Donald Trump is not one’s stereotypical version of a politician. He does not fit the mould but not in an iconoclastic manner. He abhors the existing rules of the game. His public persona is the very antithesis of a polished politician – brash, bombastic, rude, disingenuous to the point of absurdity and with no sartorial sense at all. Whereas other politicians will appease all potential voter groups from the greenie-beanies, the homosexuals, the working mothers, the bleeding heart liberals, the war weary, the gung-ho militarists, the Black Americans, the Asian Americans. The list is endless. If even one vote can be gained for any of the 1000s of groups, the candidate will promise them some gravy as well.
What is the inevitable result: a plethora of innocuous platitudes, polished inoffensive sound bites and generous financial benefits. If the potential costs of meeting all these promises were rigorously costed, the nation would be bankrupted in short order. Would it even be possible to achieve even a fraction of the goals set and promises made?
Main picture: Donald Trump will his signature hair style misbehaving
It is all a lie and most savvy voters know it. What would they rather hear: the syrupy sweet promises and uplifting words of a sham-artist or the cruel realities of an unchanged life under another candidate? It is only under unique circumstances that one can promise blood, sweat, toil and tears like Churchill did at the commencement of his Prime Ministership and still obtain a rousing reception instead of being booted out of office.
If politicians are inveterate liars then it is due to their constituents still believing in make-believe and fairy tales. Subconsciously both parties are participants in a game of white lies, promises, enchantment, fairy tales and hail-fellow-well-met rhetoric.
Except that the dynamic is different this time.
After 30 years of stagnant middle class incomes, changing demographics and other endemic social ills, a whiff of discontent has been emanating from the American body politic for some time. It is this mood that Trump encapsulates.
With his truculent comments on a robust foreign policy where America will again attempt to bully its opponents – the rest of the world – to his misogynistic views on females. He revels in being politically incorrect. He is the master of the bombastic comment. Everything that he has done is always 100% successful with exquisite execution by none other than Donald Trump himself.
So far his campaign has swept all before it. He garners all the attention, dominating on all the headlines and cranking up the ratings. Of the 15+ Republican Party contenders none has the support of more than a few percent of the GOP whereas in spite of his blunders and crassness, Donald has garnered 25% support.
What is the likely scenario that will play out in the primaries?
Perhaps I am biased but all the characteristics and personality traits that this GOP member apparently exudes, runs counter to my very being. The bombastic manner in which he brags about his personal achievements, his aggressive haughty comments on foreign policies are reminiscent of Mussolini – the il Duce while his lack of humility and antagonist rhetoric embody the character traits of a school yard bully.
Typically of this ilk, he attracts the pusillanimous, the timid and the weak. Except for the most audacious and doughty, all are intimidated by such a person. So it appears with the other GOP contenders. None has as yet brazenly confronted Trump head-on – in fact, if the truth be told, not even obliquely.
Sated by a succession of candidates proffering well-meaning promises of an unlikely idyll using circumlocution, blatantly impossible promises and bland assurances of a better life, to the disaffected right-wing voter, Trump is like a breath of fresh air. He is not only not reluctant to call it as he sees it, but he will call a spade a bloody shovel. This approach is resonating with such votes.
But will he be able to obtain enduring traction?
I doubt it.
In his quest to speak his mind, he is bound to alienate broad swathes of potential votes. He has already made great strides in alienating the female vote by implying that a female reporter was irascible due to her period pains. The Latino vote should also be problematical by calling all Mexicans rapists and drug dealers. Does he not realise that the shifts in demographics will shortly reduce the white vote, if not to an endangered species, than to at least a minority.
If one excludes all the potential voter groups that Trump is wilfully abusing, Trump might still be become the successful GOP candidate but with an enervated disaffected party behind him, will be attract significant voter to become US President?
I doubt it.
Decent right-thinking GOP voters are surely appalled by the crass campaign of Trump. Will they be able to place their cross against Trump’s name or will they in silent revolt merely sit at home. This cohort of potential GOP supporters should at least comprise 20 to 30% of their voters.
Unless the Democratic Party plays an appallingly bad game, the own goal that Trump will sink for the GOP should be sufficient for the Democratic Candidate to obtain the presidency.
Perhaps this will put paid to right-wing Tea Party fanaticism within the right of the GOP.
I will then – to use an underused term – revel in schadenfreude as the inflated ego of a bigoted loud-mouth braggart is publically flagellated and deflated.
The sooner the better.