Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The silly hope of a pivot

There has been a lot of chatter about Teh Donald's supposed any-day-now pivot to the political center over the last couple of weeks.

To which my response has been a weary, "Really?"

In elections past, it made sense to speak of politicians "pivoting" toward the center, after they'd thrown red meat to their party's more extreme base in the primaries. But could you really expect that of Teh Donald?

The point of the center-pivot is to make yourself a plausible choice to undecided voters. Those voters have to believe it's possible you might mean what you're saying now rather than what you said during the primaries. They need to think you're not the extremist you sounded like a few months ago.

Pick your favorite Trump statement. If he discounted or disavowed it tomorrow, would you believe him?

Of course not!

If you believe Teh Donald has no filter, that he says exactly what he's thinking at that moment, then how could he maintain his brand if he explicitly contradicted himself?

On the other hand, if you believe that Teh Donald has no fixed relationship to the truth, then nothing he says means anything.

He has said childish, ignorant, threatening, bigoted things. If he has no filter, then he means those things. If he has no fixed relationship to the truth, he might or might not mean those things. But even if he doesn't mean them, he's perfectly comfortable sounding like he means them. That kills any possibility of reassuring the undecided populace that he isn't nuts, which is the whole point of the pivot to the center.

The Republican establishment would love for him to start talking like a guy you could trust as commander-in-chief and man with sole authority to use the U.S.'s nuclear arsenal.

That's not gonna happen. Even if it did happen, we'd all assume they'd done a Manchurian Candidate on him. We would never trust a pivoted Trump.

So can we all stop the pretense that Trump wlll pivot, and that a pivot would make him a viable candidate?

He is exactly what he sounds like, a dangerous narcissist and ignoramus who shouldn't be allowed to tour the White House, much less live in it.

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