Teflon Don: The Unwavering Support of Donald Trump’s Acolytes

During the 2016 election process Republican nominee Donald Trump has been embroiled in numerous controversies that would sink a traditional candidate in any normal election season. Donald Trump has been dubbed ‘Teflon Don’ because nothing seems to stick to him.

From initially disparaging an entire ethnic group as rapists, to denigrating the great sacrifice of Senator John McCain, to saying he would ban an entire religion from entering the country, to saying that the judge handling the Trump University case should recuse himself because of his ethnic background, to proclaiming that Russia should hack into US government databases, to the latest controversy involving the attacks on the grieving parents of a Muslim soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield, the list of self-imposed Trump controversies is almost too long to list.

Yet, Trump has managed to escape each controversy — one seemingly more outrageous than the last — like the political equivalent of MacGyver.

Perhaps that isn’t a fair analogy since MacGyver actually knew what he was doing. Trump seems to be more like Forrest Gump — bumbling his way out of dire situations and making history along the way.

The source of Trump’s teflon status can be largely attributed to one phenomenon that underpins this entire election season. That phenomenon is this: There is a large group of people in the United States who view Trump as the vessel by which they can express their rage at the political establishment. He is their way of giving the middle finger to all the “political elites” who have done nothing but pay lip service to them over the years.

Revenge of the Working Class White Man

For a large contingent of aggrieved (real or perceived) white working class Americans, Donald Trump might as well be a Pokemon set loose on America to destroy the current political system. It matters not where he stands on issues, or whether he is crass, racist, incompetent, or anything else, so long as he dishes out sweet revenge on those who misled them for so long.

These people feel that they lost their status in America. They feel that the brash and volatile Trump is the outsider who can finally help them reclaim it. It is not clear if most truly believe that Trump can actually accomplish this, but he is speaking their language. He isn’t hedging or waffling like establishment Republicans — trying to position themselves as providers of the working class white Christian while serving the needs of corporate elites instead.

Trump is going against decades of conservative thought by railing against free trade and globalism — promising a return of manufacturing to the economically ravaged rust belt. He is also playing to their fears of lost status in a country transformed by diversity. They want their America back, and Trump — like the perfect snake oil salesman — is there to sell it to them.

These people feel like they have nowhere left to turn. Desperation can cause people to overlook a lot in a potential savior. The Trump voter isn’t all that different from a Trump University student in that regard. Just as a desperate person was willing to fork over their savings to learn the secrets of wealth building from a billionaire savior, these supporters are willing to fork over their principles, integrity and even freedom for a shot to get their status back from that same man… that same con man.

They would do well to heed this bit of ancient wisdom:

“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”
- Confucious

Originally published at