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Beyond railing against the wreckage, the other commonality between the two big New Hampshire winners is in the nature of the cure they offer. Let the others propose carefully budgeted five-point plans. Sanders and Trump offer magic.
Take Sanders’ New Hampshire victory speech. It promised the moon: college education, free; universal health care, free; world peace, also free because we won’t be “the policeman of the world” (mythical Sunni armies will presumably be doing that for us). Plus a guaranteed $15 minimum wage. All to be achieved by taxing the rich. Who can be against a “speculation” tax (whatever that means)?
So with Trump. Leave it to him. Jobs will flow back in a rush from China, from Japan, from Mexico, from everywhere. Universal health care, with Obamacare replaced by “something terrific.” Veterans finally taken care of. Drugs stopped cold at the border. Indeed, an end to drug addiction itself. Victory upon victory of every kind.
How? That question never comes up anymore. No one expects an answer. His will be done, on Earth if not yet in heaven. Yes, people love Trump’s contempt for the “establishment” — which as far as I can tell means anything not Trump — but what is truly thrilling is the promise of a near-biblical restoration. As painless as Sanders’.
I would say that this above all is my biggest problem with Trump. As good a deal maker as he claims he is, he really seems to have a very childish and naive understanding of what he’ll be able to do once in the White House. Worse, he might very well decide that following the Constitution is too much of a bother, and that though he might think that Obama had the right idea to chew hard at its limits along the edges, maybe it would be better if President Trump tore it apart with his teeth.
Even more frightening to me is the apparent naive belief the electorate seems to have in these pie-in-the-sky promises. Our civilized society cannot stand if our citizenry has become so muddled-brained that it sees these promises as realistic.