When Fox's Roger Aisles called on Trump to apologize for his disrespect toward reporter Megyn Kelly, I thought that he might be intentionally lobbing a softball to the ginger-coiffed plutocrat. After all, what is the main source of Trump's appeal? Trump don't apologize, that's what. Nor does he even try -- that is, lower himself -- to respond to policy critiques. Bush tried that angle, basically saying Trump doesn't know what he is talking about (which is pretty true). The Donald's response? Jeb is a "low energy" guy. Possibly even "a loser." Ouch.
This is why Trump won't be brought down easily. He just doesn't give a shit. Traditionally, candidates are scripted and focus-grouped to death. You know, the Frank Luntz treatment. Exhibit A: Hillary. People love that Trump isn't one of those people. Hell, I like it. The "no apologies" part is the key, though. This plays into three big conservative themes, the first a bit disturbing; the second, half-baked; and the third, understandable.
The first is the need for an authoritarian Daddy figure. Trump's fundamental approach is, Kids, just don't worry about it. I'll be so good at the military it will make your head spin. I believe you, dad! Thank you!
The second relates to the Republican complaints that Obama is ceaselessly traveling the globe apologizing for the US. This is nonsense. Occasionally, at the beginning of his presidency, he would acknowledge historical US missteps, misguided actions whose negative impacts upon the less powerful nations of the world has always been, in their eyes, quite blatant. Acknowledging reality, however modestly, has gone a long way toward restoring respect for the US globally. That's a fact. Hey, I thought it was a conservative value to take responsibility for one's actions.
The final point has some legs, seems more legitimate to me. Essentially, a lot of white people feel that liberal orthodoxy demands that they go around apologizing all the time, literally just for being born (white). Yes, there are racists and nativists among Trump's followers, but there are plenty of other good people who feel caricatured by the left, and are tired of it. So for the moment and maybe longer, Trump is their man.
UPDATE 9-22: Wow, have to revise this and say that the nativists and racists seem to really be dominant at this point in the Trump crowd. Ugly. The point still holds for many other white Republicans.