Understanding the “Trump Phenomenon”

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: I have not endorsed any candidate in the 2016 presidential election, and I have not decided which one I will support. Repeating: I have not endorsed Donald Trump, although I still could.

I address this piece to two audiences: (1) the pathetic Establishment Republicans, so out of touch with reality that they view “severe conservative” loser Mitt Romney as their savior from the will of primary voters, fat stooges for the Chamber of Commerce who appear on cable tv with their whiteboards, and similar gutless weasels of every stripe, and (2) to my fellow conservatives, especially some principled Constitutional conservatives, those in that group who are horrified at the prospect of Donald J. Trump as the GOP nominee, not to mention the President of the United States. I have seen many in this latter group go from calm, polite grown ups to rude, social media potty mouths, declaring that their fellow Americans are “idiots,” and demanding that they “STFU!”

Both groups seem absolutely flummoxed by the success of the business man and reality tv show host with the bad combover, and the worse faux tan. “How could this happen?”, many of them wail as they wring their hands. The actual answer is simple. Like most things, it just requires connecting some dots. Here are some headlines that perfectly explain the “Trump phenomenon,” reminders of what life is like for some in Barack Obama’s America. I present them without comment because they speak for themselves.

Tragic: Veteran kills himself after call to VA suicide hotline goes to voicemail

Record 61 million immigrants in U.S., 15.7 million illegally | Washington Examiner

Mexican national accused of abusing toddler is freed despite request from immigration officials | The Tribune

PC Hysteria Claims Another Professor – The Daily Beast

More Undereducated, Middle-Aged Whites are Dying – Fortune

Navy SEALs tell congressman there is a combat rifle shortage

I could list more stories that explain why so many people are distressed, disgusted and/or disconsolate about the state of this country, but I think you get the idea.

Now, I know what many of you are saying. “Teri, the RINO’s doing the bidding of their donor masters don’t care about these stories, and we already know how bad things are.” Ah yes, but remember, we are connecting some dots here, explaining the reason that so many people are supporting Donald Trump, arguably a bombastic blowhard, who uses gutter language, and who has a history of not only praising democrats, but making campaign contributions to them, and a guy who is—let’s all say it together, shall we?—NO CONSERVATIVE. And I’m here to tell you, especially conservatives, that that fact makes absolutely no difference to many of his supporters.

You plaintively implore “How can anyone who cares about this country support this loudmouth over the articulate, principled conservative Sen. Ted Cruz, a man who not only understands the Constitution as well as anyone in this country, but who has devoted his career to defending it?” As I said, the answer is simple. Unlike many of you, the vast majority of voters in the United States are not ideological. For many of you, when Sen. Cruz gives a passionate speech, filled with eloquent expositions of Constitutional principles, it is like listening to a favorite song sung by a talented vocalist. You savor every note, and even though you know it by heart, you never tire of hearing it. You could sing it, too, although perhaps not as well. Still, you know and understand the words. You feel them in your bones. You are a true believer, a Constitutional conservative. Unfortunately, the average voter is not. The average voter says “You see this? (The state of the country embodied by the headlines cited above.) I am voting for not this. I want the opposite of this.” When Sen. Ted Cruz vows to repeal every illegal Obama executive order and executive action, I suspect that they hear “Whatever. Yes, what he’s done is a disaster. Undo it!” without thinking of the finer legal and Constitutional nuances

It’s not a coincidence that in the 2004 election, 1 million Illinois voters cast their ballots both for Barack Hussein Obama for U.S. Senate and George W. Bush as president. That would not be possible if these voters understood ideological differences, and I don’t think that they are atypical.

Often at election time, we get stories from the media about surveys that report that there is one candidate who would win in every jurisdiction in a landslide. This candidate has been a consensus favorite for decades. His name is “none of the above.” For many, Donald Trump is “none of the above.”

You say, “But wait. There is no one more at odds with what he likes to call ‘the Washington cartel’ than Sen. Ted Cruz.” You could make a fine case for that view, but the average voter sees in the Texas senator another creature of Washington, a man who has worked in government most of his life, married to a woman who works for Goldman Sachs. Some may also find some irony in Sen. Cruz’ claim to be “Mr. Constitution” when arguably he is not an Article II “natural born citizen.” They learned in 8th grade civics that to be president, a person has to be born on American soil, or they thought they did. What was all that argument about Obama being born in Kenya about if it didn’t make any difference, they wonder. (I am on the record as having the view that neither Sen. Cruz nor Sen. Rubio qualify under Article II, but that’s just me.) They have other issues with Sen. Cruz. They never trusted the smartest kid in the front row, after all, especially when he didn’t have the sunny personality of a Ronald Reagan.

The bottom line is that many voters are so sick and tired of what has gone on the last 7 years, or even the last 20, that they are prepared to roll the dice. Negative ads, or even truthful reports of Trump’s previous statements, donations or moral failings will have no effect. Those things only work when the voters don’t know a candidate, and these voters believe that they know Trump very well. More important, they know the alternative, and they have had their fill of it. Repeating: They DO NOT care if he is a “conservative.”

Do you agree? Please let us know in the comments below.

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