Juan Williams: The Trump 'disruption' con

Juan Williams: The Trump 'disruption' con
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For the last few weeks, I have been traveling from Los Angeles to Seattle to Dallas and along the east coast, giving speeches and doing interviews about my new book, “We the People.”

Everywhere I go people want to talk presidential politics. And that is how I’ve heard time and again why Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE’s biggest fans love him:

He is the Great Disruptor!  

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He disrupts Washington politics, a Congress they loathe and the Republican leaders by whom they feel betrayed. He is not afraid to call out President Obama and the self-important talking heads on cable news.

Interwoven at the core of their discontent: political correctness; the role of big money in controlling politicians; gridlock-inducing dogma; and corrupt, special interest groups looking out only for themselves.

It’s hard to argue with them on these points. I agree with Trump supporters on the need for disruption of all of those things. But I’m left with a question: Why do they believe Trump will be a reliable agent of disruption?

Yes, he points out the hypocrites and liars. And, yes, he has crushed the GOP leaders who have contributed to the right-left divide that has paralyzed Washington and earned Congress a dismal 13 percent approval rating.

But what is Trump’s plan once he kicks out the bums?

He has no clear political principles to anchor him or to give his fans any reason to believe he can repair the damage.

Instead, he hurtles wildly from one position to another. Just last week, he said his infamous pledge to temporarily ban all non-citizen Muslims from entering the country was “only a suggestion.”

This equivocation must have come as a surprise to his diehard supporters. It will be one of many disappointments if he is elected.

Similarly, Trump brags about not being in debt to big political donors who control politicians. Voters say they like the fact that Trump does not need millions of dollars of dark PAC money.

But two weeks ago, he began raising money with the Republican National Committee from those selfsame big donors. And he expects to use those funds for his general election campaign as well as to pay off the money he loaned himself during the GOP primary. 

And don’t forget Trump promises to appoint more Supreme Court Justices like the late Antonin Scalia. Scalia was a great conservative jurist but he took the lead in opening the floodgates for unlimited corporate political donations with the 2010 Citizens United ruling.

The same puzzling inconsistency applies to Trump’s put-downs. It is wonderfully entertaining to watch him defy the rules of civil discourse by insulting and belittling Republicans as well as Democrats and disrupt everything considered politically correct.

But he also bullies women, just last week going after New Mexico Gov. Susanna Martinez, a Hispanic Republican. And he has a history of insulting prisoners of war, immigrants and the disabled.

Where are the insults for a man threatening world peace — Russian President Vladimir Putin? Where are his put-downs for hedge fund managers who profit from sending jobs overseas? Where is his rage at self-serving bankers?

So, yes, he is defying the rules of political correctness but he is doing so by often making xenophobic and racist comments.

In the days before he died this month, former Utah Republican Sen. Bob Bennett felt the need to apologize to every Muslim he met for the hateful words of his party’s standard-bearer. Trump’s strident anti-PC rhetoric risks inspiring a backlash and a rush of people into the PC camp because the messenger is so noxious.

According to Trump, the trash-talk will stop if he actually becomes president.

'You're going to be so bored, you're going to say this is the most boring human being I've ever interviewed,' Trump told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” last month. “'I think if I act very presidential I'll be dull, but that will be fine.”

“Trump is not a serious man, which is part of his appeal in a country that has grown increasingly unserious,” wrote Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal last summer. “He’s a showman in a country that likes to watch shows — a country that believes all politics is showbiz now, and all politicians are entertainers of varying degrees of competence. At least Mr. Trump is honest about it. He capitalizes on the fact that no one in America trusts politicians anymore.”

Once the show of a disruption is over, the regularly scheduled programming will resume.

“It’s as improbable as it is entertaining,” my friend and Fox News colleague Bret Baier observed last month in a special called “Donald Trump: The Disruptor.”

“He’s changed the face of American politics and somehow connected with the public in a way that few politicians ever had,” Baier said. “A businessman who was all but able to take over a party with its establishment in open war against him. While he is popular with his base, polls show him consistently to be the candidate with the highest negatives.”

Oh, yes, the negatives.

One fundamental thing separates Trump’s fans and critics: Whether they have taken the time to apply even the slightest scrutiny to what he says and does.

Juan Williams is an author and political analyst for Fox News Channel. His latest book, "We The People: The Modern-Day Figures Who Have Reshaped and Affirmed the Founding Fathers' Vision of America" published by Crown, is out now.