The Trump Phenomenon

trump buttonEverywhere I turn in political discussions of late the subject is all too often Donald Trump. People want to know why he is doing so well in polling and why nothing seems to take him down. Others claim that he has peaked and can go no further. And, in any event, he trails potential democrat opponents in polls as well, so he must be a flash in the pan.

 

As of this writing Mr. Trump is the front-runner in the Republican primary race. He holds approximately twice the support of his nearest competitor, Jeb Bush. And, nothing seems to have any effect on his popularity, except to increase it. The pundits seem incredulous, but that incredulity is either feigned, or is the result of a basic ignorance of the American people and their temperament.

 

The first thing that should be dispensed with is that Donald Trump is no fool, and that anyone who takes him lightly will be taken to the cleaners. In business he has always found a way to succeed. He is smart, an excellent businessman and, perhaps most important of all, a suburb showman and marketer. In politics he is marketing what is probably his favorite commodity: himself.

 

Anyone who knows anything about marketing also knows that you have to sell what the public will buy, or you will go out of business fast. The level of support that Mr. Trump has gathered seems phenomenal only from the perspective of those who don’t know the market. It hearkens back to the old saw about the political advisors who always tell the Republican candidate to play to the mushy middle and not “upset the moderates.” It is, to borrow from Ronald Reagan, constructing a platform of pale pastels instead of bold colors. Donald Trump refuses to go with the pale colors. He is bold, brash, and sometimes seemingly offensive, but under it all he has tapped into an underlying truth about Americans; that they have always loved a winner; particularly one who refuses to be cowed by negative publicity. That is a quintessentially American quality. He is like General Patton who refuses to drink with the Russian General until they had both called each other SOB’s. Trump doesn’t back down like milquetoast candidates such as Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney.

 

So, aside from tapping into the American love of a strong man who fights back when confronted, what else is operating here? Firstly, Trump has his media empire, which put him right in front of the parade from the start. The media, which saw him as a pop-culture icon only, now are confronted with opposition because he refuses to toe their line. This refusal generates more negative publicity, which in turn drives him to more opposition generating more public approval, and the cycle continues. The media hasn’t learned that the best thing they could do to take him down is to ignore him.

 

Meanwhile, the spotlight shines less brightly on two people who are also following the same model. Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz. Both of these two candidates have been doing the same thing the Trump has, albeit with less fanfare. Cruz, to be fair, has been doing it ever since he was elected Senator from Texas. He was also the first Republican to declare for the Presidency, so he has had a major head start. From within the Senate he has been raising cane for some time. His recent attack on the Majority Leader is an excellent example, and he didn’t back down when criticized, either. There can be little doubt that his attack was factually correct and McConnell is attempting to pull more statist wool over the eyes of conservative Americans. Cruz simply stands up and tells the truth. And he is very good at it.

 

Fiorina started later, but has been on the trail attacking everything including especially Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Clinton deserves every bit of it. She and her philandering husband were the first couple of corrupt politics ever since he was governor of Arkansas. As I stated many years ago, he was the first career criminal ever elected to the presidency, and the conduct of what Rush Limbaugh describes as the Clinton Crime Family Foundation only continues to prove the point. But more importantly, Fiorina’s somewhat limited success in attracting political traction has been entirely due to her willingness to call it as it is.

 

What all of these candidates have in common is that they publically stand for the truth, and for returning America to its proper standing in the eyes of the world and, more importantly, the eyes of the American public. “Make America Strong Again” is more than a slogan. It cuts to the heart of what America was all about and what we have expected it to be. When we were told that we couldn’t drive our SUV’s and have our thermostats at 72 degrees, the American response would be “Why Not?” and then proceed to do it just to prove that it can be done. When we are told that we didn’t build the businesses we put out heart and soul into, we have to shake our heads in disbelief. After all, America did so much, why can’t we continue to do it. Do we have to believe that we can’t?

 

That is the appeal of Donald Trump. He is unashamed about being extraordinarily wealthy. He virtually brags about it. He refuses to pretend, as Hillary Clinton did when she said that she was “flat broke” when leaving the White House. He doesn’t complain as Bill Clinton did that he has to pay the bills. Trump connects with us because he tells us that we can be what we want to be. That we can be great, and that the only thing holding us back is our refusal to achieve because we believe the propaganda thrown at us by those who want to hold us down.

 

For the last roughly 7 years Barack Obama has been working to systematically destroy everything that has made America a nation to be proud of. He even deserts our friends in the international sphere and kisses up to obvious enemies. He makes America out to be a nation that cannot be trusted, just as he cannot be trusted. He lies at every opportunity. Now he wants America to be known as a nation of liars and cheats so no one will ever trust us. He is that Anti-Trump.

 

I have been told that Trump was a liberal, and that this is all an act. Some say that he doesn’t care about social issues such as abortion and homosexual marriage. Perhaps he doesn’t, but if the nation dies an economic death, then the social issues will be meaningless. He has everything to gain from resurrecting American dreams and achievements. He has everything to lose from allowing America to die, as the hard Left wants. I’m not saying that I support him. I’m merely saying that I like what he says, as millions of others do. And we should not ignore him, or take his candidacy less than seriously.

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