Can someone please explain the reason for this strange behavior?
~ Duran Duran “Skin Trade”
I know I’m not the only one who is completely and utterly perplexed by the appeal of Donald Trump to a portion of our electorate. Has a segment of our population lost its collective mind?
I also know I’m not the only one trying to figure it out. I’ve been reading quite a few political articles about it, and have even gone back to watching (lawd help me) “Meet The Press” as the political class tries to come to grips as to how we have gotten to this point.
The best explanations that I have found have come from those who believe that Trump is tapping into a simmering rage that is happening with these people. His supporters seem to applaud him for “speaking the truth” and “telling it like it is.” They love his chest-thumping, America-is-the-greatest rhetoric, and they love that he is ready, willing, and able to offend multiple groups of people, including immigrants and women. They’re sick of political correctness and they’re not going to take it anymore!
It all seems to tap into the idea that their country is being taken away from them, made weak by all of those browns and blahs and wimmins and everyone else who isn’t a white conservative Christian. I can’t help but think of Richard Hofstadter’s “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” written in 1964, but eerily accurate in today’s atmosphere of toxic politics and this almost inexplicable support for Trump.
Given Trump’s lack of policy specifics, I also have to believe that Trump supporters are low-information voters. When asked about the Affordable Care Act, his response is that it’s terrible, and as president, he will repeal it and replace it with “something terrific.” How can anyone support a candidate who says something like that? It is preposterous. Maybe I’m weird, but I want my candidates to lay out specific policy details, and go into quite a bit of depth as to how they will fund and make it work. Anything less is posturing and bluster.
I don’t like the implications of this for our country. If people are willing to ignore policies because they like a guy who “tells it like it is,” that doesn’t say much for the intelligence or depth of our voting populace.
While this all plays out, my fellow Democrats and I are popping some popcorn and settling down to watch it all play out. Trump is the candidate they have been building towards for the last few decades, so I hope the Republicans are enjoying what they have wrought. You built this!