Jennifer Rubin is a conservative columnist who writes for the Washington Post. When it comes to Trump, she’s not a fan.
She has a really interesting opinion piece about why Trump can’t let go of his divisive rhetoric. Quite simply, if he didn’t spend the better part of his 60-90 minute rallies bragging about his 2016 victory, excoriating Democrats whom he hates, demonizing the press, and stoking fear about immigrants, he’d have nothing to say. He can’t talk about domestic or foreign policy — he doesn’t know much and his short attention span makes him incapable of learning. He can’t talk about moral vision — he’s a completely transactional person for whom morality is utterly irrelevant. He can’t talk about the nation’s historical roots as a nation of immigrants — he is ahistorical in the extreme. He can’t comfort the nation in times of tragedy, because he’s incapable of empathy. He can’t articulate a broader vision because he doesn’t have one. He lives entirely in the moment, with judgments based on what makes him money and increases his power. That’s pretty much it. Other than transactional self-interest, there’s no “there” there.
For some 40+% of voters in our country, such a vacuous person is deserving of fanatical fealty and uncritical adoration. I don’t see how our democracy moves forward with a problem as large as that.