I’m anything but a Peggy Noonan fan, but she gets this right:
Second, Mr. Trump’s support is not limited to Republicans, not by any means.
Third, the traditional mediating or guiding institutions within the Republican universe—its establishment, respected voices in conservative media, sober-minded state party officials—have little to no impact on Mr. Trump’s rise. Some say voices of authority should stand up to oppose him, which will lower his standing. But Republican powers don’t have that kind of juice anymore. Mr. Trump’s supporters aren’t just bucking a party, they’re bucking everything around, within and connected to it.
Since Mr. Trump announced I’ve worked or traveled in, among other places, Southern California, Connecticut, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey and New York’s Long Island. In all places I just talked to people. My biggest sense is that political professionals are going to have to rethink “the base,” reimagine it when they see it in their minds.
She almost gets to the point that Sam Francis so cogently made about PJB’s similar Presidential campaign in 1996 and to a lesser extent 1992. Traditionally, Republican internecine politics, both Presidential and in general, revolves around ideologically driven people versus the mendacious money-power establishment of the party. PJB in 1996 and now Trump in 2016 break that mold because they’re definitely running against the party establishment but they’re separating themselves from doctrinaire conservatives while doing so. Neither one of them are ideologically driven conservatives who are looking to purify the Republican Party in the name of some sort of doctrine and beat the RINOs in the process. They’re third way sort of candidates, and if anything, as we saw with PJB in 1996 and Trump this year, if anyone gets rapped for their lack of conservative purity, it is they. Ironically, they take these barbs from some of the same people who bash the ideologically driven conservatives for their ideological purism.
Something is going on, some tectonic plates are moving in interesting ways. My friend Cesar works the deli counter at my neighborhood grocery store. He is Dominican, an immigrant, early 50s, and listens most mornings to a local Hispanic radio station, La Mega, on 97.9 FM. Their morning show is the popular “El Vacilón de la Mañana,” and after the first GOP debate, Cesar told me, they opened the lines to call-ins, asking listeners (mostly Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican) for their impressions. More than half called in to say they were for Mr. Trump. Their praise, Cesar told me a few weeks ago, dumbfounded the hosts. I later spoke to one of them, who identified himself as D.J. New Era. He backed Cesar’s story. “We were very surprised,” at the Trump support, he said. Why? “It’s a Latin-based market!”
“He’s the man,” Cesar said of Mr. Trump.
I will throw in here that almost wherever I’ve been this summer, I kept meeting immigrants who are or have grown conservative—more men than women, but women too.
Okay, she’s being way too optimistic there, but she is making the same point that I have, that Trump’s macho sells well to Hispanic men, maybe well enough for him to get close to a majority of them, though he won’t do any better with Hispanic women than a generic Republican would.