Politics isn’t a sport. But I have been known to yell at election polls and results.
If someone wants to understand how the multiple-times — married, big city, real estate guy with his name on casinos and hotels has gotten to the point of being bear-hugged by highly religious, rural, working class voters, they have some research to do.
Once-upon-a-time, there was a hopeful that was very rich, said strange things, ran on his business abilities and oversized character, didn’t fit the standard political candidate mold, was a loose cannon without a rational campaign or philosophy.
His name was….
Oh yeah, Ross Perot.
Ross received 18% of the votes in ’92. It might have been larger, but he ran his crusade in a disorganized and bizarre way.
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Trump is following the same playbook and is touching the identical groundswell of support as Perot. Trump has added hostility for Mexicans, Muslims, Syrians and well, anyone else that doesn’t look like or talk like “the Master Race” of native-born Americans.
Republicans have long clung to the thought that they are united by a fusionist ideological alliance with a common faith in restricted government. What Trump exemplifies is the notable transformation in the Republican Party toward politics embracing a white identity and approaching a confederacy that is more like the European right than American.
Trump illuminates the Republican Party’s function to highlight one interest assembly among many — as compared to the framework for all the nation does.
The white American with the high-school diploma who works at the feed plant in upper Indiana has as much right to improve his earnings as anyone else. Now, that interest is being redefined in precarious terms in contradiction to the interests of other ethnic groups. The Republican Party has exited from the comprehensive look of the freedoms of a common humanity put forward by the Founding Fathers and Abe Lincoln.
A traditional campaign includes the candidates’ vision and plans: “If I’m elected, I will fight for the environment, big oil, the little guy…” In traditional campaigns, there are plans and goals — some real content — which accompanies the name-calling and mud-slinging. Trump has less of this information ability and is more into the art of “influence selling.”
Trump relies on social proof to make his case. He continually promotes his number one standing in the polls to show he’s number one in the polls. He does the same with his real estate: the tallest, the biggest, the best.
Sure, it’s a good advertising claim and works — in most cases — because people follow the lead of their friends. That’s why anyone with an advantage promotes it: The highest rated dealer, over 1 billion served, the biggest bank.
The buyer follows the crowd through the arches simply because it has sold billions — not because they have actually exercised some critical thinking and studied nutrition.
That’s why Trump can yell “fire” in a crowded theater and his under-educated followers cheer him on.
Trump provides a clear reason for people to vote for him — to “Make America Great Again.” The slogan is a cliche obviously. A thousand people would each come up with a different definition of “great.”
Sloganeering is used globally to get a mental position in the consumers’ mind. The friendliest bank, the fastest oil change, the quickest college degree. No one wants to do business with the second friendliest bank or the slowest oil change.
People Believe Trump Because —
- They are bigots themselves
- They don’t know, on a personal level, anyone who is Mexican, or Muslim.
- Since they don’t see their family or friends when they hear Mexican or Muslim — all they see are the stereotypes that they’ve heard.
- They live, work and were raised in a way that they simply believe that anyone different cannot be any good.
- They only understand when spoken to at a 4th-grade level — the demonstrated level at which Trump speaks
What is ironic is that Trump could do the same thing as Perot. He could cost Republicans the election.
Who knows if this is by design, or accident, on Trump’s part.
Regardless, Trump is an absolute nightmare for Republicans.