Monday, August 31, 2015

Why I beg to differ with Charles M. Blow about Donald Trump

Exposing Trump's shenanigans and idiocy 
more often is good for Democrats
I’m a pretty steady reader of Charles M. Blow’s commentary in the New York Times. Not surprisingly, he is justifiably offended by Donald Trump’s bombastic racism, sexism, jingoism, and general effusions of hot air. 

But Blow, in an August 27th Times column, said that he was now so offended — the final offense was having Univision anchor Jorge Ramos escorted out of a press conference for asking questions Trump didn’t want to hear — that Blow would no longer cover Trump.  Blow wrote of Trump:
“We can’t say he’s not serious and then cover him in a way that actually demonstrates that we are not serious. 
“Is he an easy target for righteous criticism? Of course he is. But is he aware that criticism from the mainstream media is invaluable among certain segments of the political right? Of course he is. Is he also aware that he’s getting more free publicity for being outrageous than he would ever be willing to buy? Of course he is. 
“The media is being trolled on a massive scale and we look naïve and silly to have fallen for it, even if he draws readers and viewers. When people refer to the press as the fourth estate, it shouldn’t be confused with a Trump property.”
Here’s where I disagree about covering Donald Trump, even though he is nothing more than an odious gasbag, a buffoon with an overstuffed ego and a mouth that deserves to be washed out with soap.

The best thing that could happen for Democrats would be for Trump to somehow get the Republican nomination. The latest poll, taken in Iowa the day before I’m writing this, shows that Trump has 23 percent of the  vote, reports the Des Moines Register. Ben Carson, gaining support, has 18 percent. Everybody else in the Republican clown car is in single digit territory. 

Great. May the biggest clown win, shutting out the so-called “serious” and “conservative” candidates who, if they win the election, have the competence and political machinery to do the most damage to everything from race relations, to the American worker, to the middle class, and to working conditions in thousands of American workplaces. (See, for example: Scott Walker.)

True, Trump is repugnant. Trump is  not only repugnant to Democrats. He is repugnant to undecideds. He is evidently repugnant even to a substantial number of Republicans. His nomination for President on the Republican ticket would almost certainly assure a Democratic win. 

More, not less press exposure, may eventually get a majority of Republicans to nominate him and vote for him in the Presidential elections. But a mere majority of Republicans is still a minority of voters. And the same exposure that raises Trump's favorability rating among the far right will lower it everywhere else.

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” said Justice Louis D. Brandeis. The best way to disinfect America is to shine a bright spotlight on Donald Trump.


Anonymous said...

You describe Trump as "nothing more than an odious gasbag." One could say the same of Charles Blow. His column and thinking are occasionally reactionary, and lacking in sound thinking. The NY Times online photo of his seems to me to be arrogant and smug, like his writing.

The New York Crank said...

I debated with myself whether to publish your comment or not, Anonymous. There's a considerable difference between Trump's in-your-face, often racist, usually nonsensical, and generally offensive patter, and Charles Blow's column. I'll occasionally disagree with Blow, but he's not a demagogue. Would that we could say the same about The Trumpster.

Also, I have no idea what the hell you mean when you say his column is "occasionally reactionary." And I think that y our attribution of smugness to his smile is a desperate search for evidence to support your dislike of Blow.

But what the hell. Let the chips fall where they may.

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crnk

Anonymous said...

I agree with all of what you said about Trump. (I agree with you about most things, and find your blog amusing, and heartfelt.)
Regarding Blow, however, I believe he tends to be reactionary at times in the sense that he does not put much thought to certain events and instead reacts in "knee-jerk," pseudo-liberal fashion.
As to a "desperate search for evidence..."? No, that photo always struck me as arrogant and smug, even before I read him or knew anything about him; that is just the way it seems to be to me. If I saw that picture of him anywhere else I would have the same reaction.