Trump caricatures conservatives in the same way some liberals doPerhaps part of the reason that the media and the Clinton people hear "assassination" from what he said isn't their own ignorance or malice, but Trump's own ignorance as a speaker. It's quite possible that even he doesn't know how what he said sounds to us, or what we think about questions of violent crime versus a heritage based in morally proper revolutions.
Every time something like this happens, you can count on at least a few liberal pundits to erupt in shouts of triumph. Aha! they say. That’s the logical conclusion of the position held by “reasonable” conservatives. Donald Trump just made the subtext text!
When Trump called on “Second Amendment people,” people argued that what he said was no different from pro–gun rights tropes like “you can have my guns when you take them from my cold dead hands.”...
The problem with treating Donald Trump as the conservative id, though, is that Trump isn’t a conservative. He’s not saying things he believes because he doesn’t know he’s not supposed to say them; he’s saying things he doesn’t believe because he thinks other people do.
Maybe in some cases, for some people, he’s right. But for other people, he’s wrong. There are plenty of conservatives who’ve thought hard about the implications of their positions and drawn principled lines.
The pro–gun rights groups who’ve pushed for a broader interpretation of the Second Amendment in recent years have done so by filing lawsuits on behalf of people whose guns were illegal where they lived — not by encouraging those people to try to fire on officers if they confiscated their weapons....
But Trump doesn’t know any of this. He’s new to conservatism, and when he tries to appeal to these voters, it shows.
That would be appropriately symbolic for this year. We aren't really a part of the 2016 election. It's being fought by people who don't understand us, and that's never more obvious than when they fight about us.