By Andrew L. Jaffee
Editor’s note: This is not an endorsement or a denouncement of Donald Trump. The author is seeking insight into the popularity and success of Trump as a political candidate.
Donald Trump’s ability to draw a crowd has flabbergasted even one of left-leaning MSNBC’s talk-show hosts, Joe Scarborough, who took to national airwaves to say the billionaire is beating all records — that his ability to pack a room with eager listeners exceeds anything even much-loved Ronald Reagan could do. …
Earlier this week, Trump attracted “a capacity crowd of nearly 12,000 at the Pensacola Bay Center on Florida’s panhandle.” Pensacola has a population of about 53,000 souls. Many, many Americans are fed up with, angry at, and/or disillusioned with Washington. It was not surprising to see a U.S. News & World Report story stating that “Trump Could Win It All: A new survey shows a sizable number of Democrats ready to defect from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump.” Another recent study found that “Polls may actually underestimate Trump’s support” among Republican voters, showing that 40% may back The Donald. Whether people like Trump or not, agree with him or disagree, he has been willing to highlight some of this country’s most vexing — and to some, “controversial” — problems, like immigration and terrorism. He has proposed some controversial solutions to this nation’s predicaments. The vocabulary Trump has used in speaking about America’s dilemmas has been, prima facie and at times offensive, vague, and inaccurate. The terminology Trump has used when elucidating his proposals for resolving this country’s crises — and the logic behind his proposals — have also been, at times and prima facie irrational, offensive, vague, and inaccurate. Putting politically correct disclaimers aside, Trump’s rhetoric and platform are likely resonating harmonically with many Americans’ very well-founded concerns about the existential threats to this great republic.
Therein lies the rub: many Americans (71%) are tired of political correctness being shoved down their throats; tired of a narcissistic congress working for lobbyists and ignoring constituents; tired of a megalomaniac president; tired of watching an entitlement-seeking mob drag down a once-great republic; and tired of a mainstream media pumping out propaganda and morally bankrupt “entertainment.” Yes, Virginia, there is a “silent majority” and they don’t want to be betrayed again by some Washington insider(s). They are interested in listening to someone like Trump who isn’t owned by anybody and doesn’t need anyone else’s money. These are qualities that appeal to decent American folks — qualities now abhorrent to many of America’s power-brokers (they have to own their peons).
There’s a self-annointed elite in this country who hold a haughty and condescending view of Americans as a bunch of morons. The term “elite” as used herein is defined to be comprised of substantial elements of the nation’s political, corporate, academic, and mainstream media’s leadership who subscribe to certain dysfunctional ideals. This leadership is that element in every society who seek control, whether it be because of the allure of pure power, the allure of greed, and/or both (see any quality history textbook). In our present cultural-historical milieu, some of the elites are driven by multiculturalism as an ideal, usually based in post-colonial/imperial guilt. Some use multiculturalism as a convenient guise — a means to an end, the end being pure power (this breed exploits identity politics groups, perma-victims, and entitlement-seekers). Some seek cheap labor by exploiting new immigrants. Some want throngs of new immigrants they can bribe so the newcomers become permanent voting constituencies. Some just want power no matter what the ends. Some are driven by pure fear, thinking they can lead safe and secure lives by using their control to silence free speech, thus appeasing bullies like terrorists or mindless identity groups. All these elites have one desire in common: the destruction of democracy and human equity.
It should be noted that this country would not be facing such dire problems if the majority of Americans had stayed informed and fully engaged in our democratic process over the last 40-odd years. Complacency has taken a terrible toll. But there have been stirrings of an awakening, as evidenced over the last decade by formation of grassroots organizations like the Tea Parties and the Convention of States. Very recently, we saw Matt Bevin and Jenean Hampton become Kentucky’s governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. We saw Texas become and open carry state — and Governor Greg Abbott’s “COME AND TAKE IT” response to President Obama’s unconstitutional “gun control” executive orders. And then there was the huge turnout to see Donald Trump speak in Pensacola this week.
People tend to work better when there is leadership — some unifying personality on which people can focus their organizational efforts.
Trump has drawn loud and unrelenting criticism not so much because of his gaffes, but because he’s got the elites terrified of an American populace reasserting individual and collective rights, bringing financial and political power back to local and regional domains, and rebuilding a healthy and morally sound nation-community. Many of the grassroots activists working against our nation’s decline have one thing in common — not universal support of Trump — but the simple desire to bring American society back to its founding principles (roots) as enshrined in documents like our Constitution (emphasis on the Bill of Rights), the Declaration of Independence, and the Federalist Papers.
Contrary to the hope — and at least 40-year effort — of the elites to turn Americans into easily-controlled robots, there are still a great many good, hard-working, fiercely-independent, and morally-sound voters in this nation. They’re not stupid. Donald Trump has served as a catalyst and lens, focusing and rallying citizens, not so much around a person, but rather around the realization that this nation is heading — with increasing speed — towards an economic, social, and moral decline.
With technological advancements and globalization, humans are increasingly having to try to keep up with a reality which moves at the speed of electrons (the speed of light). We may be careening towards societal collapse if we do not rally together, find common ground, right the wrongs, and find the common sense balance required to bring this county’s defining spirit, mood, and everyday life back to its roots.
Let’s get specific and quantify the extent to which citizens are angry with the utter dysfunction of our political class. People are unhappy with a congress which doesn’t represent them: only 13.4% approve of its activities while 75.8% disapprove. Obama “has become the most polarizing president in modern history” (see poll numbers here and here). Sixty-five percent of citizens feel the direction of the country is on the wrong track while only 25.5% feel things are on the right track. Americans’ distrust in the mainstream media remains at a historical high: “Since 2007, the majority of Americans have had little or no trust in the mass media.”
Whether Donald Trump is part of the answer to this country’s problems is up to voters. When doing the political calculus, what kind of choices do voters feel they have? The bulk of the Democratic Party machine is absolutely rotten to the core. Its dogma and dogmatic followers represent the decline of civilization. The machine is antithetical to basic American (human) concepts like faith and Judeo-Christian ethics. Many of the machine’s adherents speak openly of re-writing or editing our Constitution. Some Democrats are defecting — even considering voting for Trump. Do voters perceive the choices from the Republican pool of presidential candidates as any better than what the Democrats are offering? (Note that this author believes that several of the GOP candidates show promise.)
Why should voters trust the GOP? On November 4, 2014, citizens gave the GOP a strong mandate to oppose the policies of President Obama and his fellow Democrats. Republicans strengthened their hold on state legislatures, governorships, and the U.S. House and Senate, but almost immediately starting giving Obama everything he wanted. They kept on giving Obama almost everything he’s wanted. Republicans just gave the president everything he wanted in the form of the $1.1 trillion omnibus budget — to the absolute delight of the Democratic faithful:
… “Almost anything, the Republican leadership in the Senate achieved this year, they achieved on Democratic terms… Democrats had an amazingly good year,” he [Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer] declared. …
Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the U.S. House, was similarly ebullient. To be fair, about 100 Republican representatives and senators voted against the omnibus-madness deal. But the Republican shift away from conservatism has been going on for a long time:
… It’s not that there is anything new about the [Republican] party establishment shying away from providing a bold contrast to the Democrats. This divide within the party was reflected in the battles between Eisenhower and Taft, Rockefeller and Goldwater, Reagan and Ford/Bush, and Gingrich and Dole. …
Is it any surprise that Donald Trump is doing so well in his presidential bid? The flagrant arrogance of the elites who despise Trump has alienated many U.S. voters — so in a way the elitists helped create him. He seems to be reaching even Democrats, not just Republicans. Many potential voters are paying attention to Trump. What do status quo Republicans and Democrats have to offer voters — or are they just too self-absorbed, out of touch, and beyond hope to offer anything except “business as usual” (token democracy)? To quote Bob Marley, “Don’t forget your history, know your destiny, in the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty.”
It’s time U.S. citizens get informed and engaged in America’s democratic process. There’s still plenty of opportunities for people to get involved at the grassroots level. I hope they do so while they still have those opportunities.
Related: Academia, Activism, Appeasement, Assimilation, Constitution, Democrats, Elections, Foreign Policy, Guns, History, Immigration, Media Bias, Obama, Political Correctness, Public Opinion, Pure Politics