Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Deciphering Donald Trump

A classic political move is to behave so the voters say, "He (or she) is one of us."

I believe that Donald Trump has crafted a different sort of appeal. Many voters look at him and think, "Well, he may not be one of us but at least he's not one of them."

The "them," of course, is a short-cut way of describing our well-polished, traditional, politicians. This is a year in which suspicion of such creatures has reached a peak. There is a sense that the so-called best and the brightest aren't the best and aren't all that bright. [Does anyone really think we have Grade A leadership? Europe is going through a similar realization.]

That's why when Trump's opponents say that Trump lacks this or that quality of a normal political leader, his followers shout, "You're right and the more you say that the more we like him."

If Trump designed his approach to elicit that response then he may truly be formidable.

I should add that I'm not a Trump supporter. He may not even win the nomination. Until now, however, his success has baffled me, but I humbly present this theory as an explanation. 

I'll keep it until I hear a better one.


Dan in Philly said...

Everyone can't stand Trump except the millions of people voting for him. Darned if I can put him in a box and quantify his appeal.

Michael Wade said...


He is very appealing to people who think electability is not that important.

Of course, when you are running in an election electability is vital.


Anonymous said...

I don't know how you can say he's not electable after he just won Rubio's home state.

Look at the change in his support from last summer to now. There are a lot of criticisms of Trump, but unable to obtain votes is not the one I'd pick.

Michael Wade said...

Several reasons:

1. Winning Florida and winning the general election are very different. Rubio did not have a solid political base in Florida. Many of his tea party supporters were mad at him, not to mention the Bush supporters.
2. Trump has not been winning the majority of the votes in the primaries. In other words, most of the voters voted for someone else.
3. Once you add in independents and Democrats, the numbers look worse for Trump. The vast (and I mean close to 100 percent) majority of polls show Trump being decisively defeated by Hillary Clinton.

Now is there a chance that he can win the presidency? Sure. Clinton is not a strong candidate. But I am wary of strategies that rely upon magic. If Trump were a powerful general election candidate, he would be stronger in the polls. Which states did Romney lose that Trump will be able to win?


Wally Bock said...

What you say makes sense to me, Michael. "Not one of them" may, indeed, be today's "one of us."

What continues to amaze me on the Republican side is the number of the power structure who understand that people are really angry but who assume that they're angry at the Democrats. "Certainly," the pashas think, "We haven't done anything to make them angry."

Michael Wade said...


I have been equally amazed.

There is an enormous lack of introspection.

As you know, that is a common affliction in inner circles.