RNC Boss Begs Trump to Tone Down Language

Donald Trump, failed casino owner and blowhard, has been making waves with his comments, almost all of which are demonstrably untrue, about undocumented immigrants. If he were merely another loud drunk at the end of the bar, no one would care. He is, however, running for president, hoping to get the Republican nomination. His ignorant bigotry and name recognition put him well up in the polls; he leads in the latest poll in North Carolina. This is causing the GOP establishment endless grief. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus went so far as to phone The Donald and ask that he tone down his language. That isn’t going to happen.

As an example of his comments, Mr. Trump announced his campaign in a rambling and incoherent rant that included, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” After catching flak for that, he clarified his position on CNN yesterday in an interview with Don Lemon, “If you look at the statistics, of people coming … I didn’t say about Mexico, I say the illegal immigrants … if you look at the statistics on rape, on crime, on everything, coming in illegally to the country, they’re mind-boggling.”

What’s mind-boggling is how wrong Mr. Trump is and how he refuses to accept facts. Bianca Bersani of the University of Massachusetts wrote last year in Justice Quarterly, “Foreign-born individuals exhibit remarkably low levels of involvement in crime across their life course.” Pew Research using her data concluded, “The crime rate among first-generation immigrants — those who came to this country from somewhere else — is significantly lower than the overall crime rate and that of the second generation.” The data also show that even the second generation are more law-abiding than “native born Americans.”

So, Chairman Priebus called Mr. Trump. The Washington Post reported, “The call lasted about 45 minutes, the donors said, and Priebus was cordial, updating Trump on the party and the primary calendar while also urging him to ‘tone it down’ — a phrase used repeatedly by those with knowledge of the exchange. Priebus told Trump that making inroads with Hispanics is one of his central missions as chairman. He told Trump that tone matters greatly and that Trump’s comments are more offensive than he might imagine with that bloc.”

Yet Mr. Trump has absolutely no incentive to “tone it down.” It is his tone that has the media all over him, and it is his tone that got the RNC chairman to call him. He has all the other candidates on their back feet trying to figure out how to counter his crypto-racist statements. The Post also noted, “None of the Republican contenders, with the exception of Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), has defended Trump. But those who have condemned him were slow to do so, and it may ultimately be difficult for them to distance themselves from a celebrity candidate who commands a spotlight and a microphone wherever he goes.”

Mr. Trump will be able to stay in the race as long as he likes since he is a billionaire and can simply write a check to stay in the game. This is exceedingly bad news for the GOP because he is not only unelectable but also because he will distract the media and the electorate from the other, more plausible candidates. His tirades will require an answer, and that will ultimately make the entire field look more ridiculous.

This journal maintains that Mr. Trump is playing the role of the Raving Monster Looney Party, which so famously killed off the Britain’s Social Democratic Party by placing ahead of it in a by-election some years ago. Simply put, this means any candidate who does not do as well as Mr. Trump cannot be taken seriously. The problem Mr. Priebus and his party have is that Mr. Trump is ahead of all of them in North Carolina and is running second in Iowa and New Hampshire. Mr. Trump just might be the most effective weapon the Democrats have.