A Crass Act

The current Republican front-runner is what happens when the media plays footsie with a demagogue.

Comments: 251

  1. The mouth of the jack booted horde
    Never finds the media bored,
    An audience for rants
    With fire in his pants,
    And Oligarch oxen ne'er gored!

  2. Larry, just curious--do you only communicate via limerick?

  3. @skigurl: apparently yes. But he's 90 years old, and a veteran, so I am willing to give him a pass.

  4. The word appears to have gone out that the left now must castigate the right for “fascism”. It doesn’t even require that a substantial number of Americans knows what that means – it just sounds icky. But a fascism is a dictatorship, a despotism, an autocracy. Trump, for all his over-the-top bombasts, he doesn’t suggest dictated solutions, as some we all know do, but that they be adopted by Congress. Indeed, if you bother to go to his website, you can see the positions he formally embraces, and they’re pretty moderate – it’s been suggested that on some issues he’s to the left of Hillary.

    Francisco Franco of Spain was a fascist – a benevolent one but still a fascist when I lived in the Spain he ran, from 1969-1971; a decidedly UN-benevolent one in the 1930s and 1940s, when he had gypsies machine-gunned in open fields. Hitler was a fascist, Mussolini was a fascist, the principal of my first elementary school was a fascist. The Donald is an entertainer and a demagogue.

    I note wryly that Charles doesn’t use Trump’s name anymore in his columns, but isn’t beneath exploiting his inkability when a column is due. Such are the little self-betrayals we all indulge.

    With all Charles’s concern that The Donald is dangerous because he has many followers, his popularity in fact is waning, with Cruz (another winner) and even Christie benefiting. I’m just wondering whether enough words will have been written about Trump before the first primary than existed in print before 1900.

  5. Just as the left throws out "fascism" without knowing its meaning, it seems that not only the left but its favored candidate doesn't know what "socialsm" is. Socialism is government ownership of the means of production. It is not despite Sanders' claims social programs such as healthcare, family oriented programs or childhood support. These may all be laudable goals, but they are not socialism. Oldest trick in the world: use words to cloud reallity. Left leaning Americans confuse Social Democrats with socialism and go into a swoon.

  6. Cruz, who in many ways would be even worse than Trump, doesn't stand a chance to become president. He may galvanize enough support to win a significant number of GOP primaries, but even if he were to somehow emerge as the nominee, he'd NEVER win the general. With the exception of a loyal contingent of right wing religious extremists, EVERYONE hates him--even in Texas.

  7. I hope you are not still clinging to the idea that jeb? will win?

    Trump is not a fascist.

    He is, however, a populist demagogue, and he represents a sizable percentage of the Republican and Independent population.

    I don't care about his position papers on his website.

    If we are to go the socialist way, I prefer the democratic kind, and not the national version.

  8. You can't bear to say his name but you can't resist writing about him. How do you justify it?

  9. Because now his statements -- and the support he is receiving for them -- have become the issue, particularly with regard to support among our allies for dealing with terrorism.

    Charles vowed to steer clear of him until he finally said something of note or merit. The mogul's current puffer fish imitation has no merit, but it is of unavoidable note, given the circumstances.

  10. Stuart: you can't google a non-name.

  11. Yes, the media has poorly chosen to amplify that megalomaniacal monster in the room, but the Republican party well deserves everything bad that is happening to them. I only hope it leads to a total implosion. Toxic Republicanism has for too long been a blight on the US.

  12. Please continue to remain silent on his name. All NYTs contributors should be encouraged to do the same.

    He is a product of the media who created and nurtures him. Deny him that, please.

  13. I agree. And while we are at, please keep all the Neanderthal photos of him out of the press too.

  14. I have a theory. It's only a theory, a daydream.
    The New York Loudmouth (NYLM) jumped in the presidential race as a PR play, to boost his stock, expand his audience, a chance to stand on the biggest soapbox. He never expected to lead in the polls. The last thing he wanted was to end up sitting behind the desk in the oval office. The plan isn't working out. NYLM says outrageous thing hoping to to finally get bounced out but it's doing the opposite. So now he's caught up in his own whirlwind, and the only way he can live with it is to become a believer himself of his own outrageous self. NYLM's psyche, big ego hiding fear of being weak, will not allow him to think, "This is insane! I quit." He would be "a loser". Result; a modern Frankenstein monster is loose in the world.
    Just a theory.

  15. Springtime For Hitler.

  16. @Ralph Averill

    I will take the theory one further. He knows that he either wins the White House or he is forever a friend of the family that does. He cannot lose. And he knows it.

    Finally, Hillary may have found a way to drag her discredited resume to the top.

  17. I have wondered if he escalates his rhetoric to get bumped out of the race. It reinforces his "reject me and I reject you" much repeated life approach.

    He would hate being President. You cannot quit. The money is not yours. You would have to deal with real problems that cannot be sold to get rid of them. Federal bankruptcy would damage his own monetary worth. Words would lead to actions by people with real power.

  18. Our media is set up to play footsie with demogogues. They must report during an almost 2 year campaign, every twitch and noise. Issues are sidelined. They earn huge profits from campaign commercials financed by the rich. They thrive on every negative aspect of US politics--- 24/7 cable magnifies the fund raising contest, then polling, then punditry, then more polling.

    I wonder, if 1 big media outlet refrained from jumping up at Trump’s every sentence, instead citing a few short select statements now and then, and turned their attention to issues—what would happen? Would the public stay away or tune in, to hear how their lives would be affected if each candidate won? Now the whole world including Israel and London must Respond to The Trump!

    We need a running table of issues compared for each candidate with their implications for the mass of Americans. Else why vote? The big money picks our nominees, and party platforms, dictating what’s off the table for debate, or permissible.

    So if critics don’t attack Trump’s ideas, he wins? And if they do, it solidifies his appeal, so he also wins? But I’m stuffed to the gills with polls. The Gop base is a minority of voters—the extremists. They are driving the whole media now. Charles, suppose you avoided polls and Trump for a while?

  19. Charles has conscientiously avoided the mogul and focused on issues. To answer your question as to what would happen if everyone followed a version of that policy, well, numbers would flock to Fox -- a network which would refuse to play by those rules. And the me-too networks would follow suit.

    Because in the end, who determines ratings? The ones doing the watching.

  20. Meredith,
    I think we should outlaw political advertising altogether. I actually think this is something that could get bipartisan support, because both Democrats and Republicans are tired of political attack ads. But this would require a constitutional amendment. Does anyone seriously believe political ads contribute to our democracy, are an important piece of free speech?

    It should be possible for the two parties to cooperate to set up a web site where candidates could post their statements, for free. As with Amazon.com or Google, particular statements would rise in prominence because people were interested in them.

    I'll admit there is a serious problem with my proposal. As a person who posts to forums like this one, I tend to assume that written statements are the best way of presenting ideas. In reality, voters want to be able to see their candidates, see their expressions and hear their voices. But I still think the system could be set up so that when someone had progressed a certain way through the internet vetting process (we have to limit the field somehow--we can't vote for thousands of people), they would appear in televised debates. This would put the priority on issues, not image.

  21. Mr. Blow,
    You are correct, he is a crass act. However, his message seems to resonate with a sizable portion of the population. Perhaps Americans recognize a kernal of truth within the rhetoric despite the way it is delivered.

  22. Demagogues transform a "kernel of truth" into their own agenda, which is not supported by whatever 'truth' is claimed. Were the Jews responsible for everything that was wrong with the German society and economy post-WW1, Dr. Rosenblum? What 'kernel of truth' was in that assertion that justified the "solution?"

  23. It's more than a kernel. It's a bushel.

  24. @Dr. Sam

    Exactly so. And Democrats squirm to think that people even "think" these things, let alone be seen in public supporting them.

    Everyone wants to make Trump a "racist". His crowds are large because many Americans are fearful and angry. The racist component (what makes a wall on the Mexican border "racist"?) is a minor part of what animates people. They see 7 years of bitter feuding in Washington and incompetence in our leadership.

  25. Thanks for avoiding the proper noun for he-who-shall-not-be-named. Because part of finally getting rid of him is not to give him publicity, I appreciate this strategy.

  26. Mr. Blow, Donald Trump didn't just happen. He's been a half century in the making. He is the walking ghost of Jefferson Davis, Woodrow Wilson W.H. Taft, Strom Thurmond, Barry Goldwater, George Wallace, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bush I and II, Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, Grover Norquist, ALEC, and...well this very short list might suffice. The entire racist movement in America is grounded upon white privilege. He-whom-you-refuse-to-name has called his followers together for a "tent meeting,"much like a Sunday preacher. The media is like a dog, by turns fawning and snapping. Columnists and editorial writers justify their column inches and air time with the tired "in the public interest." The media is like a street procurer; it's aware of the unsavory, unhealthy product but they sell it because they don't want to miss out on the next cheap thrill. A thriving democracy needs an informed and thorough press, a watchdog, not a lapdog. Add to the roster above these media culprits in whom "he-who, etc." may be linked: Fox News (I'm looking at you, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and your bosses Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch), Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, William Kristol, Alex Castellanos, and the WSJ editorial page writers. They all love the GOP front-runner and lead his cheers. What could possibly account for his popularity and lead in the polls?

  27. you left out Msnbc with it's Morning Joe program featuring Joe the jerk and a slew
    of yes men. (and women).

  28. reply to soxared: Excellent excoriating assessment.

  29. @soxarered040713

    It is a minor inconvenience to you that Trump has voted Democrat for most of his life, and his support reflects less about White privilege and more about fear. Reliable studies on his support show that many of his rally attendees are working class voters once reliably Democrat.

    Stop the navel-gazing on this, please.

    Trump appeals to people out of their fear, fear for the directionless leadership of the country to the eyes of many Americans. It is all well and good for those of us secure economically to put down others for not following the President, but we would be wise to notice that there is a wide swath of Americans who are either willing to shoot up a holiday party for jihad or turn to alcohol to numb the pain of a country that offers them a darker future.

    If you call a Trump support racist and a Ferguson protester justified, you are laughably tone deaf to your own irony.

  30. Has any Republican said he would not support Trump if nominated?

    Don't be fooled by any word games from the GOP.

  31. @David Henry

    Who in the Republican Party is "supporting" Trump now? Name a single person.

    Unleashing him as a candidate on an independent run is sure suicide. They were hoping for a miracle. A miracle that still might arrive.

    What else would you counsel that they do? Ensure that he is on the ticket? And throw the election to Clinton?

    That's interesting logic.

  32. Hasn't he threatened to go Independent if the GOP party rejects him? He is his own master when it comes to financing his campaign, so Trump does not owe anyone (meaning masters of GOP) anything.

  33. I think you're talking about candidates, but this Republican voter will be choking down the bile & pulling the lever for Hillary if Trump's the nominee.

    If it's Sanders/Trump, then I'll not not vote in a presidential election for the first time in my voting life. Neither is remotely qualified.

  34. The Triumph of Trump. He’s got world leaders from London to Israel speaking and tweeting their condemnation of his religious xenophobia.

    Boris Johnson, New York born mayor of London, said the reason he’s not visiting NYC now is that he might run into DT!

    Another year of this. Now the world, not just US media, hangs on Trump’s offensive utterances.
    I wonder if at NYT editors’ meetings they ever discuss cutting down a bit on their DT coverage ?

    We've gotten little coverage of Sanders' proposals, and 24/7 coverage of every DT idea or statement.

    Too bad the neighborhood near my home is full of high rise towers named Trump Place. Constant reminders just on my way to grocery shop.

  35. "Maybe it’s not traditional conservatism, but it is modern Republicanism, or at least a large enough portion of it to make the most inflammatory Republican candidate the most liked Republican candidate."

    They want to keep the substance, just replace the front man. Most of them want to be that replacement.

    Has a single one of them defended anyone Trump attacked? No. They've only said he should be more subtle about it.

    I think Trump was surprised this worked. He did it for attention. When it took off, he went with it, to see where it might go. Opportunism is his whole personal history.

    The only thing serious about his thoughts is the standard real estate developer thinking. The Republican Party is a distressed property. After Bush and the defeats, look at that Clown Bus. That is distressed. If he could freshen it up he could turn it over for a profit. In the process, he'd boost himself just like putting his name on towers he does not actually own. He'd gain prestige that he can turn into more money.

    Then surprise, it worked beyond his wildest fantasy. Well, go for it.

    Besides understanding Trump, this is a critical understanding of Republicans. He is what they are. He is not changing it. He's only freshening it up. He's adding some marble and neon and his version of "class" to what they already were.

    Republicans protest because he makes it too obvious what they really are. They use code words outside closed doors. See Romney caught when he thought the doors were closed.

  36. Excellent comment.

  37. "He is what they [Republicans] are."

    Hogwash. We may be a dying breed, but we moderate Republicans are HARDLY this.

  38. Good point, freshening up distressed property, and turned over for a political profit--exploiting every opportunity. It exposes the Gop for their true selves, no matter how they protest.
    And Trump’s name is on several high rises along the Hudson River. Think of coming home every day year after year, to be greeted by the words “Trump Place” in big letters. And paying plenty for it. After this campaign, I'd be apt hunting.

  39. The art of populism consists of taking an issue that the other politicians do not really address and providing a solution for it. Even if that solution is unfeasible, they are still the only one addressing the problem.

    Trump has done that very cleverly with Muslim extremism. We know that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are financing terrorism and Muslim extremism to such an extent that they can be considered the motors behind them. And yet our leaders do nothing to address those issues, both because they value the trade ties and because they find Muslim extremism and ISIS useful tools to achieve their own "regime change" and other foreign policy goals.

  40. The current Republican front-runner is what happens when the liberal media plays footsie with liberal policies too soft on terrorists and criminals.

  41. Eduardo,

    For you to attempt to foist off 'the leader's' comments as a fault of anyone but HIM shows how utterly inept your argument is.

  42. Show me liberal media in America and I'll offer you a bridge in fine condition... at a great price.

  43. dEs, do u have any in Texas? Want my shiny new bridge within easy driving distance, you know.

  44. I agree with Charles. Let's call he that will not be named: 'The Leader'.

    The Leader is 20 points ahead in South Carolina.

    The Leader is not going away.

    The Leader has indeed captured the pulse of a certain part of America.

    The Leader is very much representative of conservatism today.

    The Leader is like the character "Bill the Butcher" from the film "Gangs of New York".

    The Leader will capture the Republican nomination for the presidency.

    The Leader will not become President.

  45. I agree with Kevin, but rather than calling him "The Leader", I propose we call him "Il Duce" And perhaps we should take that book jacket photo of his pouty, puffed up, lower lip smirk and make a poster of Il Duce and plaster it up on walls through the land, and go to rallies, and chant in unison about making the empire great again, and invade Ethiopia! ...wait...what???

  46. From your mouth to God's ears. But if he's the nominee and there's another terrorist incident right before the election? The possible result is too awful to contemplate.

  47. Funny, in Germany some years ago, they used the same basic term.
    In English, it's The Leader; in German ... it's Der Fuhrer.
    Also funny: translate Hitler's speeches into English and you'll see major similarities in what Donald is saying ... with the same fear-mongering justifications, the same "I'll make this country great again", the same "I'm the one who can save you and give you what you want and keep you safe" and on and on.
    Maybe "funny" isn't the right word to use here.
    PS - I vote for calling him The Donald rather than The Leader.

  48. This was an excellent article about how the media created a monster. The fact that Blow doesn't mention his name makes it sound like a cautionary fable. Yet will the country understand the moral of the story or will this demagogue be elected?

    How I wish this were just a fable... It was entertaining at first but it's downright scary right now.

  49. We might ask how much damage are all the Republican candidates and their supporters doing to the national dialogue--and legislation and court rulings. Recently, for example, one Senator argued, after yet another gun massacre, that people need to be able to buy assault weapons so they are prepared for when law and order breaks down.

  50. That "one Senator" fear-monger is Linsey Graham of South Carolina. Name him.

  51. Thank you Charles, Now if you would discuss the news media's role in electoral politics. I for one will be gratified. Have you ever thought the news media makes more news than it reports?

    You see, this is what happens when the media plays footsie with a demagogue. This all started, I believe, as a sideshow. The media exploited the man for ratings — they saw an entertaining jester prone to outlandishness who supplied airtime and column inches, and he exploited the media to fill his bottomless pit of emotional need and to stroke his immense ego. For him, it was a branding exercise, something interesting to do that might help sell a few more shiny ties or increase his leverage for licensing his name to more real estate." Charles Blow

    The media sizes on the distractions offered up by disturbed personalities. It is so much easier than actually going out to report on the real world. Ever wonder what happens to the real news while the news media clowns around with the cult of personality? it goes down the toilet. Several big events besides shootings have occurred in the last few weeks but loading up the front page with the antics of a man so full of himself he can't see took the lead.

  52. Cruz wins in Iowa and South Carolina, Trump steps down and we have a Republican nominee actually worse than Trump.

  53. How come Trump is not shouting "birther" at Cruz? He is Latino, no? Canadian born?

  54. That could happen, too. It's still really early. This time in 2007, nobody knew who "Barack Obama" was.

    However, I ask again: if the GOP candidates are so awful, and cannot possibly win, and ensure a giant Hillary landslide -- why aren't the Dems and liberals happier?

  55. That is scary.

  56. I hoped you would write about Justice Scalia today, who bespoke his own form of racial razzle-dazzle.

    I have been thinking of Scalia and the work of Stepin Fetchit as a revolutionary cautionary tale. Deliberately calculated, it made fun of the fears of lynching and brutality and mocked the physical forces that regulated black life, for a privileged citizenry.

    His exaggeration of lazy (he was known as the laziest man in the world!) merged with the persona of the gentlemen of ease, those with great wealth--and with the resistance of those exploited and robbed of their labor’s value, those who faced a world of harsh, brutal, incidental hostility.

    His comedic rendering gave a new, unspoken meaning to these dangers.
    He was laughed at, and put down. But he never sold out. His speech and gait pointed to the price of his hurt. His agony was visible behind every laugh.

    He made the mask transparent to those who knew its code. Some of us see America with his eyes. Judge Scalia, we are looking at you.

  57. Do Republican candidates want to win the election or serve justice? Outspoken on Trump, so far silent on Scalia. They are a better fit for the dangers and stereotypes they seek to assign to others at home and abroad.

  58. re:Walter Rhett: Poignant and Profound- and on-point [as always].

  59. Please write a column/extended letter regarding Scalia's comments during the hearing, Walter Rhett. In the age of Donald, Scalia's and Robert's lines of questioning spout additional blood to draw the snarling thirsty beast.

    Your last sentence evoked so many emotions and memories leaving me short of breath and anxious: you speak the truth always with great eloquence and a certain, necessary sting. I only wish you had mentioned the actor Stepin Fetchit's birth name, Lincoln Perry; another wish is that you write a biography based on your brilliant analysis of his work.

  60. Trump's crassness is no act; he is merely mirroring our collective, diseased psyches. Have we not collectively colluded to produce a reality when this American Augustus gets to point a finger at a minority and say: let's get them?

    It wasn't Trump who organized the gun toting yahoos outside a mosque in Irving. He did not cause the muting of all republicans as soon as we learned that Oklahoma was the doing of radical Christians. Trump has not created this party of good Christian patriots who encourage armed militias, anti-government activists addicted to meth (and Fox). What were we expecting from people who institutionalized lynching and arson in America, defend the Dixie flag and slavery, openly advocate for preventing women from getting vaccinated or managing their choices, and say that math and science education is corrupting the young?

    We are a tinderbox of socioeconomic inequality and a kaleidoscopic mix of psychopathology in search of scapegoats. The republicans have seeded, wired, powdered and carefully planted fuses in this volatile kindling. They want all non-white Christians gone from America; poof! About half of all Americans silently agree with them. By not standing up, linking up, showing up, and voting - we have fueled their rise. Trump is just the flint; his sparks wouldn't catch unless fear, loathing, anxiety, and our desire to rid ourselves of our own darkness and frustrations were not nascent.

    Crass? Heck, we are pathetic Chuck!

    Kalidan

  61. Stop with your drama. This is about national security, not discrimination. The good people of San Bernardino will not forget.

  62. Kalidan, our kids, you know the ones in college, are hypersensitive to political correctiveness. They are shocked, shocked that by their parents and grandparents simply putting up with racism, xenophobia, homophobia, genderphobia and what not, "By not standing up, linking up, showing up, and voting - we have fueled their rise.". They are so sick and tired of inaction that they are actually speaking out. They might sound shrill, and they are specially dismissed by the GOP as "PC" kids, but their fight has just begun. May they lead us into the light, that's our hope for future generations.

  63. The hatred has been out there, Trump merely brought it into the open. I'm ashamed for our country. And ashamed of our "so-called" journalists who have given this man a voice.

  64. I'm a ardent supporter of free speech but what nameless is doing borders on a hate crime in my opinion. There should be something we can do within the legal system to shut this idiot up.

  65. Apparently under German law he could be tried for incitement.

    Understandably, Germany is quite conscious of where this path ends.

  66. What happened in San Bernardino was a hate crime - where's your outrage about that?

  67. What happened to "I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it"? If "offensive" speech is banned then Free Speech in America is dead. We are becoming a nation that is afraid to hear any idea or thought with which we disagree. Are our minds and morals so weak and puny that simply hearing repulsive speech will corrupt and convert us? The answer to offensive speech is rebuttal not repression. But that takes intelligence and effort. Much easier to just say "Ban it" so we don't even have to make the effort of turning away.

  68. Fascism is complex, multi-dimensional and comes in various shades and degrees. We cannot know what someone like Trump would actually do were he to be elected President of the United States. Speculation about the institutional dimension of fascism as perhaps embodied by any candidate is moot. That means, it is quite unlikely that a real dictatorship and the accompanying "Gleichschaltung" (expulsion of differing views and their proponents from media and institions) could happen in the U.S. even in a "light" version, in the way they are happening elsewhere, most recently e.g. in Hungary and, now starting, in Poland.

    However, certain very controversial ideas voiced by Trump and used by him are in fact right out of the fascist playbook, like the demonization of minorities and foreigners, the exploitation of fear and the suggestion of outlandish measures without regard for lawfulness and constitutionality (the constitution seems to be a commodity to be abandonded at the first of hint of its inconvenience).

    And, here Charles Blow has it exactly right, it is to be observed that there is an audience in the U.S. for this kind of talk, otherwise the front runner would not be the front runner. Let us hope that maturity will prevail.

  69. Mr. B. should realize that omitting Mr. T's name from the column simply draws more attention to the candidate. Inadvertently, like others in the media biz, Mr. B. is abetting M. T in his lust for the spotlight.

    That said, Mr. B. hits the bullseye on the would-be electorate. Mr. T's vast and apparently steadfast popularity is only a crasser version of that enjoyed by Ross Perot (Mr. P.) in 1992. The latter enabled the election of Mr. C. And were Mr. T. to gain the nomination, he would ensure election of Ms.C.

  70. sooo much of the establishment in this country from politicians to the media fail to understand the kind of anger that trump is tapping into in the populace at large. for decades now people have know from their experience in the world that things are a certain way, but when those same things are articulated by the media or presidential candidates they get twisted into a form barely recognisable to the population at large. examples: this free trade agreement with low wage nations where the people live in tents and make 1 dollar a day in wages is going to mean "jobs, jobs jobs" for americans, the suspect in this crime of violence is a young african american male., Wow who could have predicted that african american communities have a problem with crime, violence and poor personal decision making?. The latest machine gunning down of innocent bystanders at a shopping mall was committed by someone of Muslim background with a name like "Farrok" and wearing garb from the middle east... Wow how unusual all of these situations are..??? He is stating what people see in their lives as honest problems that are not being acknowledged or dealt with in an honest way by the media or politicians because they don't want to "offend" anyone. People are tired of that, and they want someone to take this stuff head on and they don't care if people are offended.

  71. If the sector of the population for whom you seem to speak have the same inability to differentiate the individual and the group, the few and the masses, I more clearly understand your and their attraction to the man whom we will not name. "'They' are murderers, 'they' are rapists ... ". Isn't that the way the "thinking" goes?

  72. Or if they get their facts straight. I imagine it must be very hard to hear accurately in an echo chamber of loudly bellowed xenophobia.

  73. In Trump's business, crass = class. Check out any of his buildings, solid proof of utter tastelessness. Transporting this crudeness to presidential politics merely exposes the GOP & its owners to long-term defeat – fine & dandy, keep it up, Trump, your thuggery will deservedly hang the GOP that fails to condemn you, that has no choice but to follow the raucous rabble it has assiduously cultivated for decades.

    The Dems are far more fortunate in their candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders – no farce, no fraud, all integrity, all honesty, all tolerance his entire life.

    Support Bernie & you support the vast good majority of Americans.

  74. Trump drives you crazy, so in response you drive the readers crazy and call it "we’re even"?

  75. Charles Blow has defined the Trump phenomena so well, there is little left to say. I said on the day that Trump announced his candidacy that he represented the heart and soul of the Republican Party. Five months later, his persistent front-runner status proves conclusively that he gives voice to the deepest spiritual values and political beliefs of Republicans, however twisted and distorted they may be. The only difference between Trump and other GOP leaders is that they temporize, knowing that those beliefs put the party on the wrong side of history. The only way they can distance themselves from Trump is to declare unequivocally that they will not vote for him for president, even if he wins the GOP nomination. Otherwise, they stand revealed as a bunch of hypocritical cynics, willing to put a xenophobic, Islamaphobic, racist demagogue in the White House, while rapping his knuckles when his bombast goes too far. What a pathetic, morally and intellectually bankrupt party.

  76. "He who must not be named" - hmmm.

    Maybe we should start calling him Voldemort. It seems fitting considering all the damage he is doing to the reputation of the US.

  77. "He" is not the problem, nor is the rest of the field. He's nothing but a truth-telling mirror who reveals the barely-concealed awfulness that lurks just beneath the surface of our society.

    In some ways, this spectacle of a race has been a good thing for what it has shown us about our nation and for letting us know how far we have to go before we can claim to be the fair, equitable, and rational society we profess to be.

  78. Interesting how democrats and socialists are howling in anguish over the words Trump, yes I said it Mr.Blow, Donald Trump is causing such an uproar for standing up for the security of America and it's people. I find it puzzling how a temporary suspension of allowing Muslims into the US until we can actually fix our immigration system and secure our borders is such anathema to people like yourself.

    Have you Mr. Blow, or any democrats ever howled in anguish over the utter destruction of the rights of the Japanese, Germans or Italians by FDR during WWII ? Yes, these were American citizens, not illegal aliens or terrorists trying to enter into the US for nefarious purposes. Their constitutional rights were trampled on with the blessings of a culpable democrat controlled congress under the guise of national security. They were stripped of their rights, imprisoned, their property and businesses confiscated simply because of their nationality by the beloved socialist FDR.

    So Mr. Blow, the next time you want to rail about what a racist Trump is and how much damage internationally his plan would create, you better look in the not so distant past of your own party and it's demagogue.

  79. As much as he is admired for the strength needed to lead this nation during his tumultuous time, and the many positives FDR accomplished, we are not blind nor afraid to face and condemn without excuse the suffering he also inflicted, rightly identifying those actions as our national disgrace. However, we cannot undo that which is has been done, we can only prevent it occurring again.

    We are at a similar crossroads, deciding the needs of people who are suffering TODAY, caught in the triangulation of their dictatorial government, those seeking to overthrow that government, and Daesh. We are also facing once again the struggle to retain and exercise our own humanity in the face of adversity.

    As has been mentioned many times, even before last week, Daesh needn't plant themselves among the millions of refugees, living for years under the same degraded conditions in the irrational hope of being among the very meager 1% who will gain asylum.

    From a even a strictly pragmatic perspective, leaving the refugees to suffer those camps makes us less secure by clearly illustrating the message of all terrorists: that the West cares about them not at all. There are those among our Congress and citizens who fail to realize this truth, choosing to remain deaf to the calls for both humanity and pragmatism. The longer this continues, the more disaffection created through their words and deeds, the less effort Daesh need expend in overt recruitment, as they do it quite efficiently for them.

  80. Thanks for proving Blow's point about the "body of the snake."

    FDR was not a socialist. He did not seize the means of production and give them over to the state. He literally saved capitalism from itself by drumming up demand through massive government spending. He also implemented these programs because he was worried about the spread of communist sentiment amongst a large segment of the population.

    And FDR's internment of the Japanese has long been condemned as one of the most shameful episodes in American history--by people on both the left on the right. In fact, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 was authored by members of both parties, and it provided internment survivors with actual reparations. It was signed by--wait for it--Ronald Reagan.

  81. Thankfully, Democrats have learned from that terrible mistake. T & fellow travelers not so much.

  82. Interestingly Trump actually helps the Republican party in 2 ways.
    1. It creates huge buzz for conservative issues and stirs up the blood in the base of the party. Not so much at the presidential level but where the GOP has been winning most elections for governor, state houses, as well as House and Senate races (note the GOP now controls many more of all of these than the Democrats)
    2. It makes Ted Cruz, Christie, and Rubio look like moderates. That could help pump their numbers and make them more competitive in caucuses and primaries. That will help the GOP get independents.

  83. His followers would do whatever he told them to do which is a danger in itself. Those folks watch FOX the propaganda network almost 24/7 and believe every word from that network. These folks helped Republcians roll back most of the gins made under FDR and enabled the 1% to take over the country. The sad part of that they are totally responsible for their own suffering now.

  84. Finally, someone said it. Ever since news became entertainment and a huge money maker, it has been creeping toward this moment when the (unmentionable name) would appear and media's thirst for ratings would help launch a very dangerous character into a very powerful position. We call this character the G.O.P.'s Frankenstein, but the media has provided the alchemy to bring him alive.

  85. Wow! Debra, great comment and analogy.

  86. Couldn't agree more! Sensationalism sells newspapers and draws an audience in the media. Just shut him out--he's not credible, to say the least!

  87. A perfect example was the recent "exclusive" promoted over and over on ABC and then replayed over and over of the vacuous "interview" Barbara Walters had with the guy shortly after his insane and dangerous ban all Muslims announcement. Her most incisive question was:"are you a bigot?" She then sat back and allowed him a platform to justify himself as a good guy with common sense. The other GOP candidates can't pay for that kind of constant, media exposure.

  88. "Attacking the front-runner for what he says is like attacking his supporters themselves, because he is voicing their deeply held views."

    This is interesting to contemplate. Of those expressing support for Trump's more controversial positions, how much of that is tied to deeply held views versus knee-jerk reactionary responses? "Block all the Muslims" appeals to the dualistic black and white world that many Republicans seems to desire, but it immediately falls apart when given any practical policy and implementation consideration.

    Can Trump's supporters understand nuance or implementation even if their candidate cannot? Is Trump truly appealing to deeply held views or merely amplifying outrage and narrow-mindedness at the surface level? Trump seems to be winning the realty political TV show I'm calling Extreme Reactionary Positions. It's great for short-term ratings, but does it truly have a lasting and loyal audience?

  89. Maybe on the part of some it's knee-jerk reaction, but given the bigotry that I've seen bubble way over the surface and explode since President Obama was elected, as well as the bigots Orwellian assertion that HE is the one who has divided this country, one can't discount that much of it is not only indeed deeply held, but very long held.

    Those extremists who have invaded the "leadership" on the right, of which Trump is only the loudest, have given those views wings and the sense of security that they can now be freely aired once again. His vast extremity has given the others cover to spread their invective without sounding quite as insane to the tin ear. both in the race for president and in the halls of Congress.

  90. If it does have a lasting audience, we're all in really deep trouble.

  91. I am never prouder of our nation, Charles, than when I see individuals speak without being carted away to protect precious ears.

    In time, America will see Donald Trump for who he is. It does not bother me that his words appeal to some Americans any more than it offends me that fellow citizens are attracted to your columns.

    That is what we protect in America. The right to disagree.

  92. Right Stuart, but it took WWII before the Germans were able to see Hitler for who he was. Let's hope Americans aren't trumped, er tricked, that long.

  93. You like our freedom of speech. Wonderful! What is your point? While Trump is allowed to say most anything he wants his fear mongering is coming dangerously close to yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. Sooner or later this irrational hate that he is stirring up will lead to genuine, physical harm for some people. Of course, there was that Black Lives Matter demonstrator who was beat up at one of his speeches. What about that guys freedom of speech?

  94. Yes, and I disagree with the likes of Trump and his gullible army of followers. While I believe in everything that has made this country a beacon, I've always held the notion that at every point we could lose it all. In my 69 years, I've never felt closer to that result. This guy has unleashed something into the public discourse that brings out the worst in us, and it doesn't show any indication of going away.

  95. " Everyone was fully aware of the incestuous relationship. It was all about money, money from ratings and name recognition".

    The statement begs the question; "What's new"? Every hour or each day- another slice of Donald Trump. Radio, Television, Online and Print. The media is addicted and often needs extra minutes- column inches to fill space; the go-to is Donald Trump and we indulge like an addict on crack waiting for the next "get high". The ultimate symbiotic relationship:
    " Parasites, for example, have a symbiotic relationship with their hosts, but only the parasite benefits. (courtesy of vocabulary.com)". Guess who? There is a way to fix this. A Donald Trump free zone. One complete day without any mention of Donald Trump from any media source- but can the addicts handle going cold-turkey?

  96. Trump said out loud what the GOPers have been intimating and the followers loved it for its bald clarity, finally stated. Trump is GOP crowd hate personified. Trump does not realize he has been overtaken. He is a puppet of the crowd's malice, ego puffed, out of control mouth and ego merged.

    Many otherwise sane people will fall for this. I see it around me. Educated, worthy and attracted to this sick flame. They may vote against their interests and all they actually believe in. Yes, Germany does come to mind.

  97. Trump doesn't realize he's been overtaken? Gosh, I wish that would be true, that inside all the evil swagger was a decent man. But really, I think he's relishing all of it.

  98. Those who support this megalomaniac's bigoted, racist, xenophobic diatribes finally have a representative that expresses their views. There is no giving them a pass. They are who they are.

  99. I love idiots who call banning Muslims "racists". Since when is a religion a race?

  100. Since 'Muslim' is identified with a certain hue of the skin.

    Beyond that, Americans are rather lacking in discernment with regard to who is a Muslim. Case in point: the idea that Obama is a 'secret Muslim,' an idea that persists against all evidence to the contrary due to the color of his skin.

  101. And what can we say of people who insult others in order to make their point? Is there no way to have a conversation without name-calling? I wonder if that is descriptive of their vocabulary.

  102. Because it's the primary religion of Middle Eastern countries and places like Indonesia and much of Northern Africa, primarily the religion of the darker-skinned people who have historically been exploited and colonized, not the lighter-skinned people who colonized them? Could that be what he means?

  103. Trump is thriving because the GOP establishment ignored the GOP base too long. I guess the elite liked the good life, DC style. Trump is a potential Andrew Jackson, a man of the people, who ran against ferocious establishment opposition. They called Jackson a lot of names too, ending with "President".

  104. Of all the myriad things that Donald Trump is, "a man of the people" is not among them. That's just the snake oil you're looking through.

  105. Are you serious? I find it hard to believe that any sane person would give "that man" any credibility. Are his stated views those of the "GOP base?" If so, I have much fear for this country.

  106. For Native Americans Andrew Jackson was a disaster, allowing the theft of millions of acres from peaceful agrarian tribes in the South East and forcefully relocating them to Oklahoma killing thousands in the Trail of Tears. Do we want something like this again?

  107. Re “What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for and, more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.”

    Trotting out trite truisms like this is part of our new house leader Paul Ryan's stock-in-trade banter who has himself been frustratingly vague about what his party stands for. Recall this is a man with an abiding high school senior´s naive fascination with Ayn Rand who imagines he is leading a charge to get the nation´s fiscal house in order. No reporting on this latest Republican dysfunction is complete without mention of the irony that this "reasonable" lawmaker who was touted as the best option for speaker participated in the notorious GOP meeting on inauguration day in 2009 where those attending agreed to block any and all legislation advanced by President Obama in order to make him a one-term president. In doing so, he helped legitimize a refusal to govern and the nihilism that now runs rampant among GOPers in the House. This chaos is not an overnight phenomenon. It's the product of several years of being a party that early on chose to "just say no."

  108. The only thing I'd add to your assessment of Ryan is that he is the one who submitted a budget proposal considered unscorable by the accounting folks. The reason? It "lacked numbers". Even when the CBO plugged in wildly optimistic numbers, the Ryan "budget" still increased the deficit. Competence at getting votes yes, at running the country no.

  109. In other words, the RepubliCAN Party became the RepubliCAN'T Party.

  110. Or, Jim, the elected Republican representatives were merely representing the people that elected them. That's their job, remember?

  111. First, the US and the world would be a better place if "That Man" got no face time or air time. I have read a position on him every day on this page!!!

    Second, he is saying what the GOP really thinks unfilited,

    Third, as strong as the rest of the GOP came out against him this week they all said they would support the GOP candidate in the end with no exception. What if it is "That Man" ??

    I watched a show on the History Channel last night about Germany in the 30's. As I sat there all I could think about was the GOP 2016 presidential race. Watch out America!!

  112. You and me both. My German husband, who grew up during WWII, thinks the same way as you re: the man who shall not be named. People think it can't happen here. Our job is to make sure it doesn't.

  113. As a historical note, there were many in the 30's who would refer to FDR only as 'That Man'. Those would have been the Republicans of that era.

  114. The media, the journalists, columnists, haven't voiced the current trend of shock and outrage that has been voiced by private citizens from day one of 'that man's' climb to Republican front-runner. It's sad, and funny, that people who are professional writers, reporters, do not, or can not, express the reality of the mad man at the front. He is not unlike the guy in a crowd who first yells, "Let's string him up!" Soon, quickly, all the lickspittles in the angry crowd begin to voice the same violent speech. Those of us old enough, and curious enough to view a different kind of movie from 1957 (the movie wasn't a western), remember 'A Face in the Crowd,' starring Andy Griffith. Plot summary: An Arkansas hobo becomes an overnight media sensation. But as he becomes drunk with fame and power, will he ever be exposed as the fraud he has become? Indeed, he was, as is 'that man' whose name we are sick of repeating and hearing.

  115. I've been calling 'that man' Lonesome Rhodes ( and PT Barnam) since he first started. Helps me keep perspective.

  116. Setting aside his xenophobic rants, he has plans to spend money we don't have and lower taxes to the point that we won't be able to even pay back Social Security recipients. His economic plans are beyond foolhardy Vote for Trump at your peril. He will make Bush 2 look like an economic wizard. An independent idiot is still an idiot.

  117. "I’m not sure which party Ryan has been paying attention to for the last decade, but to my eye and ear, extreme rhetoric is increasingly becoming intrinsic to the Republican Party. The front-runner is simply saying out loud what many conservatives are feeling — he’s not Svengali; he’s a crowd reader."

    And this is the crux of the issue. What appalls liberals delights the Trump crowd. The divide on values in our country has never been greater. And how I see Trump is this: as a translator to the common man of the positions so carefully couched in more arcane language spoken by some in the GOP and many in the halls of power where they are crafting legislation.

    Take every single Trump position--on immigration, on terrorists, on the economy (although he rarely speaks of that these days--and you'll find the seeds of positions taken by a party driven so far to the right since 2000 that it's falling off a cliff. And leading the crowd right over is the Pied Piper of anarchy.

    Charles you are correct to fault the media, who like the GOP as a whole have made a pact with the devil: you speak crazy and we'll cover it because the Democrats are boring and the bull fights in the GOP are entertaining. I think they're beginning to realize they've spawned a monster--and it's too late to put the genie back in the bottle.

  118. Except I would add a yuuuuge part of the media to blame is FOX Propaganda channel. They have apologized and promoted the racist, exclusionary attitudes and forced* the rest to come along.

    *Apologies, but the media are in a numbers game and always chasing an audience. If one crops up, they try chasing and coverage alters accordingly.

  119. The media may have spawned a monster in Trump even as the Republican party may have spawned a monster in the form of the potential Trump voters.
    God, guns, gays, and fetuses. Moral Majority, Southern Strategy, NRA, Right to Life, etc. The Republican Party courted these so called "values voters" but never delivered the goods they were after. The Party really only cared about low taxes, low levels of regulations, low levels of financial transparency, and cheap compliant labor. Now the monster had escaped the lab and wants blood.

  120. Many thanks for no longer printing the name of ' the front-runner ' !

  121. If Trump has made more obvious an infection among Republican voters, I think that infection was fostered by what came before, including all that "dog whistling" and our mainstream society's elevation of saying one thing but meaning another to a level characterized as sophistication, cleverness, savviness. This is where the manipulation has led. It probably didn't have to, but here we are. What do we do next? Other Republicans have so little leverage to make the case that Trump's ideas are wrong because to do so requires drawing lines most of the electorate won't see. Of course, this crisis may not mean that Republicans take the lesson that their strategy of saying one thing and doing another should be scrapped, but I am nevertheless hoping that Trump has busted the strategy by revealing its Achilles heel of a politician willing to takes the wraps off.

  122. Obama said on thing and did another on immigration, Obama Care (you can keep your plan and doctors). calling Mubarak a stalwart ally and deposing him a year lster. Iran nuclear deal 2012. "Iran must never become a nuclear Iran". What about his flip flop on gay marriage? Leaving troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016? Saying Assad must go several times beginning in 2011? What about bombing Syria's chemical weapons facilities? Saying he would not raise taxes on the middle class before the election and the letting the Payroll tax defuction after?He said he lacked the authority to issue the immigration order he did.
    You are so quick to denounce Republicans without specificity I. Your post. Feel fee to refute my facts

  123. Healed,
    I would put the kind of discrepancies you have listed in a different category (not better, just different) from the category of the kind of manipulation I was trying to get at -- for example, I think it was only Paul Ryan's critics who pointed out his reform of Medicare would be to reduce payments to limited vouchers.

  124. Under the guise of some sort of reasonable discussion the GOP has revealed itself to be the party of greed, racism, and xenophobia.

  125. There's a simple answer for the media: Do NOT cover his speeches. You want to note he spoke at an event? Okay...but why give him free air time to bolster his bigoted standing with his (largely) uneducated base?

  126. That's pretty much the tack they've taken with Sanders.

    Cognitive dissonance in the media... On one hand, he's vile, on the other hand, ratings....

  127. In dealing with the unnamed wannabe candidate, what we are really seeing is the result of hours of mindless couch potato 'entertainment' morphing into a reality show that goes on and on.

    Trumpty Dumpty is top of the polls
    Trumpty’s big ego savoring roles,
    Pres and commander,
    The boss of them all:
    Isn’t it time for ol’ Trumpty to fall.

    Enough is enough.

  128. He is the definition of White Trash.

  129. Best comment so far!

  130. Trump has caught the fancy of the conservative right who feel disfranchised by today's so called politicians. He is the voice of the "folk", of the GOP masses, who are the cannon-fodder, the cattle outside the slaughterhouse, serenely chewing the cud ... those to whom things are done, in contrast to those who have executive will and intelligence. His rhetoric is seemingly innocent of politics to which there is a collective responsive sigh of ‘alas’! But where and when the politics inevitably crops up is when we take this eventually to be the typical sentiment of american society at large and there is no more serious voice that stands higher than Trump's, then we are by the same token saying something very definite about that society

  131. I am sorry Mr. Blow. But the only Crass Act I see is the "Fascist" campaign invented from thin air to destroy Trump by his political enemies.

  132. The truth of the matter is the fact that most people distrust the liberal media, including Charles Blow. Obama, Blow and the liberal media time again fail to take Muslim terrorists to task by white washing their religion and making terrorists into the victims!

    Trump is calling it the way it is for better or worse. Innocent non Muslims including are sick and tired of being blamed for Islamic terrorism. And you know what, these people are waking up. Blame yourself Charles for not dealing with terrorism and Trump.

  133. So are you saying that there is not sufficient outrage in the media for your taste??
    Funny how people in Vt. and NH get inordinately bent out of shape about the evils of terrorism when they have virtually zero chance of being victims. The world can be a dangerous place. I accept that as a New Yorker every day and have never had it infringe upon my liberty for one second.

  134. Proud of being a bigot, Walter?

  135. Guess what, terrorism doesn't infringe on my liberty either. But keep believing that selective outrage is located in a finite area and is in decline.

  136. I agree. But the man whose name shall not be uttered is only one in a field of abject xenophobes. And the "base" is just as bad - and the other GOP candidates know it. So we have Ted Cruz postulating publicly as to whether or not sand will glow. Cruz and Bush are advocating letting only Christian refugees in (how they plan on doing that effectively is just as much a mystery as the statement itself). I could go on and on, ad nauseum.

    Our adversaries are also watching, most likely with amusement and glee. Just yesterday, Vladimir Putin stated that he hoped it wouldn't be necessary to use nuclear weapons in the region. Now, we know a thing or two about Vlad. One thing is that he does not like to be upstaged when it comes to inflammatory rhetoric. How many out there want to bet that Putin uttered his concern only after he had perceived himself to be "one-upped" by Cruz? My money is on that. Putin was probably thinking about Cruz's statement: "Dude, you stole my line".

    So it's not only the man whose name shall not be uttered. It's most of them on that side trying to appease an exceptionally xenophobic base.

  137. Charles-

    President Jimmy Carter banned Iranians from the U.S. in 1979. So, are you going to stop using his name in your columns as well?

  138. In its revolution, Iran basically declared war on the US, insofar as there are actual declarations these days. When countries are at war, obviously normal traffic ceases. The US could declare war on ISIS if it recognized that it is a nation, but anyway it certainly makes sense to ban anyone who is recognizably an adherent of ISIS. Trump and other Republicans call for banning all Muslims, of which there are more than a billion and a half in the world. Only a tiny fraction of these are adherents of ISIS and/or advocate terrorism against the US.

  139. Iranian is a nationality, a classification that is clearly stated on a passport. But Muslim denotes religion and is not mentioned on a passport. Or a birth certificate. Or a college application. Or a driver's license. We hold French or US or Iraqi or Belgian or Nigerian passports, not Muslim passports. Even on a practical, possible front, the proposal is steeped in shockingly deep ignorance.

    Trump made fun of Carson's Seventh Day Adventist religion so maybe he'll add that to the list too. If we have to add our religion to official papers, I think I'll opt for Rastafarian.

  140. Banning a nation is not the same as banning a religion.

  141. Looking at our country today, I agree with Mr. Blow's analysis that "His winning the Republican nomination would be the best-case scenario, not only for the presidential race but also for down-ballot Democrats."... but... it is not hard to envision a scenario where a mid-October terrorism incident somewhere in our nation or in the Western world could drive voters into the arms of a tough talking demagogue over a policy wonk or democratic socialist.

    I also wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Blow's conclusion that the Republican party is responsible for the rise of this demagogue and, as such, needs to reinforce Ryan's assertions by actively shunning not only the front-runner's invective but the hate-mongering of his opponents in the primary.

  142. Worse yet, an orchestrated scenario where a mid-October terrorism incident somewhere in our nation or in the Western world could drive voters into the arms of a tough talking demagogue over a policy wonk or democratic socialist. I do not put that beyond his capabilities.

  143. Well the remarkably timed financial crash occurred in September/October 2008 -- and catapulted Barack Obama into the White House.

    So it can happen. That's why it's a "horse race". You can try to account for who is up and who is down, who is popular or not -- but outside events in the nation and the world have impacts on elections.

  144. Mike, I don't know which is more disgusting: Trump's rhetoric or your insinuation that he'd orchestrate the death of innocent people to get elected.

    Off the rails there, buddy. Way off.

  145. I fully endorse your expansion of Goodwin's Law to include "he-who-shall-not-be-named" of America with the German original.

    But, contrary to some of the comments, I do believe that our version is every bit as dangerous to the world, and will do immense damage even if not elected.

  146. This is a start. The entire media, in conjunction with their sponsors need to do a lot of self examination, and figure out how to balance responsible and reasonable reporting and how that is impacted by ratings. Consumers have a part to play too.

  147. In It's a Wonderful Life when George Bailey finds himself in Potterville?

    To mix up quotes, I don't think we're in Kansas and this ain't Oz. I think we've landed in Pottersville.

  148. As you astutely point out nothing Trump is saying is new or ground breaking. All of it has been spewed for a decade of more on Faux News, by Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh just absent Trump's pomposity and bluntness. This has fed and unfortunately misled a significant segment of America into believing the hate filled prejudicial, racist and ignorant information being broadcast. Our image abroad has already been tarnished by the repeated failure of our Congress to act, repeated threats to shut down the Government , default on out loans , disgusting and xenophobic anti immigration policies and of course a complete denial of climate change and science. This hate and pattern of misinformation fueled the hatred which inspired the slaughter of the people at Planned Parenthood who yesterday in court essentially parroted what we heard Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina spew for weeks. With Trump's position atop the polls our nations faces a test which will ultimately determine whether there has ever been any truth to America being a nation that stood for freedom. ( including religious freedom ) , a bastion of democracy and a place where people could live and prosper and with hard work, determination realize their dreams.

  149. Donald Trump is tapping into that jugular vein of nativist racism endemic to the extreme Right of the Republican Party. The ensuing political hemorrhage will indelibly stain the Republican candidate in 2016. Millions of minority voters will take out their anger and frustration by voting against any candidate who is tainted with the same party label as Mr.Trump.

  150. Is it possible that he fears the day when possibly "millions of minority voters" want to establish a completely different culture within the United States, and a substantial minority of those are willing to use violence to get it?

    Sad and scary that so many will not even consider that possibility even with world events staring us in the face. PC blindness can lead to self-destruction.

  151. People didn't come here to establish their own culture.They came for freedom and opportunity, while retaining their cultural touchstones. I think that enriches America. What they didn't come here for is intolerance from bigots who by their ignorance and xenophobia disgrace themselves and all who support them.

  152. I agree that the media have completely screwed up on their reporting on Trump, but calling him a fascist is over-the-top ignorance. What journalists are terrified to address is that Trump is clearly hitting a nerve and is appealing to a lot of Americans. And no, it is not because of demagoguery or fear-mongering.

    Rather, Trump is a product of the failure of today's leaders to honestly address the real problems of this country and the world. Voters find his tell-it-like-it-is approach refreshing, and in any case more effective than the others. Islam--and not just "radical Islam"--is going through a profound crisis that is destabilizing the world, and the best our leaders can do is carpet-bomb northern Syria. That is decidedly not the solution, and as many point out is probably making things worse.

    I am not a supporter of Trump, but extreme reactions of calling him and his supporters fascist is not going help matters, it is just as ignorant as the phenomenon itself.

  153. Can we call him a "proto fascist". His statements and proposals are clearly
    inviting comparisons to fascism, especially the attempt to scapegoat Muslims, a tactic intrinsic to authoritarianism. The rantings about fixing things, building walls, deporting millions, making America great again are all hollow blusters, the kind anyone familiar with 20th century history has heard before. And the movement that infected a nation back then started with a very small but very vocal core group of fanatics.

  154. Is it religion or "Games of Thrones" middle east version.
    Frank look at the trouble spots like Afghanistan I (Soviet vs Western Bloc) and II (9/11), Iraq( WMD /Democracy) Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen,Burma,Chechnya, Kashmir, Palestine, Somalia, Ughars, (type of political rule and or territory) reveal these conflicts to be related to either political, territorial etcetera.
    The litmus test is as follows:-
    If the purpose or the reason behind any of these conflict was to "spread a religion" or spread a particular "ism" then that religion or "ism" should be invoked, attributed to, discussed or blamed as the casus belli.
    Nothing is going on in Islam but Muslims in certain countries are in Politico-Territorial conflicts.
    Please do not loco regional with the religion.

  155. How can anyone think that an egomaniac given to self-serving ignorant & incendiary ranting is possibly telling it "like it is"?

  156. The inability of the GOP to see The D as epitomizing what they stand for parallels their inability to see that trickle down never worked and won't; their inability to see that ObamaCare is RomneyCare and does work; their inability to see that additional tax cuts to the rich will bring the country down not up; the list goes on.

    It amazes me what blindness can accomplish when the people being aided by the blind are rich and stand to increase the power of their riches. To listen to Ted Cruz poetically use the rhetoric of the masses to justify enriching the wealthy in the name of freedom and to empower the ignorant in the name of healthy skepticism is breathtaking.

  157. Romneycare NEVER worked -- it sent health costs in Massachusetts (which never had a serious uninsured problem; it is a very small wealthy state) spiraling to become the highest by far in the nation.

    Obamacare is failing also -- exchanges are collapsing -- prices going up 30% a year -- people dropping out because they have such high deductibles. Even the NYT has covered these failings.

  158. It is time to stop venting over the offspring of an orangutan who is running as a fascist for the White House. The answer is not to attack him or his radicalized base; the answer is to shine a bright light on the orangutan-child's business associates, his social group, family and anyone who calls him friend. The media need to conduct background investigations and present exposes on everyone who works with or for the orangutan's child. These people's lives should not be insulated from public scorn and derision for providing comfort to "he who should not be named".

  159. Typical politics - discredit the messenger. Shouldn't we all be tired of that by now? It is what is ruining this country.

    Instead how about an honest wrestling with the facts, the proposals, and the consequences of the various proposals?

  160. The Daily Show had a great piece about the myriad times Rump has publicly proclaimed the hotness of his daughter and how he'd be dating her if not for the fact that he's married... Oh and that she's his daughter.

    One of those instances, I think it was an appearance on The View, was truly gross. It needs to go viral.

  161. Alas, a comparison of this evil creature with orangutans is inappropriate. They are gentle, intelligent creatures.

  162. Fascism is not a word to be bandied about If you call populism fascism, you may well run into the real thing.

  163. Unfortunately, we seem to have already run into the real thing.

  164. There is a fine line between populism and fascism, and Trump too often crosses that line.

  165. You guys are fun. In just a couple of weeks, we've had Muslim jihadis murder scores of innocent people in Paris and California and we've our President push to rush in tens of thousands of untraceable Syrian young men to come live here.

    Then your least-favorite candidate suggests stopping the inflow to get a hold of the situation and the shrill shrieking from all of you is unceasing.

    Trump is right: we have a war on our hands and we have to face reality and at least try to do something about it before it's too late. Islam isn't just a religion: it's a political system, it's a cultural force, and it allows no others to exist around it.

  166. Reality is finding and deporting 12,000,000 people? Reality is getting Mexico to pay for a giant wall across its northern border? Reality is expunging a religion with a billion adherents? Reality is reversing the promise on the Statue of Liberty?

  167. Should I mention the famous Benjamin Franklin quote and drop the mike, or would it make a difference? I seriously doubt anyone taking Trump seriously is interested in other opinions, even of the founding fathers.

    Ah, what the heck. Worth a try:

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    *drops mike*

  168. Yes, those Muslims are going to take our precious bodily fluids and destroy our purity of essence. Trump is Jack D Ripper writ large, except we could laugh at General Ripper.

  169. "He" has not been taken seriously in NYC for over twenty years. I truly think this run of his has a lot to do with the way PBO gracefully ridiculed him at the White House Correspondent's Dinner in 2011. There he was in the audience looking like he was going to self-immolate. He decided to show this. dare I say it, "uppity" President who was boss, and he found a perfect fan base in the modern-day Republican primary voter, the voters that the GOP have courted and cosseted for over 30 years. It doesn't matter to him that his horrendous statements are now damaging our image all over the world doesn't matter to him at all: his feelings were hurt and here comes the revenge. It would by funny if it wasn't so frightening.

  170. I think you nailed it Beth. That was the night before the raid to get Bin Laden (although we did not know that , obviously, at the time) and I remember President Obama saying that Trump had to make difficult decisions like firing Gary Busey, which would keep him up at night! Trump was furious, you could see the steam coming out of his ears. This is his revenge and it is scary to watch.

  171. Trump deserved every word of scorn that Obama dished out.

  172. You need to write about him because he has too much of a following to ignore and the harm he's doing to the country's image abroad is newsworthy. Harry Potter diminished Voldy by naming him rather than refusing to raise him to the status of a god who's name is too powerful to speak.

    Let's rebrand him. Let's refer to him as D. Tremens aka "The Loser."

  173. Call him names...

    What a brilliant solutions. Absolutely brilliant.

    How about coming up reasonable and constructive arguments to solve the problems that he appears to be tapping into in order to get support?

    Can't do that?

    Well, don't destroy the democracy for others because of your inability to come up with a winning solution.

  174. Lets get real it wasn't the media that created Trump. Trump was nurtured by the right when he was demanding Obama prove he was a real American. When Trump lead the charge to prove Obama was some kind of Manchurian Candidate the right sat on their hands. When Trump talked of deporting 12 million immigrants the right sat on their hands. Now the right is raising their hands in fake outrage about Trumps comments about banning Muslims. Forgetting just weeks ago Cruz and Bush said only Christian Refugees should be allowed in. Now the right wants us to believe Trump has finally planted the final straw that broke the horses back. The final straw is that Trump is going against American values when he wants to bar people from entering our country based on religion. What a croc! So it wasn't going against American values when Trump was spewing his racism against our president and nonwhite immigrants. The feigned outrage is because the climate change denying right has realized if they don't do something soon the 2016 ticket will be Clinton v Trump. Even the group who can't admit Global Warming knows a Trump led ticket is destined to cook their goose and cook it well done. The same people who want to bomb the sand until it glows want us to believe they are defenders of the rights of Muslims. What a Croc. Blow is right about lack of backbone by the newsreaders who called themselves reporters. Trump gets to call in his interviews. Maybe they should wash his car and walk his dogs too.

  175. When the GOP front runner passes from the scene, political and otherwise, how do we, especially in New York City, get his revulsive name off the myriad of buildings, golf courses, and other structures?
    I despise even seeing his name.

  176. How? Well, buy him out, of course

    If you don't have the financial wherewithal to accomplish that, then you'll just have to wallow in your hatred and revulsion.

  177. Hey, oxfdblue: I am so sorry that you are subjected to seeing Trumpets name as you go through the course of your life. I believe I would not deal well with that reality at all. Good luck. And I mean that sincerely. You have my sympathy.

  178. Ignoring Donald Trump or not using his name? Pointless and petty. He's out there and he's real. Deal with it and have the guts to use the man's name. Would you not have used the names of Slobodan Milošević or Pol Pot?

  179. At least you've got him in the right company.

  180. With all due respect to you Sir, since I have read many of your comments over the years: please exercise caution when comparing Trump to two genocidal maniacs. Yes, Trump's rhetoric is dangerous and has already begun to damage our standing in the world. But at the end of the day Trump is more like a Berlusconi than he is the other two.

  181. Apparently, the #1 victim across the board seems to be the loss of our sense of Humor
    And, by the way - let's not forget. The unnamed one is a Product of America. Born & bred. Part of that famous "Exceptionalism". Wasn't he supposed to be admired and revered ? He's rich. Well, not really. His wealth is mostly fake. Exactly what we admire isn't it ? He made it at all costs. Never met a face he didn't stomp into the concrete in pursuit of success. Didn't he even have a Reality Series? A TV Star ? The Pinnacle

  182. We live in a society that demands specialization. Many people are trained or educated in specific disciplines without detailed exposure to social, economic, and historical teaching. Without broad cultural experience, people can develop if not in fact inherit prejudice against people who are "different." Once that becomes ingrained, it evolves into hatred and fear. That's where we are as a nation, today. Rather than becoming a country of a wide variety of people from different backgrounds coming together, we are, in terms of a significant percentage (25%?) becoming more separated, defining ourselves by our races, religions, genders, and political inclinations. Is this a sad end of the American Experiment? No, I don't think so, but it is a significant setback. While I'm somewhat confident that the majority of this country will reject the neo-fascist candidates of the Right Wing, it will be more difficult to reincorporate them into society after the next election. Ultimately, we may come to fear many other murderous groups beyond the so called, Radical Islamist Terrorists.

  183. I never thought I'd live in an America in the throes of passion for Fascism. Yet today from the mall sized mansions of corporatists and hedge fund moguls to the single wides of mentally disturbed right to life assassins they have a home and voice in the Republican Party.

    Mr. Blow is right in that the man (whose name we shall not speak) gives voice and substance to those who share his racist ideology, xenophobia and a host of other paranoid based ideas. Perhaps "The Leader" has not called explicitly for an end to women's reproductive rights. This is not a problem as the rest for the field of would be contenders that is the American 2.0 fascist movement simply fills the void to provide the party platform. Military conquest as foreign policy, a gun in every citizens shoulder holster, misogyny and a host of other paranoid based policies that bond to end any societal egalitarian practice for the world of self responsibility. A world where any misfortune is simply your problem pal. A nation that is all for the 1% and none for all.

    The saddest part is simply that we were too busy looking at the components with total disregard to their potential for evil synergy.

    Steve Martin
    954-422-3815

  184. It is not all Donald Trump's doing.

    The Republican party, which is being operated from the sidelines by Fox Faked News (FFN), Rush Limbaugh, websites and thousands of radio stations spewing right wing rumors and propaganda, has stirred large numbers to anger, resentment and absolute, complete assurance that the whole world is messed up and only the hard right can fix it. The Republican party asked for this disaster. Under this critique, it is not merely a president or an opposing political party that is seen as wrong and destructive, it is the attitudes and actions of the whole left wing tribe.

    Remember, too, that the Republicans slyly welcomed the tea party. Indeed, they helped give it birth with money (lots of it), political expertise and political operatives. They insisted, too, that it was a new, legitimate political movement, not just a collection of random, modest size groups scattered in living rooms and church basements across the land. These groups never had anything like a coherent program (Cut spending! Protect my Medicare! Cut spending! Protect my Social Security!), but they were treated as valid, grassroots organizations. The radicalism they inspired is now deeply ingrained.

    This, too, is what happens when you live in a right wing media fishbowl, never coming up for air. If all events are carefully filtered to offer comfort to the right, then larger truths don't matter, are never considered.

    The right gave birth to Trump, now they are stuck with him.

  185. Better that than the than the Democratic party which is being run by Clinton, Inc. through their self-serving Clinton Foundation which picks up much of the tab for the luxury to which the Clintons believe they are entitled.

    At least the Republican sponsors believe in the benefit of more than just Hillary, Bill and Chelsea.

  186. Trump approaches his followers as he did creditors in a corporate bankruptcy. He knowingly adopts postures that are beyond logic or sense, wraps them in bluster and a crescendo of atonal noise; he then waits to be pushed back. If no serious push, then he advances further into absurdity as he tests the parameters of what others will allow.

    However, whilst Tump is corralling fear with demagoguery, Justice Scalia wields effective power today. Power that is a clear and present danger to the stressed legislative and judicial structures that have, however slowly and often inadequately, allowed the racial, ethnic and sexual mores of the country to develop in a manner consistent with the tenets necessary for a pluralistic society to thrive.

    Yesterday Justice Scalia was able to posit, from the bench, that black people do better in in "lesser schools" such as the University of Texas, where the pace of academic life is "too fast for them".

    Justice Scalia wraps Trumps "things base and vile" in the sheath of legal legitimacy. Yet he needs no followers to make him dangerous; he states crass things, and need not have any concern as to whose eyes are looking at him. Only Ginsberg, Sotomayor and on occasion, Kennedy, are the bulwark which contains his constitutional immunity to bespoke Trump's "exit America from bankruptcy" in a suit constituted from Scalia's legal asthetic of the Founders true intent. The next Supreme Court Justice may be more perilous for America than Trump.

  187. Glad you mentioned the Scalia comments, James. I'm surprised that the media isn't all over this one. Justice Scalia is reputedly a brilliant legal mind and thinker. Yet, this kind of thinking is unintelligent and illogical. People learn best when their minds are challenged and encouraged to stretch. By Scalia's reasoning, many (most?) minority students would do better in some kind of remedial college. Doesn't that condemn them to some kind of remedial career and life?

    One thing that Scalia's comment has done is expose him as a racist. That word is used all too often these days, but, I now believe that this Justice, is a racist.

  188. Oh, so right you are James. While the Blowhard (I won't mention his name either, out of respect for the writer) Blather's -other forces are at work (as you say). It is very Perilous times indeed.
    And yet, in these very "pages", (& other venues where so-called progressive thought is put forth) you can hear the whisperings of a new scapegoat being born - the White Middle class Male. It is everywhere and totally out in the open as to How vile and terrible this creature is. Right up there with Terrorists and the Phone company.
    If anything has (to use a way over worked phrase) "Jumped the Shark" - it is America as a whole lately.

  189. scalia, thomas, roberts and alito are four very strong arguments why we must elect a democrat to the presidency next year.

  190. Many readers of this paper cannot fathom that Trump could win the election. I suggest a more careful reading of history in the 1920's. Then there is this, by Lincoln, in 1838:
    "Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide".

  191. Read history? What a quaint idea.
    If one does the will find that we are fighting the same demons over and over. Lincoln had it right. Only we can destroy us.
    What is truly frightening about today's political climate is the similarity of the right's rhetoric to that of Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo. "They" are the enemy,out to destroy our great country and must be destroyed first. As for "They", Hitler had, for starters, the Jews. Military force was the one true option. As I recall,it didn't end well for them.
    This isn't the 20's and 30's. Did we learn nothing?
    The Muslim Radicals are out to destroy us and we must destroy them first, but military force alone won't do it. Notwithstanding the bravery and sacrifice of our troops, it ain't gonna happen. We should be, and perhaps already are waging an all out eeconomic war on them. If their wealth is based on oil, disrupt and destroy production and distribution. We won't of course because the Saudis are our friends.
    We should be concentrating on drying up their money supply. All they chest thumping by politicians will do nothing except to highten their appeal. Discriminating against all Muslims does the same.
    Perhaps we should grow up, shut up, get smart, and wage a 21st century war against a very real, if not existential threat.
    I also like to note that the during the flu epidemic in the early 1900 hundreds , thousands died, not of the flu, but of the over reaction of the victims immune systemto the threat. They self destructed.

  192. I think this article misses the point. There is a very large group of uneducated, poor, mostly white fellow citizens. They have been left behind in the 21st century economy and feel abandoned by the country and ignored by politicians. The right wing has been fanning the flames of hate ever since Mr. Obama was elected while ignoring the large social problem of these abandoned people. This group of our fellow Americans has listened and bought into that hate speech lock, stock and barrel. Their numbers have grown, some for fear of losing their previously dominant culture, some for fear of being on the outside of society, and some for fear of continued poverty. These people are his followers. But all of this was caused by the right wing, fanning those flames of hatred for Mr. Obama, and ignoring political solutions to their being left behind.

  193. Black attorney, Washington DC, degree in American History.
    Guest lecturer on law and politics in 3 European countries over the last 7 years.

    Registered Republican.
    Trump supporter.

    So much for your mythical statements Mark.

  194. There are two elements that Mr. Blow chooses to ignore.

    1. That our system is one of democracy where people vote for the candidates of their choice. And,

    2. The disaffected, "uneducated, poor, mostly white fellow citizens" are far more likely to vote than the uneducated, poor, mostly black fellow citizens for whom Mr. Blow regularly advocates.

    Once again, Mr. Blow is complaining about a problem whose solution is far out of his reach.

  195. One small correction to your post: The Republican Party has been "fanning the flames of hate" ever since Richard Nixon and others in the Republican Party adopted the so-called "Southern strategy" to win over the South.

  196. With all of the laser-like focus on Trump in recent days, I haven't heard a single pundit reflect on his total manipulation of the media, with the net result that Trump barely spends any money on his campaign, and yet continues to lead all the other candidates in his party, who are spending millions. For all of the media's avowed revulsion of Trump's ideology, its love of the controversy, and the ratings it brings, is even stronger. Perhaps what we need, even more than condemnation, is to kick our own childish addiction to celebrities and celebrity culture.

  197. Agreed. The TV media should ignore Trump altogether to experiment to see if his polls drop over 2 weeks or so. They are fueling his rise and while it benefits ratings its hurting other quality candidates while our national image is tarnished. As well the liberal media touted the birther conspiracy as an attack on the GOP and they ran poll after poll which in turn Trump bumble his crass act into the dumbest idea, well now the 2nd dumbest idea ever. Trump running for office is the dumbest idea he's ever had.

  198. Great point, Luke. The media is looking for the 30 second soundbite and Trump provides them by the dozen. They don't care what his rhetoric is, but it gives good news and keeps eyes glued to screens.

  199. One of the most disgusting aspects of the most recent episode in this tragedy is the behavior of the other Republicans scrambling to distance themselves from this hatemonger. Have they suddenly discovered their consciences? Are they concerned about the future of the nation, its citizens, the world?

    No. They're concerned about possible damage to the electoral chances of the Republican Party. The real damage to anyone outside their bubble is of no consequence to them.

  200. It is important that we stand by our Muslim citizens. It is probably important that we figure out what need Trump addresses that isn't being addressed by others, because he is getting more powerful, as Charles states. Thanks for the column opening the discussion.

  201. Charles, I like the idea of not referring to the GOP front runner by his name. However, I would encourage you and you colleagues to use the term "fascist" whenever referring to him. It is important that Americans understand the danger that this man and his followers are to our Republic.

  202. let us hope he is the candidate....not only does this tell how the Republican constituents feel released to say the most racist things, but it also prevents somebody truly dangerous, like Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, for actually running. In the meantime, the damage begun in the eyes of the world once we elected W only gets worse.

  203. Very well said, CB, Equally well, @Walter Rhett. But let's spare some effort to look at causes and not just symptoms. Monsters like Trump and Scalia exist. Why do they prosper? Because of human nature, I suppose, and that hasn't changed. But have there been changes in the conditions in which it can express itself? Instant communication? Once, the media consisted of the town crier, of the gossip whisperers in the marketplace, and of handbills that spread rank propaganda. Now, thoughts fly close to the speed of light.

    This isn't just an American problem. The social glue is melting all across Europe. Neighbor against neighbor. Differences in color. Religion. Gender. Sexual preferences.

    Have our nations become too big with the sacrifice of ancient, comforting tribal ties? Has Hobbes's Leviathan grown too large? Hard to indict size when in little Ireland (pop c. 4 million) people have a hard time agreeing on anything. Was the analysis of Jacques Barzun, as applied to the arts, even more widely applicable? Does his From Dawn to Decadence apply also to politics and governance? Has the pursuit of liberty and happiness eroded our sense of community? Duty? Responsibility?

    Something is broken. Trump is one symptom of that.

  204. Charles. The big mistake that most people make about him is that he is un-electable and if nominated would "but the best case scenario" for Democrats. This is a dangerous assumption given that we can't predict the future. But a study of the past tells us that Hitler was voted in through and by his manipulation of fear and if we are unfortunate to have more Paris and San Bernadinos take place, the fear factor could result in his election. So, please don't automatically dismiss that possibility.

  205. It occurs with every new electoral cycle. The vitriol, bombast, bigotry and stupidity continually increase, from the Republican party. But this year it is a quantum leap; never before have I seriously feared our country may be headed for fascist rule. It is chilling enough to know that one of these candidates *will* get the Republican nomination; my blood runs cold at the thought that one of them might very well become president.

    These are serious candidates. They have solid support among their electorate. They openly advocate Nazi-era tactics. They trivialize the ramifications of nuclear war.

    Has Donald Trump or Ted Cruz ever watched Schindler's List? Hotel Rwanda? Do they not know that words matter? Are any of these applicants for the gravest job in the world willing to call out their comrades on their ugly and dangerous grandstanding--as a matter of principle and not just when their handlers tell them their polls suggest that they'd better?

    Sadly, it appears not.

    At least as sadly, it appears that a good chunk of the populace wants this. And make no mistake: those who would vote for a demagogue are as responsible for the outcome as is that candidate himself. Too often we give a pass to the ignorant, seemingly for the sake of ignorance.

    If we do not hold our fellow citizens and ourselves to account, who will?

  206. So much drama. And in a single post, no less.

  207. What does it matter that you don't use Trump's name in your columns? Yesterday, when looking through the Times online, six of the top eight stories in the "Politics" section had his name in the headlines as did one major column on the Op-ed page.

    Ever think, Mr. Blow, that you and your colleagues in news and opinion here and around the country are doing more than you'll admit to help spread his message?

  208. Trump is just a symptom. The cause is obvious: For eight years, the Republican Party has screeched its racist dog-whistle, encouraged ridiculous, paranoid delusions, encouraged ignorance, all in order to secure the votes of that 10% of America that is always looking for a violent, simple-minded, White Christian fascist solution to their personal obsolescence. They babble about Obama's disastrous Presidency, but when you ask for specifics, they change the subject. It's just a chant they learned on Fox, taught by liars for lucre.

  209. So, we now have the NY Times allowing “a columnist” to opine on the presidential election while not using a leading candidate’s name. Is Blow’s column the “Talk of the Town”? The New Yorker’s conceit has an established élan. But, this has no place on the Opinion Page and it comes across as miss-placed petulance by Blow.

    Moving beyond Blow’s resistance to writing the name Trump, his column today continues the long established liberal practice of denigrating conservative Americans who may have emotional reactions to certain heartfelt concerns. However, such emotional reactions are fine as long as it relates to abortion, police racism, gun control or any number of liberal shibboleths.

    Trump (a blowhard, narcissist bigot, BTW), as much as we may not like his delivery, is speaking to fears and angers that many Americans have in the face of Islamic fanaticism. Much of this fear and anger is justified. And it is incumbent on our politicians to address how they will deal with an amorphous existential threat that is confronting America and the West in the most deadly way.

    So, while candidates and elected officials should temper the impulse to demagoguery (something Trump obviously has trouble with), for Blow to ignore and dismiss Trump is to do the same of those Americans he is speaking to and for. This is a potentially a dangerous course. This is a debate that we must have and Trump’s voice, as odious as at may be, must be heard and, as needed, confronted.

    Posted 7am

  210. "The media realized that it had to keep feeding the beast it had created..."

    So why is Mr. Blow continuing to feed the beast with this article? Stop writing about him. He's playing the press, including the NYT and its writers.

  211. Solutions are at the voting machine and a majority of US citizens in general do not vote, current minorities vote even less and Democrats in particular do not vote (16% in 2012). So he-who-must-not-be-named has a clear path because he can pay people to vote for him if he wants to though he evidently does not need to.
    Until the Democrats rediscover their long ago abandoned Ward Healers, they are losers.

  212. Trump is well aware that the office of the President has no powers to ban Muslims from traveling to the U.S. But he sure is using up all the ink in the NYT! And that is the tactic. Make the libel medias' heads explode. Charles and his fans will not vote for him anyway. The media is a left wing superpac. Right now it's a blackout on Hillary and Sanders. What happened to Sanders anyway, is he still running? It's a very clever tactic. And you fools are playing right into his hands. By the way, he's too old. But so is Hillary and Bernie, so you can't write about that!

  213. Yes the media has been way too complicit in indulging this narcissistic megalomaniac who is feeding into xenophobic slime that was always just under the surface. It came spewing out with the election of Barack Obama and the oft heard phrase of "take our country back" was the forerunner of everything we hear today. Those four words were always ominous to me and it is reaching its height under a master manipulator.
    Oh and by the way the President of Liberty University exhorted his students to go and get gun permits and the university is holding workshops to help them navigate the gun permit application. He told them that they will be ready to shoot those Muslims - oh yes he did. Wonderful example of being a Christian don't you think? No reporting on that much!
    Guess what? The Rethug candidates will continue to visit that university. Lie down with fleas and all that.

  214. Trump doesn't scare me - his supporters do. This time around they are being led by a clown. Next time ...who knows?

  215. For a big man cat, you sure scare easily.

  216. "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on".

    Well, Mr. Trump, unfortunately, has one thing correct. It is not clear that the Obama administration fully understands the threat of ISIS and it is certainly clear that they do not know how to defeat it. At best there are ideas regarding containment and attrition.

    Perhaps if there was a clearer plan re ISIS, then there would be less hysteria and less of a willingness to even contemplate Mr. Trump's ideas on (Muslim) immigration or anything else.

    As for racism, that is too deeply embedded in American society to be ameliorated with the departure of Mr. Trump from the political field.

  217. It's becoming painfully clear that there are few serious people left in the United States.

  218. Charles - you don't want to write his name, but the Editorial Page devotes hundreds of column inches every day to Trump.

    It is not unfair to compare Trump to a professional "wrestler," who would not merit mention in the Sports section. (Old timers might note that he does indeed resemble Gorgeous George.) Yes, Trump is some kind of phenomenon, but covering him in the news and editorial pages lends credibility he doesn't merit. I know the distinguished NYT doesn't emulate anyone, but take a page from Huffington Post, where Trump is relegated to the entertainment section.

  219. Thank you for this great article. Trump seemed funny in an awful way at first. That people are taking him seriously is frightening. The press has to take responsibility for promoting this, but an ugly side of America is now seen, for which we all must take responsibility. It is not Trump, but a national sickness, as Blow points out. The world has become so small - it's time for us to become human again, and show love and give hope to refugees and others in trouble and pain, give up our fear of "the other". We need to realize we can't control events, only show our humanity to our fellow man.

  220. Trump is the culmination of Richard Nixon's "southern strategy." Harvest the hate.

    Anyone surprised by GOP crassness hasn't been paying attention for almost 50 years.

  221. My point in my earlier comment is that I am tired of hearing about Trump because most of the columns are rehashes of earlier and other op-ed columns. And practically everything that Trump says is red meat for this audience.

    If you are going to complain about how much money the media is making from Trump, go the distance, beyond not naming him, and cut off the money being made off the column by not running the ads and the eyeball metric scripts on the page.

    Be true to your complaint.

  222. Actually, Trump has made one good argument. By his very nature, he makes a fine argument for a stronger, more just inheritance tax.

    Fascist loons should not be empowered by money. And if it is money that has made them tyrannical and kept them ignorant, this is just another argument for taking it out of their hands.

    You know who really needs it? The people who are falling for Trump's boorish lies.

  223. The Republican Party has been courting racists since Nixon's "Southern Strategy" in 1968. Ronald Reagan kicked off his presidential campaign in 1980 in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where just 16 years before 3 civil rights workers (Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman) had been brutally murdered by the KKK. 20 years later, in 2000, after losing in New Hampshire to John McCain, George W. Bush's campaign conducted a phony "push poll" in South Carolina, calling potential voters and asking "Would you vote for John McCain knowing he has an illegitimate Black daughter?" It worked. Of course they were referring to the McCains' adopted daughter, Bridgette, born out of wedlock in Bangladesh.

    So what "he who shall not be named" (Trump--oops!) and Scalia are doing is turning over the rock so we can see what's really crawling out, what really is the filthy underbelly of the Republican Party, no longer the party of Eisenhower, Rockefeller, Goldwater or even John McCain.

    By attacking Hispanics, Blacks and now Muslims, and the weak response by fellow Republicans (Speaker Ryan's limp statement being the strongest), they will motivate so many to get out and vote to ensure these bigots don't get in and don't get to extend their control of the Supreme Court.

    There are currently about 125 million Americans (39%) who Trump and Scalia and the GOP have alienated because they are not White/non-Hispanics like that overwhelming majority of Trump supporters. All they have to do is vote.

  224. Demagogue. Racist. Fascism. Tongue dripping with poison. You haven't left much out here Mr. Blow, except maybe pedophile. You don't have to be a fan of Mr. Trump to understand that these kind of accusations are absurd and that the people like yourself who are making them are
    simply President Obama enthusiasts not wishing to look into the mirror and account for the current lamentable state of our country.

  225. Donald Trump is a blowhard and is all too representative of the GOP's political agenda. That said, he has tapped into the anger felt by much of the American people toward politicians in general and in the case of this opinion piece, the spread of Islamic terrorism into civilized countries.

    Mr Blow forgets or doesn't mention that Islamic terrorists and the theocracies that support them have declared war on civilized peoples. They demonstrate their contempt of unbelievers daily in barbaric fashion. Most importantly, the terrorists are mainstream Muslims of Wahhabist doctrine, the very same doctrine propagated by Saudi Arabia and its smaller Arab theocracies. Theirs is the vision of ethnic cleansing that the terrorists call for and theirs is the vision of Islam that Trump has conflated with all Muslims.

    Trump is wrong in his call to ban all Muslims from entering the US. The issue is not all Islam but Wahhabist Islam.

    Some political leader would be right to call for a quarantine of all Arab dejure and defacto theocracies so long as their official political, theocratic, and defacto foreign policies reflect, nurture and spread the values of ISIS around the globe. Because that is what is happening.

    Simply calling Trump names, as both Mr Blow and I have done, is not sufficient to address the real issue of Islamic terrorism and its barbarity. The expectation of leadership is to do something decisive to eradicate Islamic terrorism. Now.

  226. Take a deep breath, Mr. B, Hillary has more votes than Mr. T. It speaks to the wisdom of our current electorate that either of them has any votes at all.

    If you want to know how Republicans feel about Hillary, just put her name if front of your "making me crazy" phrase.

    Speaking again to the wisdom of the electorate, they do know which side of their bread gets buttered with free butter, no matter the qualifications of a candidate, or lack of same.

    Take a breath, sir. Within a year you will have 8 more years of what you've had. It's that lack of leadership that drives the other side nuts.

  227. Hate to bust your meme, Lake, but this Republican's voting for Hillary if she's matched up against Trump. Sorry..

  228. I think you hit on the root of it here: "He has mainstreamed the marginalized and the mocked."

    We are going to have to deal with this issue. What is making white men (in particular) fearful and ready to strike out at anyone who is different? This is really the cancer at the core. I don't have an answer. But this issue is not going to go away when Trump does.

  229. At least some of it is the mocking. The left has its ideologues, as well. And, as you imply, what we really need is understanding.

  230. Good & important question, Iainnj.

  231. Literature is replete with warnings about this moment. What happens to our grand experiment when "news" outlets are closer to "newspeak" than news? What happens when too many citizens are incapable of detecting a lie spouted by a person with a microphone? How profoundly was our system degraded when "you lie!" was shouted in the halls of Congress and when government was declared to be the "problem?" Why do we aspire to be the most well-armed instead of the most well-educated, accomplished and generous nation on earth?

  232. Many months ago, Jeb Bush remarked that he may not win all the primaries but that he would be the nominee. He may be crazy like a fox. Trump is painting the party with wode and posturing in such a manner as to make himself unacceptable as the nominee. Resurrecting himself as a sane and tame generic republican candidate may just pan out for Jeb. Sooner rather than later, the GOP leadership will have to stop the Donald in his tracks. At this point, Hillary Rodham Clinton may be writing her inaugural address. One can only hope.

  233. Yesterday on NBC Nighty New they gave "That Man" 8.5 minutes of air time for the lead in story at the top of the show. Then another 3 to 4 minutes at the close. For a national network broadcast that has about 22 minutes of news time, not including the commercials with makes the 30 minutes was appalling to me. The media has fueled this man's entire campaign with free publicity, and he's working the news media like a hooker in a Las Vegas bar. It's beyond my understanding that we want to hear anything this man has to say. Even now, just writing about HIM, makes me a little nausious to think how uncivilized we are allowing this to continue. Pull the plug, stop the presses and he's voice will be silenced.

  234. The American electorate needs to relax. Trump's appeal is too narrow for him to win a general election. So let him exercise his First Amendment right, spewing bile, hatred and fascism. In the end he's simply hurting himself.

  235. At the heart of Trump's psyche is one of his favourite epithets "loser" - try an exercise, Google "trump calls loser" and notice how many people he has used this expression on. While you are at it, Google "Trump cheats at golf" ... and yes, that too you will find. What does this tell you - that Trump is fundamentally unprincipled in competition, and that is what he sees this primary process as. There is no where Trump will not go in order not to be a "loser," race, religion, etc. That is what we are seeing here. The real Donald Trump is a creature of whatever he thinks will advance his current objectives, morality, decency, values has nothing to do with it. He has decided that nasty racists ignoramuses are a useful constituency, so he is making statements that appeal to them. The problem is, if he though it would advance his objectives as President, there is no where he would not go either.

    By the way, in a debate, if one of the other candidates wants to make Trump melt-down, finding a way to use the word "loser" on him is probably the a great tactic.

  236. Just got to love the Scots who've told Trump to get lost. One university there withdrew an honorary degree conferred on him in 2010. The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, canceled Trump's membership of a business group, GlobalScot.

  237. Please keep writing about him and please keep him on the front page. The more the Republican establishment gets uncomfortable with him the more likely he'll bolt and launch and independent run taking the nasty bottom layer of the Republican base with him. Then perhaps the Republican Party can leave its recent past behind and become a serious political institution again.

  238. You realize Donald Trump wins the election as a 3rd party candidate, don't you?

  239. I doubt independents, Democrats and Republicans who have even the slightest veneer of human decency would join those who see Trump as their champion.

  240. Mr. Blow, you are right, but you did not tell the whole story. The media played a much larger role than you think.

    You said the media covered Trump to increase their profits. True. But before Trump, they exploited terrorism for money. How else can you explain why we are obsessed with approximately 75 dead Americans at the hands of terrorists since 9/11, while 150,000 Americans died from guns (not counting suicides) in the same time period? Also, the media has been advocating wars since the 1950s, to increase their profits. So, we have spent tens of Trillions of dollars, and sacrificed hundreds of thousands of valiant American troops, from Korea through Iraq, largely because the media wanted to sell newspapers and TV advertising (and also because of lobbying from the military-industrial complex).

    As for Trump, the media keeps telling us that Islamic terrorists are killing Americans, and there is nothing we can do about it at home. So Trump comes up with a solution: keep Muslims out of the country. What did you expect? (The reason we have Islamic terrorists killing Americans is that we have been killing Muslims in the Middle East for over two decades. Connect the dots.)

  241. "But something happened, rather quickly: The media realized that it had to keep feeding the beast it had created,"

    And you, Mr. Blow, are doing exactly the same thing. You are part of and party to the problem. Stop feeding the beast.

  242. And so are we for even reading and commenting.

  243. In my state of Massachusetts, most of the democrats are really dinos (democrat in name only) and many of them support Trump. He's not the crazy uncle. He's the father, the brother, the friend and the everyday uncle. Their significant others are only slightly less enamored with him. I don't think the media could have censored him. He was too thrilling and very profitable from the start.

    My two grandsons (3 and 7 yrs. old) often start off physical play together in a relatively calm symbiosis but things sometimes threaten to get out of control. This is when I or my wife intervene to settle things down before somebody gets hurt. Today, the Trump show has reached the escalation point where the horse play threatens to become a real “donnybrook” and the adults in the room need to step in before real injury occurs.

  244. Trump's supporters and his ilk (basically the Republican candidates and their supporters) are, perhaps, unaware of how much ISIS appreciates what Trump is saying. His words are great for recruiting people to their cause. Trump et. al. are putting us in even graver danger.

  245. I know someone who is a Trump supporter. However, this person also recognizes, at least in some respects, that Trump is prone to talking off the cuff and this is not necessarily a quality one would want in a president. In short, I think this person wants someone who voices Trump's ideas but in a more 'presidential' manner. I find this equally frightening.

  246. Everyone should note that even though the republicans in leadership positions (except of course Cruz) have taken to ritualized hand wringing but not a one has said they would not support his nomination. So yes the xenophobic, rascist crazy talk is exactly who the GOPTP is.

  247. Some folks think most Americans are stupid but that decidedly is not true. Trump provides entertainment which makes him popular now. When the race gets serious Trump will be dumped in a New York minute.

  248. Why not, to prevent frequent pronoun confusion, simply refer to "him" as The Hair Fuhrer?

  249. I'd like to see some backup to the assertion that the media were in Trump's hands at the beginning because they saw him as a "sideshow"-- or, to develop a thought Mr. Blow apparently doesn't consider --because he was one of the country's most well-known reality TV personalities who has carefully cultivated a celebrity "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" persona.

    Because I don't believe it, and I'm getting a little tired of using "the media" as a convenient whipping boy -- even by members of the media (in yet another op-ed about -- what else? Trump. Oh the irony!).

    I believe -- with as much justification as Mr. Blow's assertion-- that the media were only following the rank-and-file of the party, which flocked to him after he went way beyond other candidates on the immigrant (Latino, not Muslim) issue.

  250. One question? If he cares so much about this country why he does not take on Wayne La Pierre? One of this country`s problems are guns, nobody seems to have the power to face up to NRA? He is so excellent to make deals, why he does not try this one? Prisons are overcrowded with a lot of young people, so many children hungry, the homeless!!!
    Why he does not put his money where is mouth is?