The Myth of Inferiority Essay

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Punching back: Why Jeb Bush is finally responding to Trump’s ‘personal’ attacks There is no longer any question that Donald Trump is getting under Jeb Bush’s skin. Just listen to Al Cardenas, the former Florida Republican chairman who is a longtime friend and informal adviser to Bush. Trump, he told me, knows better than anyone “that he can't continue to feed the angry monster much longer before he runs out of new, over the top, incendiary, provocative things to say.” As their 15-round heavyweight bout goes on, says Cardenas, speaking for himself, “Jeb will get stronger and he will get weaker unless he is able to get to Jeb now and land some lethal political punches. It won't happen.” Ticking off a series of jabs by Trump, Cardenas told me “the problem is that Mr. Trump's attacks have been personal. He has attempted to disrespect Governor Bush, his wife, her ancestry, brought Mrs. Barbara Bush into the picture and called the Governor a weak man. These childish, bully-like attacks are unheard of in the annals of modern day etiquette expectations for a presidential contest. No one is suspected to behave in such manner but Mr. Trump has. It's gotten to the point where Governor Bush will not stand being disrespected and his record distorted by this uncouth behavior.” That sense of frustration helps explain why Bush is now attempting to hit back at the Republican front-runner who routinely mocks him as “low energy.” But it’s not going so well. The reason: this kind of hand-to-hand combat doesn’t play to Bush’s strength as he tries to position himself as the grownup in the race. Jeb is a laid-back policy wonk, and Trump is a street fighter. It’s a difficult calculation for the Bush campaign, which has gradually decided to jab back at the billionaire who is leading in the Republican polls. Jeb may have no choice, given Trump’s utter dominance in media coverage. To
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