THE TRUMP PHENOMENON
Is it Real? Can it Win?
“Phineas Taylor ‘P. T.’ Barnum (July 5, 1810 – April 7, 1891) was an American showman and businessman remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Although Barnum was also an author, publisher, philanthropist, and for some time a politician, he said of himself, ‘I am a showman by profession...and all the gilding shall make nothing else of me’, and his personal aim was ‘to put money in his own coffers’. Barnum is widely, but erroneously, credited with coining the phrase ‘There's a sucker born every minute’.”
With his popularity beyond explanation by the experts and pundits, is Donald Trump another “P.T. Barnum? Is there a “sucker born every minute,” being taken in by his presidential bid?
No. The Trump phenomenon is real, and is a creation of the very people who, (1) fail to understand it, and (2) are the root cause of it. For fifty years or more, increasingly for the past 25, control of this country has been forfeited to a privileged few. Names like Kennedy, Bush, Romney, and Rockefeller have dominated national politics, each passing the torch of power to their family heirs with little threat from outsiders. With absolute self-interest fueled by absolute power, this elite group increased their pay, expanded their perks and privileges, and insulated themselves from the reality of the citizens they were intended to serve.
They manipulated the roles of the political process, strengthening the two-party monopoly and raising the financial stakes with “Super PACs” and other gimmicks to make re-election a virtual certainty. They cozied up to global corporate interests, unions, and media moguls to tighten the inner circle and then, given this stranglehold on power, did …nothing… except, that is, for themselves.
Oh, they passed laws and gave speeches; they waged war on imaginary villains like “poverty,” they started and prolonged real wars; they promised change; and they assured us that the national government would take care of us. From Social Security to Medicare; from Katrina to student loans; from food stamps to funding local SWAT teams, government would do it’s job.
One problem: government has NOT done its job. None of those things were mandated by the Constitution, and those that were, like defending our borders, were massively ignored. For fifty years it has been “business as usual. It has been a collegial system of sycophants politely scratching one another’s back, undisturbed. Then came Trump.
Donald Trump has never held elective office, and now he has the audacity to run for the highest office in the land. How dare he! He hasn’t got a clue as to the workings of Washington, despite acquiring wealth of $10 billion while Washington has amassed debt of $18 TRILLION (not counting another $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities). I’m pretty sure he has good doctors, private swimming pools, limousines and considerable staff. But HE pays for all of that, not the TAXPAYERS.
Trump was a laughing stock of the political elite. He spoke “inartfully;” he violated the rules of congeniality by describing his opponents (accurately) as “low energy,” “lying” and even stupid. Well, one need not look past promises to abolish Obamacare, lack of will to get much of anything positive done, and stupidly agreeing to Obama’s terms on the Iran ‘deal” not handling it as a treaty, to see his descriptions are accurate.
Trump has been described by the “experts” as a temporary situation; “He can’t possibly last, much less win.” The GOP’s tired and inept “establishment” has gone so far as to strategize ways to keep him off the political stage, debates and fund raising programs.Wait, he doesn’t NEED their stinking money!! Let’s cut to the chase: the experts, the GOP establishment, the political elite, the major media and everyone else who is supposed to know something has been wrong, and largely continues to be.
The latest maneuvers are to attack Trump's past views and statements, Party affiliations, gaffes and incomplete programs. He is challenged with demands to know exactly HOW is he going to build that wall, and HOW is he going to get Mexico to pay for it. Of course, they ignore the fact that the current administration has no clue as to how to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons, and is actively facilitating it. The “experts” are also perfectly willing to allow other candidates to flip or dodge on issues of Common Core, illegal immigration, gay marriage, ISIS, the IRS and taxes. They change positions and offer only platitudes, but that is ok… unless your name is Trump. Then they want details.
Now, you want to know why Trump’s popularity is real, growing, and, yes, may win him the Republican nomination and even the White House?
People don’t care about who Trump was, what he did or what he said or what his Party was twenty, ten or even five years ago. They care about what he’s saying TODAY. Every politician has changed views and actions; those things have not been an issue for most. When media tries to indict Trump for doing so, people see right through it – AND THEY DON’T CARE.
Trump is honest; he says what he thinks. His style lacks sophistication, but instead of undermining what he says, it gives him an air of authenticity not seen since Harry Truman. People are tired of smooth talking liars; they are tired of politicians who defend their actions on what the meaning of “is” is. They would prefer an “inartful” leader who speaks the truth.
Trump is a doer, not a talker. In the time the political elite have tinkered, modified, amended, and reformed the tax code – to 6 million words and 70,000 pages – Trump has built dozens of office buildings, golf courses, resorts and other tangible projects that work! If he says he will build a wall, he will build a wall! Among all the candidates, he is the ONLY one who has built anything.
He’s not in it for the money. Even if his wealth is exaggerated at $10 billion, he has the money to run a campaign without donors. No donors, no one to whom he is beholden. The last person to do that was George Washington – and he was elected unanimously. The American people are tired of the presidency being bought by big money special interests.
He can break the Democrat “ownership” of minorities. Democrats have made slaves out of minorities, becoming masters to the unwitting; lavishing government presents on them to buy their continued support – all the while keeping them Democrat, beholden and poor. Sadly, a majority of Blacks and Hispanics have been seduced into the big government lie, but a growing number are rejecting it. Those people want the same things as everyone else: jobs, education, decent neighborhoods, and opportunity. They view a highly successful businessman as a better steward of that dream than another political con-man, promising the world and delivering nothing – while living the good life on handouts from wealthy donors. Again, the experts are wrong: Trump may win big among minorities, who are also tired of the B.S.
People are angry. They are at the tipping point. The decline in support of both Parties and the growth of Independents is indicative of this. Even more significant, people have felt futility and resignation, leading them to simply drop out of the electoral process and concede defeat. Until now. For the first time in generations, Trump offers real hope to get back on track. Not HOPE – but ACTION. Non-voters will return to the polls and the next election will have record turn-out.
People look at the political Parties and entire political system as corrupt – corrupt to the core. They want to see a knight riding up on a white horse. Trump has that image. He doesn’t mince words as to what he sees as the problem, the people responsible and the necessary solutions.
People see individual politicians as corrupt too; self-serving with none immune from the seduction of power and permanence in office. “Throw them ALL out,” is increasingly the battle cry. Trumps LACK of political experience is one of his greatest assets.
His opposition WITHIN the Party consists of the uninspiring, the inept and the “more of the same.” They all need to raise money, and to raise money, they have to “play ball” with the Party machinery. Trump can tell the Party to go to Hell – and has.
His opposition from the OTHER Party consists of pathological liars, Socialists and Party Hacks. Democrat candidates represent a new low of talent in the history of American politics.
He will acquire the knowledge and experience he needs to be convincing to the people. Trump’s ego is legend, but misinterpreted. His ego will not drive him to seek power and wealth – he has both. His ego will drive him to seek respect and accomplishment; he will not fail. To do that, he will surround himself with smart and experienced people. The developing bond between Ted Cruz and Trump is no surprise; Cruz is the smartest candidate in the race. BINGO. Count on Trump surrounding himself with the best and brightest. This will not be the “amateur hour” Ego-Fest of the Obama administration.
Trump can’t do any worse. When “professional” politicians and experts point fingers at Trump questioning his judgement, experience or wisdom, the people can rightly ask, “ And what have YOU done in your decades of control of the country except drive it into the ground?” No, he can’t possibly do any worse.
Whether it’s Trump or not, the winning candidate had better pay close attention to Trump and adopt the positive aspects of his campaign, values and style, instead of discounting or even berating him. The only one doing that thus far is Ted Cruz.Interesting.
As to negatives, for all the media “experts” that can’t stand Trump there are 10 regular Americans that can’t stand Bush or the other Party regulars… or the “experts,” for that matter. The Trump phenomenon is real. The underlying reasons have been building for a long, long time. It has just been a matter for the right “face” to show up to fit the phenomenon.
" Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant."
- P.T. Barnum
FROM THE FRONT
By Len Semas Main Feature (9/1/2015)
Phineas Taylor "P.T." Barnum