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Why Serious People Support an Unserious Presidential Candidate

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23:  Donald Trump listens at the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C Groundbreaking Ceremony at Old Post Office on July 23, 2014 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 23: Donald Trump listens at the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C Groundbreaking Ceremony at Old Post Office on July 23, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)

Support for Donald Trump exists not despite the crazy, irresponsible things he advocates, but because of them. The voters who support him in the hope that he is as crazy as he sounds are not, themselves, necessarily crazy for doing so. This despite what the early breadth of Trump’s support may portend about the polarizing politics developing in the U.S.

The political environment that produced Trump, and the broad support for Trump (at least for this stage of the campaign), has been long in the making. For decades a broad segment of Republican voters supported Republican candidates for Congress and for President who promised to hold the line on domestic growth of the national government, if not actually reduce it. But the national government kept growing.

Some of these politicians felt it their responsibility to compromise. The first George Bush to this day defends his decision to raise taxes despite the line he drew in the sand in the 1988 election—“Read my lips. No new taxes”—as the most responsible action to take at the time.

Read more at First Things.

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