Lately, Donald Trump has been enjoying some huge poll popularity. I don’t have much attachment to him as a presidential candidate, but I do find his recent ascendancy interesting. Liberals and conservatives alike have expressed puzzlement over his popularity.
If you’re a liberal, you probably don’t know why conservatives like those that they like at all. You probably view them as being short-sighted and stupid for daring to have an opinion that is different from your own (you probably also think that they’re smug and closed-minded). If this sounds like you, you probably wouldn’t understand a Republican’s popularity even if it were explained to you.
But what’s really interesting is the number of conservatives that don’t seem to get what Donald Trump is really about, and some of them wish that he’d just drop out of the race, even if he’s the best shot at getting a Republican in the White House to begin the process of reversing the damage done by a liberal ideologue that’s been in control of the executive branch of government for two consecutive terms.
Why do people like Donald Trump?
Donald Trump personifies what Washington politics is not about.
One thing that most politicians have in common is a willingness to take a safe side on an issue in an attempt to maintain a favorable image. Generally speaking, politicians take positions on issues that are in line with party norms. Moderates usually aren’t treated favorably. What’s more, their true, honest opinions are seldom expressed, instead preferring to play a game that they call “diplomacy”. Politicians, even at their most vicious, usually prefer to play nice.
People are sick of politicians that play politics. People want politicians that represent them by stating how they feel in the most direct way possible.
Ideally, politicians are representatives, which means that they represent their people. However, politicians don’t seem to care what the opinion of the people are outside of election campaigns. Politicians seem to care more about the opinions of other politicians. That’s not how you represent the people.
A politician that states his values outright and vocally criticizes the opposition, even within his own party, is like a blast of fresh air in Washington. This is something that Trump does, and we don’t have to guess what he really stands for.
He’s rich, and that doesn’t count against him.
One of the first things people think of when they think of Donald Trump is how much money he has. Usually, when a person is rich, there is a concern that they don’t connect with the average person. But when it comes to politicians, already having a huge amount of money from business on the side actually benefits them. For one thing, it means that he already has experience with managing people. In fact, Trump had a television show about it.
When a politician already has plenty of money, it would naturally be much more difficult to buy them off.
That’s a huge deal, considering that people in Congress would vote away our privacy and freedom on the internet because some telecom company treated them to a steak dinner at a fancy restaurant. Even though Congressmen have plenty of money already, many of them have their price, and in some cases, it’s disappointingly low.
Donald Trump has criticized people who don’t seem to handle it that well, and as a result, they probably won’t invite him to their champagne and Jacuzzi parties. Not that he cares.
People agree with him.
Donald Trump says that there is a lot that is wrong in America. And people believe him. But that’s not what makes him so popular. Many politicians make their careers by convincing people of what they say. What makes Trump different is that he says things that people agree with to begin with.
While politicians theoretically succeed by making people believe what they say, there is an element of convincing in this approach. Trump, however, removes the need to convince by stating what is already apparent to the American people.
And what is apparent to the American people is that the system is broken and desperately in need of repair, and that the people that have been trusted with the job are too weak-hearted to carry it out. Trump’s words have been statements to this effect, at times quite bold.
People want to see people in Washington fired.
The current administration doesn’t connect with the average, working-class American, and they don’t see how anyone could disagree with them. This is to be expected when one surrounds oneself with a bunch of suck-ups.
People want to see Washington get put to work. They also want to see politicians who prove to be ineffective lose their positions. Whether they end up at a bus station somewhere bumming for quarters is not something that the average person cares much about.
Donald Trump is the person who turned “you’re fired” into a nearly ubiquitous phrase in recent years. It’s likely that more than a few people fantasized about him in Washington handing out pink slips. And how does that sound for a solution for the current epidemic of wishful thinking and failed policy that’s become prevalent in Washington? The American people want to tell politicians in Washington to shape up and start producing results, or clean out their desks.
That was my attempt at explaining Donald Trump’s popularity. I don’t have a particularly strong attachment to him, but it seems to me that his popularity reflects a desire for something that people think Washington is missing. That may be what’s making so many politicians, both liberal and conservative, so concerned about him. Whether he wins or loses, his efforts could have the result of changing the game for the better.