Monday, August 3, 2015

Deconstructing the Trump phenomenon

From the perspective of all of us “average Joes,” I think it is fair comment that virtually anyone running for U.S. president these days is, by definition, a shameless self-promoter—with something of a God-complex—or a loose screw.  With the multitude of problems in the world, who would want the pressures that come to bear or that fish bowl existence?

Although likely to flame out as shooting stars are wont to do, Mr. Trump is channeling the very real “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore” sentiments of the unhinged UBS news anchor Howard Beale (a fictional character played to Oscar glory by Peter Finch in 1976’s Network).  And the political powers-that-be on both sides of the aisle better take heed: it is not the first time a long-shot political neophyte has caused a populist phenomenon that has led to the White House.   

That being said, the MSM is squarely taking aim at “The Donald,” busy crafting another superficial bogeyman of a monopoly comb-over caricature (only minus the mustache and the monocle).  This is the same playbook effectively used to pigeonhole Romney as an out of touch/white/rich/Republican elitist.  Sound familiar? However, unlike Mr. Romney (who was too busy playing the gentlemanly elder statesman to take the gloves off and fight for the presidency), Mr. Trump gives as much guff as he gets. 

Whether viewed as good, bad or indifferent, Donald Trump is the genuine article, himself: a colorful, bombastic creature of Capitalism—and the fundamental American principles of freedom, self-determination, free-speaking and respect for law—rather than a bowing apologist traveling the world on bended knee (Obama) or the blasé blamer of Benghazi (Hillary) on the nonsensical, a video.

I don’t know if the scribe of “The Art of the Deal” is truly electable—only time will tell­—but there is no doubt more than six years in that the American people have gotten a raw deal at every turn with the disastrous Obama administration.  Mr. Trump has the skill set to do much better: in the true Machiavellian fashion of exaggerating one’s hand, outright lying or otherwise outmaneuvering one’s opponent across a bargaining table, Mr. Trump excels.  And unlike the leading Democratic nominee (who has likely bartered favorable government influence to cronies to amass a personal fortune known as the “Clinton Cash” scandal), “The Donald” has a legitimate and undisputable track record of success.  After all, one’s name doesn’t end up on the side of Manhattan skyscrapers for nothing.

Detractors of Mr. Trump criticize him for his brashness (as if plain-speaking is some kind of Orwellian thought-crime in the Democrat’s politically correct nomenclature), because of his willingness to shoot from the hip by call things what they actually are.  An important example: border-jumpers are an underclass of illegal alien “invaders,” not misunderstood immigrants.  That is precisely what is causing “The Donald’s” surge in the polls.  It turns out Americans find refreshing people who take the common sense approach (little seen inside Washington’s elitist beltway bubble) of forcefully articulating what the suffering, silent majority of average citizens, like me, is thinking.  The surprise here is one needn’t have the warmth or charisma of a Ronald Reagan; one resonates to the truth of the message even while remaining unsure about the caliber of its speaker.

Indeed, Americans are beyond fatigued with the “don’t trust your lying eyes” mantra of hell or high water agenda-driven progressive Democrats.  The electorate is starved for truth-telling leaders who will level with them, especially when most circumstances in the future are likely to be quite dire.  That’s not Barack Obama and it’s certainly not Hillary Clinton: Democrats who have gotten a complete pass for every equivocation, every outright lie and every sleazy scandal thus far.  

Similarly, the MSM attacks Mr. Trump for his social status, but largely ignores the fact that “public servant” Hillary is also famous and fabulously wealthy, living in mansions, riding in private planes and limousines.  Certainly, Mrs. Clinton’s lavish lifestyle does not disqualify her from her obsessive presidential ambitions.  However, the difference between the two is as Mr. Trump is already a self-made  billionaire—possessing all the money, fame and power of perhaps an incorruptible Midas—while Hillary (and her aptly named former president hubby, Bill) have repeatedly attached dollar signs to their self-serving loyalty.

In many ways, Mr. Trump is the wild card in American politics.  But, so was Barack Obama when America took a terrible gamble on him, twice.  Yet, “The Donald” is not likely to be the petulant, empty-suited, dilettante of a joker Mr. Obama has turned out to be or the entitled, greedy, “queen of mean” that is Mrs. Clinton’s reputation.  If elected, maybe Mr. Trump will actually work for the greater good of the average American.  If so, that’s more than most currently in public office are doing.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog

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