Trump and the ‘Burn It Down’ Revolution

The weekend started off well enough.

On Friday, Donald Trump claimed bragging rights when he drew three million more television viewers for his acceptance speech than did Hillary Clinton.

But on Saturday, things went downhill — and fast.

Trump gave an interview to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and things didn’t go well. Trump made a point about radical Islam, but did it while responding to criticism from Khizr Khan, a Muslim and father of a fallen soldier.

Many people Trump’s comments as disrespectful to Mr. Khan, his wife, and his late son who died in the Iraq War in 2004.

Now Trump finds himself in the center of controversy. Again.

In some ways, the media and Trump’s opponents took his comments out of context. If you watch the entirety of the interview, you see that Trump was responding to specific questions from Stephanopoulos. Needless to say, the headlines of the articles reporting on his comments omit most of that context.

Many of Trump’s critics are also flatly misrepresenting his remarks. Trump is understandably frustrated.

What Trump doesn’t seem to grasp is that headlines and first impressions matter.

Most people don’t watch entire interviews, they only listen to the soundbites, the pundits, and the comedians. That’s why Saturday Night Live parodies can be so damaging. Just ask Sarah Palin, don’t ‘cha know.

This blindspot to the realities of life in the media is especially surprising given that Trump built a television brand on two words — “You’re fired.” — and a national political campaign on 140 character comments through Twitter.

One would think he would be more attuned to how verbal snippets are perceived.

And yet, Trump’s style of dialogue is, in large part, the reason why he won the nomination in the first place. That and many American’s frustrations with Washington, D.C.

They are fueling the ‘Burn It Down’ Revolution.

Many American’s are so jaded by the political banter that they feel like everything they hear from politicians is spin. They don’t know what to believe. Facts no longer have the weight of truth.

At best, Hillary Clinton represents President Obama’s third term. At worst, this is a continuation of the Clinton Machine has been grinding away for thirty years.

No matter how you look at it, Clinton represents the status quo that so frustrates people. Even Democrats should recognize the hypocrisy of calling Clinton a change agent while the delegates chant “four more years!”

Thus the conundrum. Trump’s character traits and personality style both attracts and repels people to his revolution.

Unfiltered. Uncompromising. Unapologetic.

He is the pied piper of the frustrated masses. Even if they don’t agree with the words, they appreciate the unedited personality that Trump has become known for.

Trump’s style is the antithesis of the political class and therein lies his curse and his power.

The political class has given way to the Burn It Down revolution, and in that world, Donald Trump is king.

Originally published in the Quorum Report on August 2, 2016.