Trump and the Chumps: What's a Serious Candidate, Anyway?

Ever since Donald Trump rose to front-runner status in the 2016 GOP presidential field, we’ve heard dismissive talk about how he’s not a “serious” candidate. Pundits and political-party leaders have made this claim, in efforts ranging from seriously intended but unserious commentary to the tactic of hoping that if you act as if something is true it will be considered so. But whether or not Trump is a serious candidate, one thing is plain: these politics wonks have no idea what that is. “Serious” in the sense it’s being used by the establishment types is not only a weasel word, but also akin to the tactic of calling an Internet commenter who utters uncomfortable truths a “troll”; the water-muddying message is, “Oh, you don’t have to pay attention to that; he’s not serious.” But what is a “serious candidate,” anyway? Does it reflect seriousness when a politician says, as Jeb Bush has, that...(Read Full Article)

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