Watching the steam roller known as Donald Trump flatten his opponents in the polls is mesmerizing. His numbers keep rising and classic political opponents are struggling to get attention from the media.
Phenomenon can overwhelm the public. Obama did … not once, but twice. The masses were hypnotized by his style and rhetoric. A new star is on the horizon and it is hard to ignore the man. Why is he so appealing when he says some incredibly outrageous things that make us wince?
Those of us who love politics and democracy and the process of selecting future leaders are stunned. The classic Republican candidates for the next US Presidential race seem bland by comparison to this mop headed entity flashing before our eyes. Let’s consider the reasons;
- Trump is entertaining; We never know what will come out of his mouth, hence we watch closely.
- Trump says what many people are thinking and are afraid to vocalize. He speaks for those with no voice.
- Trump is ruthless. He is prepared to create unease in the electorate about their revered candidates. He accuses Hillary of being “anti-woman” in spite of her pro-female platform, after having supported her husband’s behavior for years and Trump has the audacity to claim he is a good friend to US Senator Ted Cruz while implanting the suspicion that Cruz is not a valid US Citizen and running possibly illegally as a result. Planting the seed of suspicion is an art form which Trump has developed in unique fashion. He is nothing…if not clever!
- Trump is politically incorrect. People are so tired of political correctness in the US that a man with a lack of it, is refreshing.
- Americans are afraid that the country and values they love are slipping from their grasp. Trump addresses that fear.
- The man has failed repeatedly in business, but never quit. He dusted himself off and got back into the race. They find him to be a winner by American standards.
- He is disgustingly rich and proud of it. Americans love the independence of the wealthy and feel they are invulnerable to corruption.
- His self- confidence has the public in awe. He makes mistakes and doesn’t apologize for them. It speaks to those who wish they could live their lives in similar fashion.
- The media covers what he says and does, ten- fold over the other Republican hopefuls. He makes news and the media cannot resist covering it. They are helping him to monopolize the airwaves.
Where is all of this leading the Republican Party? Months ago similar discussions about who might be the Republican candidate were full of despair. Intelligent people saw no possibilities for a decent candidate with even a mild chance of beating Mrs. Clinton. I warned then, that a year in politics is a very long time. New personalities arise and the landscape changes overnight. That happened the day that Trump declared his candidacy. Polls now show that if the election were held today, Trump would win over Hillary. Shocking…but significant, as the indications are that she is not invulnerable as many continue to predict. Polls even show that Bernie Sanders is giving her a run for her political life.
A newly released movie; “Our Brand Crisis” invites us to see the maneuverings of the P.R. people who create an image for their Presidential hopefuls. It is a cynical movie but public relation teams can shape history. When the Bill Clinton’s PR genius James Carville was hired to shape Ehud Barak’s image, the result was victory against P.M. Netanyahu. For the average candidate who does not naturally stand out against his competition, this is how elections are generally won. By contrast, it appears that Mr. Trump has no interest in being molded by others. He has his own brand and it is working well for his campaign albeit clumsy and irreverent.
The American electoral process is complicated and ultimately may not reflect the Trump hysteria of the moment. It is clear that the Republican Party does not want him to be their candidate. Trump has never had a moment in his life where he had to represent anyone other than himself. He has never held an elected public office. This is not a formula for Republican support. There are indeed other excellent men running for the nomination….men who have earned respect and admiration, who have served their cities and states. The primaries will begin to paint a clear picture as to whether America is jumping off the deep end once again, prepared to throw their future to a political novice in the hope that all is not lost already.
In the meantime, The Donald rules!