Trump and the Chattering Class - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Trump and the Chattering Class

It is a toss-up as to who is more bombastic: Donald Trump or his critics in the chattering class. The latter is generating sympathy for him among primary voters by reacting so hysterically and pompously to a handful of off-the-cuff remarks. How bad can he be, they conclude, if liberals are calling for him to “leave the race” and boycotting him like a Christian baker?

In some respects, Trump’s critics exceed his bombast. They obnoxiously present themselves as arbiters of who is and who is not worthy of running in a party they hate. Their unsolicited advice on the “best candidate for the GOP” is always fatal.

So if primary voters are shrugging off their sanctimonious treatment of a trivial exchange of insults between John McCain and Trump, that’s no surprise. They long ago learned not to take the chattering class’s self-important outrage seriously.

Notice that journalists who helped elect Bill Clinton are suddenly calling Trump a “draft-dodger.” They are busy producing pieces with headlines such as, “What Donald Trump was up to while John McCain was a prisoner of war.” The Left used to glorify people who avoided the Vietnam War; now it lampoons them. Bill Clinton was praised as thoughtful and sensitive for once writing that “one of my roommates is a draft resister who is possibly under indictment and may never be able to go home again.” Clinton added, “He is one of the bravest, best men I know. His country needs men like him more than they know. That he is considered a criminal is an obscenity.”

While the chattering class parses endlessly Trump’s remark about an old war, today’s wars escapes its notice and concern. More of its time has been spent on skewering Trump than on the jihadist killings in Tennessee. The media, to the extent that it is highlighting the story, is playing dumb about the jihadist’s motive. His past, according to headlines, “reveals few signs of rancor.”  Sources in the stories profess astonishment that such a normal young man could commit such an appalling act.

The media is once again displaying its obtuseness about the doctrines of Islam. Journalists act baffled as to how a devout Muslim could ever choose jihad even as some of Islam’s leading imams call for it openly. The Chattanooga killer, Mohammed Youssef Abdulazeez, undertook his act of violence not in defiance of Islam’s doctrines but out of a deepening fidelity to them. A few days before the attack, he was reviewing those doctrines and the violent history of Islam in his diary.

Writing about the companions of Islam’s founder, Abdulazeez wrote in his diary: “We often talk about the Sahaba (RA) and their Ibada. We talk about their worshiping at night, making thikr, reading quran, fasting, sala. But did you ever notice that in one certain period towards the end of the lives of the Sahaba (RA), almost every one of the Sahaba (RA) was a political leader or an army general? Every one of them fought Jihad for the sake of Allah. Every one of them had to make sacrifices in their lives and some even left all their wealth to make hijrah to Medina.”

The media would prefer to call Abdulazeez “troubled” by job loss and drug use than to grapple with this devotion to Islam. While the media remained preoccupied with Trump’s supposed hostility to prisoners of war, it showed no interest in discussing the threat that Islamophilia poses to today’s soldiers.

The nation’s most serious problems are largely ignored as politics is reduced to a game of politically correct tattle-tales seeking to extract apologies from offending conservatives. The biggest controversies of the day almost always revolve around the media monitoring this or that odious conservative for ideological deviations. It is sad to see Republican candidates reinforcing the superficiality of this politics by competing with each other over who can be more offended by Trump.  

Some pundits claim this is the strongest GOP field in decades. That seems like generous praise at this point. The bland, politically correct pettiness of many of the candidates is leaving a void which Trump has filled. They won’t soar past him until they drop the media script and engage him on conservative, not liberal, grounds.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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