No sense pretending: Donald Trump is the only news of the 2016 race, and this fact says something very troubling about the Republican Party, the conservative electorate, the mass media culture, and the United States in general.
Sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s not. Really it’s not.
Ted Cruz goes to war with the GOP Senate leadership; Hillary Clinton proposes the highest tax rates in 70 years; Marco Rubio goes after John Kerry on the Iran deal in a Senate hearing. Well, big deal. Phffft. They’ve all been crowded out by the Trump noise. There will be the first Republican debate in ten days. It’s the most important political event of the year thus far. And it will be all about Trump. He will see to that; the reporters will see to that, and the minor candidates looking to move up will see to it by trying to pick fights with him and best him.
It’s not enough to say that there are matters of deathly seriousness to be discussed -- from Iran to ISIS to the possible collapse of the Euro and the Chinese economy to the harvesting of fetal organs -- because there are always serious matters to be discussed as elections approach.
The issue with Trump is that his approach can only be called “the politics of unseriousness.” He engages with no issue, merely offers a hostile and pithy sound bite bromide about it. He yammers. He describes how wonderful things will be when he acts against something or other without explaining how he will act, what he will do, or how it will work.
John Podhoretz is the editor of Commentary and writes the Letter from the Editor column. He was one of the founders of the Weekly Standard and still serves as the magazine's movie critic.