No presidential candidate in modern American history has been able to voice what Mr. Trump has and still be alive as a candidate; he has managed to defy the conventional wisdom of politics and political correctness by attacking it ferociously, and yet his popularity shows no sign of slowing down
Tomas Mega, Les Vegas, Nevada
Donald Trump is a political tsunami: unstoppable, at least for now. He has managed to defy the conventional wisdom of politics and political correctness by attacking it ferociously. It doesn’t matter whom he insults or how derogatory the language, nothing that comes out of his mouth appears to damage him.
Imagine the uproar if Hillary Clinton publically stated that Senator John McCain, who spent six years as a North Vietnamese prisoner of war, is a hero only because he was captured. Picture the inexpressible outcry of Republicans and war veterans if Mrs. Clinton declared, as did Mr. Trump, “I like people who weren’t captured.” Envision the disapproval of a Presidential candidate if they repeatedly referred to a woman as a “nice, fat, little dummy,” Mr. Trump’s reference to television celebrity Rosie O’Donnell. After the first televised Republican debate, one wonders if any other Republican candidate would have survived Mr. Trumps “blood” remark, directed at Fox anchor Megyn Kelley. Yet, he is leading every Republican poll and is beating Mrs. Clinton in some broader surveys.
His obvious appeal is to angry Conservative voters, but it would be a mistake to think his attraction ends there. Polling data indicates that Mr. Trump is popular with the less educated and those who make under $50,000 a year. Despite his unflattering comments and the row with Ms. Kelley, he remains popular with women. Mr. Trump’s thirty-three year old daughter, Ivanka, is often seen at his side and is a successful businessperson in her own rite. Unlike the children of other rich and famous people (think Paris Hilton), Ivanka quite proudly says; “I look at my brothers and myself and I’m really proud. Nobody’s a drug addict; nobody’s driving around chasing women, snorting coke.” Young women don’t seem to be bothered by Mr. Trump’s comments. University student Katie Uterback told CNN; “If you’re in the business world as a woman, you’re playing a man’s game,” she said. “You’re going to saddle up your boots and you’re going to have to take it like a woman.” That appeal has to worry Hillary Clinton and her supporters.
Equally remarkable is the fact that Mr. Trump is not the only Republican candidate to choose from; there are seventeen. Democrats like to tout that they are the party of inclusion, the party that can do the most for the majority of Americans. No one would be surprised if a Democratic field of candidates included two Hispanic’s, a female former CEO of one of the world’s most recognizable technology companies, an African American paediatric neurosurgeon, a well educated white guy from a big political family who speaks fluent Spanish and is married to a Mexican, and another white guy who happens to be one of the richest businessmen in the world. But you would be wrong. These are all Republican candidates and they total only six of the seventeen who want to be President. Throw in another eight state governors or former governors, two U. S. Senators and one former U.S. Senator, and that is the current declared Republican candidate list for President. An impressive line-up, yet Donald Trump, a man with no political experience, is hammering them all in the polls. No presidential candidate in modern American history has been able to voice what Mr. Trump has and still be alive as a candidate. It is no wonder that pundits are referring to him as Teflon Don; nothing messy sticks to him.
A recent Trump rally in Mobile, Alabama had to be moved to a 35,000-seat football stadium; the original venue of a few thousand seats wasn’t going to do. His face, along with his curious and identifiable hair, splashes across network and cable television channels daily. He is quick to give an interview with anyone while Hillary Clinton appears loathe to be questioned. Everywhere he speaks, he is drawing crowds Mrs. Clinton envies; even Democratic rival Bernie Sanders is getting larger crowds then Mrs. Clinton.
Mr. Trump is infuriating his rivals not only with his words but also with his gestures. He mentions Jeb Bush and his head sinks and his eyes close, suggesting that Mr. Bush is boring and lacking energy. Comments about Hillary Clinton are sometimes few; a disbelieving shake of his head is all it takes to get his audience applauding and screaming “Donald!” His message of “Make America Great Again,” is not new but his method of messaging is connecting to voters in an unprecedented way. His genius (so far) is clearly not in his policies or vision; it is entirely in the delivery of his message and the public seems to love it. Quite simply, it is what people expect of him: He is “The Donald.”
A few months ago, many of his Republican rivals were dismissing him. They are not now and they are not sure what to do about him. In the first Republican televised debate, Senator Rand Paul questioned Mr. Trump’s Conservative credentials, stating that Mr. Trump was use to ‘buying politicians.’ Mr. Trump wryly retorted, “I’ve given you plenty of money.” Senator Paul looked sheepish.
It is not certain whether Mr. Trump will get the Republican nomination; he may stumble badly and fade as quickly as he has risen. In his best selling 1987 book “The Art of the Deal,” Mr. Trump states; “You can’t con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.” His supporters hope he follows his own advice.