Column: Understanding the Trump phenomenon
This has been the most entertaining, exasperating, immature and contentious political primary season in memory. For the sake of full disclosure, let me state at the outset, that I am not, at this time, a Donald Trump supporter. My first choice was Dr. Ben Carson. He was the most intelligent candidate on the list and those that dismissed him as lacking political experience were selling short his agile mind. The learned doctor who could separate Siamese twins conjoined at the head, would be a quick study on our political processes. He also showed a very good working knowledge of the Constitution. As an outsider, Dr. Carson attracted many who hold the establishment elite Republicans responsible for promising to fight the Obama Agenda, and then folding at the first sign of resistance. Unfortunately, Dr. Carson was too gentlemanly, too contemplative in speech and not brash enough for today’s “sound bite” media.
Ted Cruz is a skilled Constitutional lawyer who is the best schooled in that document and its meaning. His description of those in power in our capital as the “cartel of corruption” shows an understanding of the way Washington works. Bernie Sanders would undoubtedly agree with that phrase. Cruz has willing stood up to the country club Republicans and has earned their animus. This sets well with the rebellious base.
Rising star, Senator Marco Rubio seems to have shot himself in the foot when he went against his positive message and started his juvenile attack on Donald Trump’s small hands and other trivialities that take the focus off the issues.
John Kasich has a fairly conservative record. Fiscally, his congressional record shows he is solid in this area. He is a little too “moderate” for a lot of the anti-establishment rebels on immigration and common core. Apparently, he has not talked to any of the parents of students who are unable to help their kids with their common core math homework. My own pet peeve is that he doesn’t stand up straight. His posture is so poor that he projects weakness.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, may project a lot of things, but weakness isn’t one of them. Author, intellectual, and talk show host Denis Prager, has said that those voting for Trump are “buying a pig in a poke.” For those not familiar with that anachronistic phrase, it means you really don’t know what you’re getting when you vote for Trump. Is he really a conservative, a self serving egotist, does he really care about the country? Those are good points and good questions to ask. Trump’s adherents trust him when he states that the country makes deals that are bad for Americans and the country. The anti-establishment rebels believe Donald Trump when he says that he loves our country. They think that he is absolutely correct when he implies that both political parties have implemented policies that have led to our economic, diplomatic and military decline. Trumps supporters would answer that they would rather face the uncertainty of buying that pig in a poke, than to live with the certainty of a dishonest Hillary Clinton presidency, an alternative they see as a “pantsuit who should be in the pokey”, not the White House.
When Trump makes, what many in the main stream media consider an outrageous statement, the press and the pundits play it up in the hope that it will cause a backlash in his popularity. In practically every instance so far in this political cycle, the opposite has occurred. When Trump said he would deport all of the illegal aliens, there was a media uproar. Many of his opponents, in both parties, said that it was “impossible” to deport twelve million people. (Most of Trump’s supporters think there are as many as twice to three times that number.) Yet Trump’s popularity grew after that. The reason for this increase in followers was mystifying to his opponents and the media, but it is easily understood. While one can argue that the cost of deportations would be too expensive and the task too burdensome, Trump’s masses don’t believe it is “impossible”. If we can put men on the moon, if UPS can track a package from its origin to its destination a few continents away, if the government can find the calves of a mad cow in other countries, then we can deport as many illegals as we have the determination to deport.
The latest attacks on Trump show how desperate the media and the leftists are because of his swelling number of enthusiasts. One can tell his rivals are frantic when they start comparing Trump to Hitler and Mussolini and his partisans to the Nazi brown shirts. The truest show of their fear of the increasing multitude following their political nemesis is when they try to prevent him from speaking. When political operatives from MoveOn.org, Black Lives Matter and Bernie Sanders followers organized a violent disruption of a Trump rally in Chicago last Friday, it proved that they know his message has a very well received resonance. This attempt to prevent Donald Trump’s right to speak to the people will backfire. It may, quite possibly, increase his numbers and seal his nomination as the Republican standard bearer and his election to the Presidency, by making him “a martyr for the First Amendment.”
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