GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush recently sat down with President Obama’s favorite little “journalist,” Steve Inskeep of NPR. The two met in Boston, where Bush was in the midst of campaigning, and of course the topic of conversation centered around… Donald Trump.
Inskeep and Trump trotted out all of the anti-Trump tropes they could muster, starting with Trump’s ideas on Muslim immigration being “crazy.”
“Trump clearly banning all Muslims would actually be so counterproductive in our efforts to destroy ISIS that it’s foolhardy. I mean, it’s beyond ridiculous; it’s quite dangerous,” Jeb told Inskeep.
Sadly for Jeb and the other GOP candidates who have taken to Trump-bashing, the majority of GOP voters (and a large number of Americans) seem to agree with Trump’s assessment that we should not be importing Muslim refugees from Syria when we know that ISIS is trying to use the situation to instigate more terror, and that, simultaneously, our intelligence community cannot properly vet the refugees we plan to accept.
Bush believes that by the time the actual primary voting begins, the American people will have changed their mind. “In a month from now they won’t [agree]. That’s the point. The point is that we’re living in this reality-TV kind of political environment, where [Trump] fills the space by saying outrageous things. People based on their emotions will express support for the sentiment, not necessarily the specifics, because there are none, and then he’ll backtrack. And he’ll move on to the next thing, and he fills the space.”
Let me pause here to translate. What Bush is saying is that ‘anyone who agrees with Trump is an idiot who is arguing based solely on emotion. Soon their stupid, short attention span will shift to something else and they’ll move on.’
I’ll let Jeb continue: “I think the emotion of the here and now will subside. Are people scared about the national security interests of our country being violated because of a lax immigration system or a visa waiver program that wasn’t designed for people being radicalized? Yes, they’re scared, and the job of a president — or a candidate, for that matter — isn’t to scare them more; it’s to give them solutions, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Donald Trump is not scaring Americans, Jeb. The reason Trump is winning (and I am not one of his supporters) is because he offers them an option that is different from fear – he offers them a response. A real, actual response that seems logical and likely to work. ‘Muslims are attacking us, let’s not import more of them who we can’t vet into our country.’ It’s not crazy or emotional Jeb – it’s logical.
Let’s get to the part where we finally agree with something Jeb says, shall we. While President Obama believes that Trump is a creation of the GOP and that Trump is exploiting Americans fears for his own personal gain, Bush doesn’t exactly see it that way. In fact, while it has become a popular talking point on the left to say that Trump is an outgrowth of crazy GOP fanaticism, the more likely explanation for the rise of Trump is the massive failure of the Obama administrations liberal policies.
“[Obama’s] got this notion of what blue-collared, white voters kind of think that’s so out of touch. People are legitimately angry with Washington, D.C. And, yes, Mr. President, they’re legitimately angry with you. You have divided the country up in all sorts of disparate parts.
I would argue that Donald Trump is in fact a creature of Barack Obama, but for Barack Obama, Donald Trump’s effect would not be nearly as strong as it is. We’re living in a divided country right now, and we need political leaders, rather than continuing to divide as both President Obama and Donald Trump [do], to unite us.”
Hear, hear. Finally a comment from Jeb Bush that we can get behind.
Here’s the entire Jeb Bush interview from NPR.
You can read more about the interview as well as find the transcript at NPR.