ground in Iraq, and for taking the oil’ from the Iraqi people…”
Hannity: Mr. Trump and I disagreed about the Iraq war; I was for it and he was against it. But I loved his idea of making Iraq pay for its own liberation. I also love the idea of Iraq paying the families of nearly 5,000 Americans who were killed fighting in that war. They deserve that money. They deserve millions of dollars. Similarly, so do those soldiers and families that suffered severe injuries. It’s the least Iraq should do for them.
As far as Trump’s plan against Isis of creating a perimeter around the oil fields, which is their main financial source for terror? I like that idea, if it is a part of a more comprehensive plan of defeating them. Americans died in Mosul, Ramadi, Fallujah and Tikrit, cities now controlled by Isis. They are modern day Nazis and are getting stronger and richer and more evil every day. I have one caveat: IF AMERICA FIGHTS ANY WAR, WE MUST WIN IT AND WIN IT QUICKLY. NO MORE POLITICALLY CORRECT WARS THAT ARE POLITICIZED AND THEN ABANDONED.
This out of the box thinking is refreshing. Why didn’t Iraq pay our military heroes?
Beck: Trump was very pro-abortion until very recently.
Hannity: His answer at the debate was extremely compelling, about how his views changed. He said he changed his mind because of a child that was going to be aborted, but then wasn’t. That is believable to me. Do you think he is lying about that?
Planned Parenthood funding?
Beck: He still says, “Don’t defund planned parenthood …”
Hannity: I asked him about that this week, and he was very clear that funding would be dependent on whether Planned Parenthood gets out of the abortion business. Personally, with our debt situation, and with what Planned Parenthood has done, I wouldn’t give them a penny.
Guns and the Second Amendment?
Beck: Trump is pro- “assault weapon ban …”
Hannity: He said to me he that he “was” for the ban, past tense. He now has a pistol carry-permit in NYC and said he believes law-abiding Americans should have the right to “carry.”
Beck: He says single payer healthcare works; he would give people more than just Obama care …
Hannity: Again, this week, in his interview with me, Trump went into great detail about how he supports healthcare savings accounts to replace Obamacare. I have been an advocate of healthcare savings accounts since reading the book by the Cato institute, “Patient Power.” A GREAT IDEA.
Beck: He has gone bankrupt four times.
Hannity: I thought his explanation at the debate was extremely solid. He never went bankrupt personally, and of the hundreds of business deals he has been involved in, four of them didn’t work out well. Shouldn’t that be balanced out with all of the deals he has made that have been successful? I think that is only fair. How many jobs has he created over the years? How many careers were made because of his risk taking. Also the proof is in the pudding. He has by every measure been an extremely successful businessman who has made billions of dollars. Not something many people can pull off. I admire success stories. If Trump was president, and he made hundreds of decisions and only four of them went badly, we would likely be in pretty good shape.
Beck: Just based on his favorability ratings, he could never win in a general. Research shows that he may be near his ceiling now …
Hannity: In the end, that’s up to the American people to decide, not us.
And I would add on that last point something I have cited before. As Reagan biographer Steven F. Hayward has noted in his book The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order 1964-1980:
In mid-December (of 1979), a Gallup Poll showed Carter heading Reagan by a whopping 60 to 36 percent in a head-to-head match-up. (Carter pollster) Pat Caddell was confident of Reagan’s weakness. ‘There’s so much to work with, when you look at the data you just salivate.’”
Less than a year later Reagan carried 44 states, defeated Carter by almost ten points (50.8% to 41% with 6% for Independent Party candidate John Anderson) and won the electoral vote 489-49. So much for the data that caused Carter’s pollster to salivate.
One has to note here. Back there in the long-ago mists of late July, this was the headline in the Hill on Glenn Beck’s treatment of Donald Trump:
Trump coverage banned from Glenn Beck’s show
This seemed, I would suggest respectfully, a mistake. More typical of an Establishment Republican/ruling class mentality than Glenn Beck. In fairness, Beck himself was out that day this Trump ban was announced, but surely he knew and signed off on it if he didn’t come up with the idea in the first place. Thus aligning himself with the Huffington Post crowd who announced they wouldn’t give the Trump campaign the serious coverage it was giving others. Not to mention, as noted, the disdainful snorts of all sorts of Establishment oriented conservatives George Will, the AEI’s Arthur Brooks, and Charles Krauthammer.
What Sean Hannity’s lengthy, respectful and thorough response to Glenn Beck describes is in fact representative of the thoughts that one hears all the time from Trump supporters — and again as noted Sean himself has not decided on a candidate. But he certainly gets exactly why Trump is so popular. One can understand why the Inside the Beltway types and the GOP consultant class think the way they do about Trump — he is most distinctly a threat to their way of life and they know it. But it is a puzzle, I confess, that Glenn Beck of all people doesn’t get it.
In fact, Trump’s support is not at all different from the kind of people who tune in to… Glenn Beck.
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