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Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in 2016 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Featured, Politics | 6 comments

Trump is a salesman, and America is in a buying mood

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What if everything you thought you knew about politics was wrong, or at least open to question in ways you could not have imagined? I mean it wouldn’t stop us from having opinions because people have opinions even when they are based on nothing. But when so much conventional wisdom doesn’t yield the kinds of outcomes we expect, then what?

Yes, I’m talking about Donald Trump because, you know, who isn’t?

The Hill reported today that polling experts are saying they have never seen anything like Trump’s candidacy, which leads them to “question whether everything they know about winning the White House is wrong.”

The shocks have come in quick succession, with Trump first rocketing to the top of national polls, and then taking double-digit leads in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

In another act of political magic, Trump managed to flip his favorability rating from negative to positive in one poll during the span of a month — a feat that Monmouth University’s Patrick Murray called “astounding.”

Sure, okay, we’ve all seen what’s going on and many of us have pet theories about it.

The only thing that makes sense to me is that Trump’s candidacy is a perfect distillation of what we have seen with the rise of the Tea Party and right-wing populism stoked by anxiety over waning American military and economic power in the world and what people think that means for security and the standard of living at home. Whether those who support Trump are right about who or what is to blame is beside the point as long as they are getting an answer they think they can understand, which is “whatever it takes to make America great again,” even if the offering is only empty phrases and threats.

It’s simple in a way and we all more or less saw it coming, or should have. What we didn’t see is how fast it could take hold.

I’m still with those who say Trump can’t win the GOP nomination, let alone the presidency. But Americans are insane if they think his royal Trumpness created the phenomenon he is so expertly riding. He’s just the expert salesman selling people what they already want. And what they want is a kind of ugly politics not new in the history of the world, replete with an out-group, in this case immigrants, on whom to focus in-group hatred, and other countries supposedly laughing at our military impotence and economic weakness, needing to be taught a lesson by Uncle Sam.

I agree with the professional pundits that we have never seen anything quite like this in America, and that’s starting to scare me more than a little.

(Cross-posted at Phantom Public.)

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  • Rcoutme

    I could list many ways that the far-right (and Trumpism) movement mirrors the rise of the Nazi party in Germany. Just the short list, though:
    1. Repeat lies on a constant basis until they are believed
    2. Scapegoat a group of people (blacks, immigrants, Latinos, whatever)
    3. Use patriotism/nationalism as a rallying cry for everything
    4. Demonize the opposition
    5. Use bullying tactics to stop opposition groups from voting
    6. Insist that the blame for all of your own failed policies belongs on your opponents.
    7. Claim that countrymen are in danger from groups “over there”
    8. Support preemptive war
    9. Support torture
    10. Imprison groups of people who would not normally vote for you

    Feel free to add to the list–I’m already getting a headache.

    • dduck12

      Studies have shown that you can get a headache from reaching too far.I agree totally with the headline of this article. Any one that has ever been in a business bigger than a lemonade stand can recognize a great marketer and huckster.

    • The_Ohioan

      11. Don’t object when followers use physical force to get rid of a perceived immigrant whether sleeping on a park bench or asking questions at a press conference.

      • dduck12

        Who dat?

    • The_Ohioan
      • dduck12

        Who is doing that for whom? Do you mean Trump raising Cruz?
        What “authority”?

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