THE DONALD TRUMP PHENOMENON
Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the meteoric rise of Donald Trump in the polls is a bellwether for Republican glad tidings on election day. While it is too early to predict the outcome of the primaries, let alone the general election, the popularity of Trump reveals a lot about American sentiment, and that sentiment is anything but a ringing endorsement for a “third” Obama term, contrary to Obama’s self-congratulatory and hedonistic statement that he could win a third election if constitutionally permitted to run. Ironically, the presidential term limit is among the few constitutional provisions that Obama seems willing to respect rather than violate.
Donald Trump enjoys widespread name recognition but is also the subject of tremendous ridicule from Republican opponents and the media. Trump is brash, vituperative, and condescending. He often attacks the person of his political opponents and media critics equally with the content of their criticisms. He does not profess a deep intellectual understanding of the Constitution, American history, or international politics, but he does epitomize (or perhaps the better word is characterize) a rugged individualism, an unabashed Yankee spirit that there is nothing beyond his reach. He is the antithesis of the Obama theme of an America in decline.
Given his pugnacious nature, why then does he appeal to so many? The answer may well be in part that he is unafraid and directly critical in an age of professional handlers, political spin, and circumspection to avoid offense. In short, he is a bull in a China closet and that appeals to those totally disaffected with American politics as usual and with the politically correct environment that imbues politics.
Moreover, he appears to be an outsider. Although in fact an insider with well-groomed ties to powerful Republican and Democratic incumbents alike, his verbal bomb throwing makes him unpredictable, frequently at odds with those with whom he previously broke bread and financially supports.
Media pundits, particularly those of a liberal turn, delight in Trump’s rise, thinking it indicative of an internecine conflict within Republican ranks that will weaken overall Republican chances of defeating Hillary in the general election. That, I think, a misreading predicated on a superficial understanding of the Trump phenomenon.
Trump’s rise is in large measure a reflection of public disgust with all things Washington. It is a strong endorsement of challenge to the status quo. It is a rejection of Obama, a rejection of the “Washington establishment,” a demand for action to throw the rascals out, indeed a desperate demand for that action. Trump supporters are fed up with big government, with corrupt government, with dysfunctional government, and with politics as usual. They want a bold America that defends its interests around the world, a robust free market disentangled from suffocating government regulation, and a restoration of limits on government power and America’s primacy in the world as a superpower to be respected for its defense of liberty at home and abroad. They are willing to cast their lot in favor of a man who is unpredictable precisely because predictable politics in America has become ineffectual politics, the politics of a nation in decline rather than in ascendancy. They want to shake things up and bring back the days of American economic and military primacy.
Those sentiments are not indicative of a party in disarray, they are indicative of a force that means to remove from Washington the President, his party, and those who would continue its horrendous legacy, like Hillary Clinton. In short, the Trump phenomenon is not indicative of a Republican party falling apart but of a popular will to throw out the incumbents and, most particularly, the President and his party.
I predict that those who presently endorse Trump will peel away from him following the debates as they become more aware of each candidates personality and positions. They are anxious to endorse that candidate who can best defeat Washington incumbents, eliminate corruption, and reduce the size and scope of the federal government. Those strains of sentiment and opinion were best communicated by Ronald Reagan, whose bright ideological image remains the star that reflects the hearts and minds of a large number of Americans.
Republican candidates for president and members of Congress should take heed: the Trump phenomenon reveals that Americans are demanding sincerity and action. To avoid being skewered by an angry electorate and losing the chance to become President and to capture those now endorsing Trump, candidates have to drop pretense and political correctness and state directly and in detail how they will restore the American republic.
The message coming through loud and clear from Trump supporters is that they are at their wits end and that the time has arrived for action over indecision and precise and far reaching and impactful alternatives over calculated double speak, hesitancy and weakness. To meet the American crisis, Americans, particularly Trump supporters, are demanding an end to the politics of avoidance and dysfunctionality in favor of immediate action to take down what is and restore what was, a plan to liberate the private sector from regulatory constraint, eliminate government agencies that supplant consumer choice with political fiat, and restore a vibrant and free economy and constitutional limits on government and the President.
Those who get that message and translate it into a fervent commitment to take needed action will rise, while those who are transparently hedonistic, who love themselves more than the nation and who seek the presidency as if it were a nice addition to their resumes are destined for defeat. The nation is fed-up with our “selfie” President and with his politics of American decline and destruction. The Trump phenomenon resonates strongly with politically disaffected Americans. They like him because he did build that (in contrast to the President’s absurd remark that captains of industry are not actually responsible for their own market innovations). They like him because he attacks everything that is and calls for the greatness that America was. They like him because he is strong, while Obama is weak. They like him because they seem him not only capable of building skyscrapers but also capable of condemning Putin, the Iranian leadership, illegal aliens, and terrorists.
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© 2015 Jonathan W. Emord - All Rights Reserved
Jonathan W. Emord is an attorney who practices constitutional and administrative law before the federal courts and agencies. Ron Paul calls Jonathan “a hero of the health freedom revolution” and says “all freedom-loving Americans are in [his] debt . . . for his courtroom [victories] on behalf of health freedom.” He has defeated the FDA in federal court a remarkable eight times, seven on First Amendment grounds, and is the author of the Amazon bestsellers The Rise of Tyranny, Global Censorship of Health Information, and Restore the Republic. He is the American Justice columnist for U.S.A. Today Magazine and joins Robert Scott Bell weekly for “Jonathan Emord’s Sacred Fire of Liberty,” an hour long radio program on government threats to individual liberty. For more info visit Emord.com, join the Emord FDA/FTC Law Group on Linkedin, and follow Jonathan on twitter (@jonathanwemord).
The message coming through loud and clear from Trump supporters is that they are at their wits end and that the time has arrived for action over indecision and precise and far reaching and impactful alternatives over calculated double speak, hesitancy and weakness.