Early this morning the CNN news broadcast made it through the first commercial break without mentioning Donald Trump. Granted, there is an airplane crash mystery underway, but I’ll take it. I am already so sick of Donald Trump I could scream. I cling to the Establishment idea that actual primary voters will stop the nonsense at first chance they get. (Establishment: “the people and/or ideas that value good governance.”)
Donald Trump exists at the intersection of citizen anger and the impact of new technology on politics, which amplifies his presence. Traditional news media freely admit that they pander to Trump coverage for ratings (or listeners in the case of radio). Anyone who has the media savvy and emotional appeal of Mr. Trump can do likewise, but it takes a fed-up citizenry to create the phenomenon we see today. I could live with, or ignore, the pure intensity of it all, but Mr. Trump’s approach to politics is the larger issue.
Simply put, The Donald (which used to be a term of celebrity endearment) caters to the base instincts of a nation that should be better than that. He is a master of “suggesting” things (e.g., Bush43 and 9/11, John McCain was captured, immigrants are the problem) and then, it’s like, well “just sayin’.” He deliberately appeals to the resentments of whites and Christians, some of which may be legitimate, but is clearly attracting folks with uncivil intentions. This sort of thing has happened before in our history, with proper rejection by actual voters, but we need to see if the amplification provided by new technology will create a different result. George Wallace, for example, didn’t have the Internet.
It may be hopeless to suggest, but the key to understanding Trump is to read Trump. There is a clip going around showing his dodge of a question at some town hall thing, and if you watch the subtitles with the sound off, it’s quite stunningly different than listening. A common Trump practice is posing a question, answering it for himself, and repeating the answer as though someone else had just agreed with him. This slides by on TV as we marvel at the spectacle, but if you read the transcript, it sounds as stupid as it is.
There appears to be no comment beneath Mr. Trump’s dignity, or his ability to talk without really saying much. He plays fast and loose with the facts more so than anyone except Hillary Clinton, and switches positions and parties with reckless abandon. His comments are simplistic, e.g., “I will repeal Obamacare” (we don’t need another President ignoring Congress), or “I will be so good on the military” (what does that mean?) And what to say about someone who has never and will never back down from any statement whatsoever because he is “never wrong.”
There is polling data that suggests that people, at this early stage of the campaign, will “prefer” the candidate that has received the most recent media exposure. Again, actual voting can’t come soon enough. One thing appears fairly certain: I will never think the same about Donald Trump again, no matter what he does. Or the media people who have fueled this mess for personal or business gain. The Trump stain on the body politic won’t easily wash off.
Follow StanleyAlexander @1truprophet