Why is Donald Trump so popular? Last night he won the Florida primary for the Republican Party. The spin-meisters in the global media conglomerates – who are terrified of Trump for many reasons, including the fact that he is much better at their jobs than they are – have been pumping up John Kasich’s win in Ohio as some sort of sign that Trump’s momentum is slowing down. As if.
Trump’s margin of victory in the March 15th round of elections was significantly higher than his margin of victory on so-called ‘Super Tuesday’ – his share of the overall Republican vote has risen from 34.6% to 40.3%, and this at a time when the deep pockets of the Republican establishment have been raided in order to fund ‘attack ads’ against him, especially in Florida.
So how does the Donald manage to shrug off all these attacks? How did Teflon Trump manage to become so non-stick to all the fully justified criticisms of his policies and personality?
Put simply, all the criticisms are perceived as coming from the governing establishment – other politicians, the mainstream media, government and academia. The disconnect between the governing establishment and those over whom they rule has been getting wider for decades. The governing establishment has accepted many standards of behaviour that are used to identify a person as either ‘in’ or ‘out’ of that group. Foremost amongst these is political correctness.
Trump, it must be admitted, is not politically correct.
More than this, Trump has explicitly identified himself with those who are outside the establishment. His use of aggressive and inflammatory language is quite clearly ‘not the done thing’ within the governing class. It is, however, how a very large number of people speak in their normal interactions.
These are the people that are voting for Trump. They vote for him because they identify with him. They see him as ‘one of us’. This is immensely potent politically.
When the governing establishment attacks Trump, Trump’s support tends to rise. This is simply because his base of support sees those attacks as being, not simply against Trump as a person, but against Trump as representative of a class. For the first time in several generations, the Trump supporters have someone who can not only represent them on a wider national stage, but someone who can represent them and win in struggles against the governing establishment. This is why they are so fired up.
It would be a mistake to portray this in racial terms. The governing establishment likes to portray Trump supporters as angry white men, rednecks with no education and less breeding. That is simply a portrait of their own shadows – the dark heart of white identity, from which the enlightened ones have been raised, never to go back.
Trump is not a racist, and he is in fact doing well with the Hispanic vote in particular. In the Nevada primary, for example, he gained 44% of the (Republican) Hispanic vote. What is often missed beneath the bold rhetoric that Trump is known for is a hard-headed and pragmatic insistence that the job of the United States president is to protect the interests of United States citizens – and nobody else. The fact that this is the most important part of the job description seems to have been lost by most commentators, and the extreme reaction to Trump’s policy simply shows how warped the mentality of the governing establishment has become. Trump wins votes among Hispanics in particular because they are fully aware of what a lawless society looks like – Mexico. They are fully aware that if they wish to make a better life for themselves – that is, if they wish to pursue the American Dream – it needs to be done lawfully, in the context of and with the support of a robust legal and police system.
This is why Trump is popular. It is also what drives the vitriolic and personalised denunciations of Trump himself. Trump is the living embodiment of all that the governing establishment disdains. What has followed is a perfect example of a religious witch-hunt. The high priests are reacting against the heretic discovered in their midst and are whipping themselves up into a righteous fury, a fury that is likely to have a very particular outcome.
Trump is not Hitler. He is neither racist nor a warmonger, he has a long history of working with unions and opposing corporate subsidies. He is, put simply, a very ‘centrist’ candidate for the US presidency. Yet ‘Hitler’ is the word of choice for all those who oppose him. This is dangerous, for to call a person Hitler – that is, to call them by this name with all seriousness – is to render that person beyond a particular community, and once this has been accepted, then that person is no longer entitled to the protections of that community.
It’s a common question – if you could have stopped Hitler before his rise to power, would you have done so? The media narrative around Trump is channelling a huge amount of psychic pressure towards an assassination attempt. If Trump is assassinated then we really are going to move closer to a second American Civil War.
If Trump lives, and if he is allowed to gain the Republican nomination (not guaranteed, there might still be room for a back-stage stitch-up) I predict that Trump will win in November. Hillary Clinton, his likely opponent, is utterly corrupt – a stooge of Goldman Sachs, implicated in several different ethical and financial scandals, and open to a savage critique on her record in office as Secretary of State, during which time the United States’ foreign policy has been a disaster without precedent in modern times. More than that, no person more embodies the face of the governing establishment than the radical feminist who owes her career to the success of her husband.
No. Trump will win, and will win in a landslide. After that, politics will become interesting again.
UPDATE: just came across this cartoon, which says it all:
Trump is, officially, the most disliked person ever to have run for the Presidency; 2/3 of the American electorate can’t stand the man – and that number has been steady for a long time, I believe. He’s only getting about 35% of the Republican primary voters, even.
You might want to read this article – http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-02-29/the-die-hard-republicans-who-say-nevertrump – to get an idea about how some people are looking at this over here. These are Republicans who say they will never, ever vote for Trump; some are even considering voting for Clinton to keep Trump out of the White House. I was going to write a long thing here about what’s wrong with the guy, but really these people say it better than I could.
Check out #NeverTrump on Twitter, too; busy place, these days.
The Republican Party is very likely to split, I think, at the Convention. For one thing, they’re worried that having Trump on the ballot will ruin the ticket all the way down the line. If he has the delegates, they’ll probably walk out and offer their own third-party candidate. If not, they’ll probably dump him and come up with somebody else. Either way, he’s not going to win. But it’s not very likely there’ll be any kind of Civil War; I can’t imagine anybody cares enough to fight over him.
His supporters will be disappointed, though; they think of him as their hero, and nobody else pays any attention to them. That something that does need to change, and has for a while.
But we don’t really need an unstable narcissistic ignoramus in the White House to get that done, or any of the “excitement” that goes along with the prospect….
I don’t much care who the next American president is but I am thoroughly enjoying the fear Trump inspires. He is more entertaining than your crush Sarah Palin ever was.
That’s a funny cartoon – but it’s actually wrong. The Left doesn’t care anything about Trump, in general; they just sneer at him, but have no real interest, except for a few pro forma protesters.
It’s the Right that’s freaking out; they see him as a thief – and interloper in the Republican Party. “He’s not a conservative,” they say, and they don’t owe him any loyalty (which is true). Don’t forget that Sanders isn’t a Democrat, either; these guys are just using the Party apparatuses to acquire power, but neither has any loyalty to either Party, or any kind of relationship with the parties.
The resistance is coming from the grassroots on the right, not from the “establishment.” They are just shell-shocked.
What you’re complaining about really, I think, is the media; I haven’t seen too many “Hitler” comparisons, although I’m sure they’re out there. (Trump actually is a dead ringer for Mussolini, in affect and posture!) And the Media is (always) in it for ratings; he hasn’t spent a dime for publicity. It’s free.
I read a thing that said Trump’s support came originally from the Drudge Report, and bubbled up from there. But all these #NeverTrump people are now finished with FoxNews and Limbaugh and Hannity and Coulter and the rest of that crowd, because of their support for Trump. So in this way, very interesting things are happening…..
But you know: you’re making way too light of all the violence in his rhetoric. Threats, calls for torture and war crimes, telling people at his rallies to punch protestors, calls for mass roundup and deportation. All of that stuff is really there, and whether he believes it or not is pretty much irrelevant. (I think he really IS violent at his core; he can’t stand to be criticized and threatens lawsuits – and makes other threats – when people publish TRUE critical stories. He’s a maniac – and, I think, not in any way a good guy.)
He completely blew it, with all that stuff; people are calling his bluff, and will put him out the door on account of it. If he’s going to act like a fascist demagogue, he’s going to get treated like one – and that’s an excellent thing, IMO.
Really: he’s a complete idiot, and good riddance to him. One interesting thing is that Republicans, Democrats, and Independents all post at #NeverTrump – the only thing these groups have agreed with each other about for many years.
Oh, and BTW: there are comparatively few Hispanic Republicans; I think the ratio is around 80% to 20%, Democratic / Republican. Clinton gets by far the greatest share of these voters.
This will explain #NeverTrump: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/03/18/opinion/no-not-trump-not-ever.html?_r=0