Trump fu­els sup­port by rid­ing Third Rail, in­vad­ing ‘safe space’

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - BY CHARLES HURT

If you are still con­fused about how Don­ald Trump is walk­ing away with the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion for pres­i­dent, look no fur­ther than his swift, re­flex­ive, fear­less and un­var­nished re­sponse to the ter­ror­ist at­tack in Paris.

Within hours of what amounted to 9/11 for our old­est ally, Mr. Trump took to Twit­ter to ridicule the Pres­i­dent of the United States and evis­cer­ate his for­eign poli­cies.

“Pres­i­dent Obama said ‘ISIL con­tin­ues to shrink’ in an in­ter­view just hours be­fore the hor­ri­ble at­tack in Paris. He is just so bad!” he wrote.

And then to rub salt into the wound, Mr. Trump ripped off the pres­i­dent’s 2008 cam­paign slo­gan. “CHANGE.” So much for the old Repub­li­can edict that pol­i­tics end at the wa­ter’s edge, es­pe­cially in a mo­ment of dire cri­sis.

To quote Char­lie Sheen, Don­ald Trump prefers “Win­ning!”

Or, as Mr. Trump says: “We will have so much win­ning if I get elected you may get bored with win­ning.”

Even af­ter Pres­i­dent Obama ad­dressed the world and called for a united front in the af­ter­math of the ter­ror­ist at­tack, Mr. Trump would have none of it.

“Why won’t Pres­i­dent Obama use the term Is­lamic Ter­ror­ism?” he asked point­edly. “Isn’t it now, af­ter all of this time and so much death, about time?”

By the next day, Mr. Trump was just get­ting warmed up with all the things Repub­li­can politi­cians are not sup­posed to say in the wake of a tragedy like this.

“You can say what you want, but if they had guns — if our peo­ple had guns, if they were al­lowed to carry — it would have been a much, much dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tion,” Mr. Trump told a crowd of fans dur­ing a po­lit­i­cal rally in Texas one day af­ter the mas­sacre.

Ask any main­stream Repub­li­can po­lit­i­cal strate­gist and they will tell you this is po­lit­i­cal sui­cide.

One of the very first rules they teach in Repub­li­can po­lit­i­cal can­di­date school is you never, never, NEVER in­veigh against gun con­trol laws in the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math of a mass shoot­ing like this.

You might of­fend some­body. Alien­ate women vot­ers. Risk com­ing off as overly ag­gres­sive. Might in­vade some col­lege stu­dents’ “safe space.”

But you know who never went to Repub­li­can po­lit­i­cal can­di­date school? Ac­tual Amer­i­can vot­ers. That’s who. And when Don­ald Trump breaks all the rules by rip­ping the pres­i­dent, ques­tion­ing his re­li­gion and blam­ing gun con­trol laws for a mass shoot­ing, he is say­ing ex­actly what so many Amer­i­cans were al­ready think­ing.

That is be­cause Don­ald Trump — the great sales­man-states­man — not only in­ti­mately un­der­stands the prod­uct he is sell­ing (him­self), he also has a deeply in­stinc­tual un­der­stand­ing of his cus­tomer (vot­ers). He un­der­stands what they want, how they think and how to reach them.

And pretty much ever since, Mr. Trump has been just rid­ing what has be­come the Third Rail of mod­ern pol­i­tics: the very real and bloody dan­ger im­mi­gra­tion and un­se­cured bor­ders poses to Amer­i­cans here at home to­day.

“We have no idea who th­ese peo­ple are, we are the worst when it comes to pa­per­work,” said Mr. Trump, re­fer­ring specif­i­cally to the Syr­ian refugees. “This could be one of the great Tro­jan horses.”

(By the way, when was the last time a can­di­date for Pres­i­dent of the United States in­voked Greek mythol­ogy? And they say Don­ald Trump isn’t so­phis­ti­cated!)

“I’m putting peo­ple on no­tice that are com­ing here from Syria as part of this mass mi­gra­tion, that if I win, they’re go­ing back.

“They could be ISIS. ... This could be one of the great­est tac­ti­cal ploys of all time. A 200,000 man army maybe. I don’t know that it is, but it could be pos­si­ble.”

Sure, it is tough talk and cer­tainly threat­ens the sanc­tity of our “safe space.” But, then again, we are learn­ing that the “safe spa­ces” are get­ting less and less safe.

At least un­til Don­ald Trump be­comes pres­i­dent.

Charles Hurt can be reached at charleshurt@live.com and on Twit­ter via @charleshurt.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

“Why won’t Pres­i­dent Obama use the term Is­lamic Ter­ror­ism?” Don­ald Trump asked point­edly. “Isn’t it now, af­ter all of this time and so much death, about time?”

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