Trump: Stumped


Susan Kelly

Susan KellyI don’t usually write about politics, but the whole Trump phenomenon totally confounds me.

He’s said to appeal to “the base,” a group that regards all the other Republican candidates as progressive liberals. Seriously. Take a look at some of the online forums where “the base” gathers. I’m not going to list them. They’re easy to find. They’re composed of people who claim they refused to vote for Mitt Romney in 2012 because Romney’s a socialist.

Well, okay. Mitt’s a soft-shell Commie. I can dig it. But Trump, on the other hand, is supposed to be a real conservative. I’m not digging it.

Let’s look at his record.

Trump supports—100%, he says—Kelo, the Supreme Court decision that allowed a corporation to take over private property. This isn’t eminent domain; it’s theft. And it’s anathema to most conservatives. And to a lot of liberals, for that matter.

He has donated more money to Democratic politicians and their causes than he has to Republican politicians. And the Democrats better not forget it, either. If they do, he’ll remind them, plus issue marching orders. “Hillary Clinton, I said, ‘Be at my wedding,’ and she came to my wedding,” Trump stated on August 7, 2015. “She had no choice, because I gave to a foundation.”

Back in the day, he loved Hillary. He said so. Now he despises her.

In 2008, he thought Barack Obama was great. “I was his biggest cheerleader,” Trump claims. (Well, of course he was. According to Trump—who has recently acquired the lamentable habit of referring to himself in the third person—Trump and anything Trump-related is the biggest of whatever it may be.) In 2011, he offered to donate one million dollars to charity if someone would produce Obama’s real birth certificate. He said he sent a fleet of private eyes (the legendary Matt Jacob not amongst them, alas) to dig up the truth. In July of this year, Anderson Cooper raised the birth certificate issue. “I really don’t want to get into it,” Trump replied. Gee, I wonder why not?

He’s been all over the place on guns, abortion, and universal health care. His supporters say he’s “evolved.” They don’t cut the same slack for any other candidate who’s failed to toe the line without any deviation whatsoever, which is why, I assume, they decided that former candidate for the Republican nomination Scott Walker is a flaming liberal. Same for Marco Rubio. And Rick Perry. And Carly Fiorina. And John Kasich. The jury’s out on Ben Carson, because he once said something to the effect that he’d prefer not to see Uzis in the hands of homicidal lunatics.

At one point, Trump himself supported a ban on automatic weapons—but that was before he evolved, I guess.

So what’s Trump’s appeal to the people to whom he appeals?

Is it his braggadocio? “I’m really, really smart,” he’s said on numerous occasions, although probably not as often as he’s said “I’m really, really rich.” He’s told us that he’s “slept with the top women in the world,” though “the top women in the world,” whoever they are, seem to have unanimously declined to verify the claim. He’s informed us that his current wife Melania looks incredibly hot in a “very small thong.” (Amusing factoid: If Trump becomes president, his wife will be the second foreign-born first lady and the first to pose nude for a men’s magazine.)

The next time he tells us about whatever he has that’s the biggest, I hope it’s not what I’m afraid it will be.

Is it his general oafishness? He’s referred to various women—notably Rosie O’Donnell and Arianna Huffington–as slobs, dogs, and pigs. When Megyn Kelly of Fox asked him if he thought this practice might damage him with women voters, he responded by Tweeting that Kelly was a bimbo. Which would appear to prove Kelly’s point, but, hey…

Is it that he claims not to care what the press says about him? As he told Esquire magazine in 1991, “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”

Or does it just come down to the fact that he said he’d build a 1575-mile-long wall along the southern border and make Mexico pay for it? If you believe that, you’ll believe anything.

Even about whatever’s biggest.

13 thoughts on “Trump: Stumped

  1. People like Trump precisely because he is a JERK. The Fox news formula is to create a narrative in which if only the leaders had the right attitude (jerk) that the problems of the world would be resolved. This narrative is absurd but it makes people happy.
    The same goes with Carson. another person with absurd ideas and no fact based policies but the public is turned on by his posture toward them Ie the problems would have been solved if only the folks had the right attitude and a few more guns

    • I agree that Trump’s boorishness–rationalized by his acolytes as refreshing honesty–accounts for lot of his popularity, along with the utterly simplistic nature of his proposed solutions to problems: “I’ll hire really good people.”

  2. Look not at Trump’s pluses and minuses to account for his “popularity…. rather look at the quality, or rather the complete lack of it, in his fellow Republican contenders. Given such a field, why be surprised that Trump, the most entertaining, is leading a rather glum pack? Will his shtick wear thin? Time will tell.

  3. “social psychosis” –

    How much more a calamitous foreshadowing of where the “masses” are heading, than to address only those who are in an “isolated” psychosis. Too many layers of social twisted-ness (and I ain’t talking no red licorice sticks we used to “down” after smoking funny-stix..). NOW we’re talking a conglomerate of social AND misanthropic-infused psychosis, working together…know what I’m sayin’? And that’s pretty ghoulish (gotta throw a Hallowe’en allusion, somehow, into the political climate..)

      • Well, let’s see..psychosis is a split between reality and illusion (broadly speaking). I won’t mention last names here, but the 1st name was, I think ,”Adolf” – wasn’t he popular because he had so many twisted between reality and illusion – largely because of his rhetoric?? Certainly not a sense of humor; that’s where he and Da Trump” differ, for starters. What AM I getting at??!! Trump’s going to be on SNL! Oh, Nooooo! What does that say about popularity? Yikes, I’m avoiding grading 55 papers, that’s what’s at the bottom….hee, haaa.

  4. Great Susan. I hope you can dig up and reveal more important news bites for us about the Trump-ster, but imagine you’ve had enough when the next ‘biggest’ may just be in line. I enjoyed what you have found and remembered here though.
    I do have a concern about him as a candidate, other than all the obvious reasons, which you write about so well. Why? Why is he where he is? How do dumb, as well as stupid, people get to places where he’s gotten? What is it about our society that this sort of injustice prevails? I don’t get that.
    I don’t get why bad things happen to good people, but that sort of thing makes more sense to me than why great things happen for morons and maniacs. I’m concerned. It messes with every particle of morality which I can muster, in the face of justice. So, what and where is justice? Or morality, for that matter…
    At any rate, I love reading your writing here.
    Sincerely and best wishes to you. Kathleen

    • Thank you so much, Kathleen. I hope you’ll be pleased to learn that I’ll be doing a follow-up Trump-o-mania piece that I think our gracious host has scheduled for this coming Monday.

      Some people, Kathleen, are masters at self-promotion. Trump is one of them. They may not have any other talents or virtues, but they’re experts at hype. Trump isn’t self-made; he inherited several million dollars from his father. He could have made the same amount of money by investing the whole pile.

      In a non-reality-show culture, he’d be the butt of scornful jokes.

  5. People like Trump for the same reason they like Sanders, it’s a popular movement. The segment of the population that actually like Trump and intend to vote for him is as small as those who like Sanders and intend to vote for him. I know it’s hard for the Sanders voters to hear but I think it’s true.

    • Don, I’d agree that the Trump movement and the Sanders movement are popular movements, but that’s pretty much as far as it goes in terms of their similarity. Both are “outsiders,” it’s true, but Trump supporters are an entirely different breed from Sanders supporters.

    • I don’t disagree at all, Alex. Even conservative pundits have posited that Trump couldn’t possibly do what he promises to do without a) imposing martial law; and b) violating the Constitution.

      There will always be people who want a “strong” leader.

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