The more I listen to Trump, the more his honesty seems not just a breath of fresh air, but oxygen in a room which otherwise has none. The pre-digested pap we hear from afraid-to-offend-anybody politicians who utter only focus group-tested banalities is completely honesty-free -- and therefore suffocating.
Yes, Trump is a narcissistic buffoon. But no one beside him, Republican or Democrat, has spoken about immigration honestly. All we get from Democrats are little homilies about how we're a nation of immigrants, and the usual accusations of racism at the slightest hint of realism. And all we get from the other Republicans is talk of a big tent as well as a need for secure borders. This is nothing but a straddling of the fence their constituents want them to build.
If your main concern is not offending people, that pretty much precludes any sort of straight talk.
Judging from the polls, a lot of people seem to be responding the same way. Trump says something -- for instance, that John McCain is not a war hero -- which would sink any other politician, but then keeps rising in the polls. And it's not because the voters identify with New York real estate tycoons -- it's because Trump actually says what he thinks.
Of course, that same bluntness about immigrants extends pretty much to everything.
Trump's recent comment about Megyn Kelly, "She was bleeding from her eyes, she was bleeding from her wherever," is typical. If he feels you've insulted him in any way, he'll lash out at you with anything he can think of. Anything. (A thin skin may not be an asset for a politician, but it makes for fun spats.)
This morning he backtracked a bit by saying that he wasn't referring to her time of month, and that you'd have to be "sick" to say -- or think -- that. (Well, even Trump's honesty has its limits.)
He also said this morning that if elected, he'll be "phenomenal to women." (Not "fair" or "good," mind you, but phenomenal. Trump only uses superlatives when it comes to himself.)
The comment about Kelly's "wherever" was Trump at his most Trumpish. Eventually, his Trumpishness will be his downfall. But as someone said to me at the gym the other day, "If he got elected, how bad could it be? We do need to secure that border. And look at the alternative -- Hillary."
It could certainly be worse from an entertainment point of view. With his grandiloquence and bombast and inability to tolerate criticism, Trump comes across more like one of the more amusing African dictators. Or maybe Kim Jong-il.
Maybe if Angela Merkel obliquely criticizes President Trump's tactics, he can later explain to the American people, "The bitch was on the rag."
Then, when queried about his statement, instead of apologizing, he'll just shrug and say, "Well, she probably was. And, hey, she's a fat, disgusting little toad as well."
It probably wouldn't do a lot for international relations. But wouldn't you rather hear that than the usual lies and obfuscations you hear from politicians?