Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kathleen Parker: Trump Trumping Himself

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kathleen Parker: Trump Trumping Himself

Article excerpt

Donald Trump can't help himself. Nor can we.

The "worse" he gets, it seems, the better we like it. Watching Trump is so deliciously awful, we don't hang on every word. We hang on the edge of our seats. Whatever will this man say next?

Trump's list of quotables is long, but two stand out.

First, it was the Mexicans who, Trump said, come here illegally to deal drugs and rape -- "and some, I assume, are good people," he added.

Then he went after Sen. John McCain. "He's a war hero because he was captured," Trump said. "I like people that weren't captured." His mind scrambling to catch up to his mouth, Trump added, "Perhaps he's a war hero."

Trump defenders insist these add-ons should inoculate him from the outrage of critics and the media. But running on second thoughts is like throwing a pie at someone and saying, "You look fabulous in meringue!"

We already know what Trump thinks. That he gets away with it is the mystery -- but not really. Pundits have suggested he's tapping into people's anger and frustration. More to the point, he's saying what some people think but don't express because their inhibitory neurons are functioning.

Otherwise, Trump is an iconoclast's iconoclast. To paraphrase H.L. Mencken, who was commenting on democracy, Trump gives people what they want and he gives it to them good and hard.

"Everybody loves me," Trump said recently in an interview on CNN. When he made the McCain jibe during a speech, it sounded as if at least some of his audience laughed at the punch line.

As for the comment about illegal Mexicans, the GOP base wonders what wasn't true.

Trump has something else going for him -- a record of accomplishment beyond politics. Whereas other candidates apologize for their wealth, he brags he's made bundles. Whereas others tout public service resumes, Trump touts buildings that are familiar to the public.

"Building a wall is easy, and it can be done inexpensively," he said of the Great Wall of America he promises to build along the Southern border. …

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