No one is going to stop Donald Trump with “facts.” Or arguments about inconsistency, or holes in his policy program. Or complaints about his nativism, intolerance, coarseness, and blah, blah, blah. Or lectures about the serious burdens of the presidency. You say there’s absolutely no chance that any Mexican government will ever contribute a single peso to building The Wall? And that in fact more Mexicans are leaving the United States than entering? Shut up, loser! The Wall just got 10 feet higher.
The Republican primary has become a pro-wrestling contest. If you think that’s just a metaphor, check out this video of Trump stepping into the ring to shave Vince McMahon’s head at Wrestlemania XXIII. Trump’s dismissive affect toward his wrestling rival is identical to the way he diminishes his mewling low-energy/choker/liar/whiny-baby opponents on the debate stage.
As Josh Marshall and others have pointed out, Trump’s dominance is not about ideas or argument or, yes, even “anger.” It’s about sheer dominance itself. He is strong. The others are weak. He is a winner. They are pathetic losers. It’s a pro-wrestling pre-match chest-pounding contest.
That is why the only possibly effective response is the one Marco Rubio introduced on Thursday night—and has really had fun with since. Rubio has found what could be Trump’s kryptonite, the substance that might conceivably peel his supporters away from him.