Donald Trump is very popular right now, but I wonder how many people are actually aware of the reasons behind his popularity. When you listen to Trump’s supporters, they are not really supporting his policies — because Trump has never really expressed any policies. So Trump’s policies are not the reason for his popularity. It’s not his Party affiliation, either. Until just a few years ago, Trump was a Democrat, and even today, he is still sympathetic to Democrats and their policies. So it isn’t Trump’s Party affiliation. So why is Trump so popular with so many people, and what can it tell us about America? Well, the answer is simple, really: Trump has tapped into the same combination of things that made Reagan so popular. The three-fold answer is as follows:
First, like Reagan, Trump says what he means, means what he says. No one doubts whether or not Trump is lying to them. We have all learned how to spot the political two-step that always results when someone is trying to deceive us. There is a certain ‘couching’ of their words, or ‘double-speak’ in the possible meanings behind what they say. We all know when a politician is lying to us, so we’ve just come to expect and accept it. But Trump doesn’t do this. His language is more like what we are used to from the people we deal with in our every-day lives. So people trust Trump more than they do the other politicians in this race. Now, this does not mean that Trump is not deceiving them as well, but if he is, it is going to be found in what he is not saying, not in what he is saying.
Second, Trump does not apologize for any of what he says. This sort of self-assurance appeals to real Americans, but it ruffles the feathers of the feminized portion of the American Progressive. That part of our society is very passive-aggressive. They are comfortable with the use of aggressive force — but only when they are the ones who employ it and it is used in the passive-aggressive manner of which they approve. But when someone else uses aggressive force against them, especially when it is direct, they ‘take offense.’ Like Reagan, Trump does not care if he ‘offends’ his opponents, and Trump makes no secret about the fact that he wants to win. In this case, the battlefield just happens to be about ideas, and the prize is the future of the nation.
Finally, and this is probably the most important reason for Trump’s popularity — even among those who realize he does not represent them politically — Trump calls out the liars in the media. Like Reagan, when the media tries to play its usual tricks with Trump, Trump calls them on it. What’s more, Trump has no problem putting the media in its place. No one trusts the media anymore. Main stream America knows the media is a propaganda arm of the political establishment. So, when Trump comes along and attacks back, the average American is immediately drawn to him because he does what they have been wanting to see ‘their team’ do for years.
Now, here is the danger in all of this. Like Teddy Roosevelt, Trump is a Progressive populist. He is not a ‘conservative,’ so he does not belong in the Republican Party. Those who are politically awake will realize that his running in the Republican Party is a good indication that he has been put there as a spoiler: to break up the Republican nomination process. The thinking probably goes something like this: if Trump can pull away enough of the Republican vote that would otherwise go to Paul, or Cruz or Walker, then the ‘Party’ boy, Bush, will win enough of the early primaries to assure his nomination. But this is admittedly speculation driven by well-earned cynicism.
What the rest of the candidates should take away from this is as follows:
1 — Stop couching your words. Say what you mean, mean what you say and let America decide if you are the person they want representing them. The Presidency is a job, the election is an interview. You need to be honest about yourself and your qualifications, and you need to accept the fact that you may not get the job. Lying to get it — especially in this case — will do nothing but insure that you damage the nation in the long run.
2 — Stand up for yourself and go after your opponents. Stop worrying about who you will offend. If they are that easily offended, they were never going to vote for you in the first place. They are ‘offended’ only because they already oppose you and now they think they have justification for doing so. So hold your ground and go for your opponent’s throat. Just try to do it with humor and wit, like Reagan did.
3 — TAKE ON THE MEDIA! The media are perceived as being more of a political opponent than the ‘other Party,’ so treat them as such. Stop worrying about how the media is going to ‘spin’ what you say. If you are a Republican, they are going to do this anyway, so get in a few punches they cannot cut out of their soundbites. When the media tries to play its little games with you, turn the tables on them. Call them out. Go after them. If they ask you a stupid question, ask them why they support ‘journalists’ who have been proven to be liars. Ask them why you should answer to someone whose next report from location will be in front of another green screen. Do some research into the reporters you will encounter and use your imagination to figure out a funny way to do it, but attack them. Make the media look like the clowns they are and the people will respond. The first one to start doing all of this while espousing true ‘conservative’ policies will win in a landslide. But that requires something else no one is exhibiting but Trump — courage!