Kos: Trump’s a ‘Putrid Mess,’ But He ‘Could Actually Make a Stronger Case For Running as a Democrat’

Left-leaning pundits worth their salt know that Donald Trump isn’t a movement conservative, but many of them believe nonetheless that his candidacy is, in some social/cultural/emotional sense, a fundamentally righty phenomenon. New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait thinks that Trump “has appealed to the right-wing id without grounding his campaign in right-wing thought,” and Jamelle Bouie of Slate alleges that since “conservative intellectuals” are “in terminal denial over the role of race in their movement,” they “can’t see how Trump flows naturally from undercurrents and strategies in conservative politics and conservative rhetoric.”

That said, Daily Kos founder and publisher Markos Moulitsas, whose lefty credentials are hardly in question, argued in a Friday post that while Trump “happened to land on the Republican side because of Hillary Clinton’s dominance…he could actually [have made] a stronger case for running as a Democrat.” Kos observed that Trump “has no ideological mooring or conviction” and noted that he “advocated for single-payer healthcare…has called for higher taxes on the wealthy…mocked Mitt Romney’s attacks on immigrants…was pro-choice…Oh, and he was a registered Democrat until 2009.”

From Kos’s post (bolding added):

Not only does Trump threaten the GOP’s electoral chances this year, but he does so without any real fealty to conservative ideology…

Luckily, we have nothing of that sort on our side. But why not engage in a thought experiment—what would a Trump-equivalent candidate on the Left look like?

It couldn’t be someone like Dennis Kucinich, because while he might endanger the party electorally, he was genuinely liberal…

But what if that person was…Donald Trump himself?

It’s clear that Trump has no ideological mooring or conviction. He’s just a putrid mess of narcissism and self-indulgence. He happened to land on the Republican side because of Hillary Clinton’s dominance, but had things been different, could he have ended up running on our side?

Trump…donated to Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel…advocated for single-payer healthcare…has advocated trade protectionism…has called for higher taxes on the wealthy…mocked Mitt Romney’s attacks on immigrants…was pro-choice…supported an assaults-weapon [sic] ban…Oh, and he was a registered Democrat until 2009.

He could actually make a stronger case for running as a Democrat than what he ended up doing on the GOP side...

According to Pew, 24 percent of Democrats think immigrants make America worse in the long run. And there you have it, that would be Trump’s Democratic base, mostly working-class, white “Reagan Democrat” types. You could certainly see him getting support from Southern registered-Democrats-now-voting-Republican racist-populist voters. And liberals sure do love the “billionaire economic populist” archetype…

Thus, Trump getting 30-35 percent of the Democratic base isn’t out of the realm of possibilities…

And at that point, his relevance to the debate would be dictated by just how many other candidates were splitting up the vote. If Republicans had anyone getting 45-50 percent support, few would give two shits about Trump.

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters