To listen to Donald Trump over the last couple of months — and how could you miss him? — is to come to the conclusion that he’s wrong on just about everything.
The latest piece of evidence: the stock market swoon in Shanghai and around the world. China’s economy is in a slump. Its market is mysterious. Manufacturing is down, corruption is rampant, and it’s just not selling enough stuff to the rest of the world.
But to hear Trump tell it since he launched his campaign in June, China is a formidable economic foe to be emulated and conquered.
“This country is in big trouble,” Trump said during the first GOP debate. “We don’t win anymore. We lose to China...We lose to everybody.”
Trump’s sloganeering and narcissistic pronouncements — “I beat China all the time” — speak to the hunger of a slice of Americans, a hunger for slick salesmanship and empty promises.
Drill beneath the surface of Trump’s deport-every-illegal stance on immigration, as George Stephanopolous tried to do on his Sunday morning show, and you get no real answer. Trump doesn’t have answers, he’s a scene-chewer.
The media can’t seem to get enough of the Trump circus, so I feel a bit sheepish and hypocritical for piling on. The good news — or really it’s bad news — is that we’ve got a long way to go before the winter primaries. Surely this TV surreality show will be losing steam by then.
Steve Paul, editorial page editor: firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter: @sbpaul.