Of all the rationalizations for Trump I have heard, the conversation between Eric Metaxas and Ann Coulter is the most scandaleux.
Today, Ann Coulter was on Metaxas’ show and the conversation got around to Donald Trump. Metaxas tripled down on his support for Trump. For her part, Coulter again referred to the 1965 immigration reform as the source of our current immigration problems. In the process, Metaxas told the audience his parents came from Greece in the 1950s. Lucky them. Prior to the 1965 immigration bill, immigration from Greece was restricted. The 1965 immigration reform demonized by Coulter expanded immigration from Greece as well as other eastern and southern European nations.
Trump, the Poor Man’s Rich Guy
At 32:56 into hour one with Ann Coulter, Metaxas talked about Trump’s appeal to working people. Metaxas told Coulter that Trump doesn’t seem like a plutocrat and is comfortable spending time on construction sites because that where he has spent most of his time. Coulter then said that Trump has always been like that. She said in 1988 Trump said he didn’t get along with “the fancy rich people.” The strangeness continued:
Metaxas: Trump is the classic nouveau riche in the sense that the elite want to sneer at people like that. And people like that are so disturbing to the cultural elites that the ideal that someone like this could be potentially president, it’s very upsetting. You see that on the left and on the right and again this is independent of policy stuff.
Coulter: You are absolutely 100% right about that. That’s a lot of what the “never trump” animus comes from.
Coulter: …because it isn’t logical. Whenever people aren’t giving you logical arguments, I’m mean I’m not one to go around looking for motives, but they’re perfectly clear in this case with the sneering and the spluttering and the sighing. They aren’t trying to make a factual argument, it’s just, ‘he’s so déclassé’.
Metaxas: Right, right.
Of course. How could I have missed that in myself?
Probably, that is what is going on with the hundreds (and growing) of delegates who want to vote their conscience at the GOP convention. They feel so above the Donald.
What Metaxas said might be more accurate about Trump’s father, but not Trump. Trump had quite a significant head start on his current wealth. Given the lavish lifestyle Trump has lived, it seems impossible to believe that anyone has ever complained about having a “déclassé'” president. If anything, Trump has been part of the cultural elite class. He has bragged about using his money to buy politicians, including the attorney general of Florida.
I suspect Trump has spent time on construction sites. Probably though, he should have spent more time on them. According to past building contractors with the Trump organization, he hasn’t paid many of his construction contractors. In Atlantic City, Trump is known for failure to pay on time and full price. USA Today found hundreds of liens and lawsuits where prompt and full payment was an issue. While Trump hasn’t lost them all, he has lost plenty. According to USA Today’s, New Jersey’s Casino Control Commission records in 1990 demonstrate that at least 253 subcontractors weren’t paid in full or in a timely manner.
If anything is classic about the exchange on Metaxas’ show, it is an illustration of rationalization and confirmation bias.
Au contraire Metaxas and Coulter, the factual arguments have been made (many times, e.g. here). Neither of you like them. That is fine, but one of you is out hawking a book that claims America is screwed if we don’t return to virtue. So let’s drop the silly notion that Trump’s opponents are snooty old moneyed rich people who look down on Trump the rich common man.
To paraphrase Coulter, using French words is not an argument.