The Real Dangers of Donald Trump
(and his supporters)
Credit where credit is due: Donald Trump is a masterful showman and self-promoter. He has the timing of a top-notch comedian, and the singleminded persistence of a pit bull. He has honed these skills over a lifetime of scrapping his way to the top of a very rough neighborhood.
There is no way, however, that skills of such dubious value in the national political arena can account for Trump’s rocket to the top of the GOP presidential field. To explain that adequately, one must examine the volatile mixture of a consummate showman and a populace desperate to fight back against the leftist movement that has made such strides in its war on traditional American values—largely unimpeded by the party that was given landslide victories with the expectation that it would assiduously represent the people in combatting the leftist-statist onslaught.
When Barack Obama rose from being a relative unknown in the Democratic Party, a man whose chief claim to fame was as a rabble-rousing Alinskyite community organizer, he did so by being all liberal things to all liberal people: Obama’s lack of a verifiable past allowed his supporters to overlay on him every hope they had ever had for a liberal presidential candidate. Obama’s vague bromides of “Hope and Change,” with little or no substance that could be analyzed for merit, left people free to pin their hopes for change—whatever the specifics of that change might be—on him, propelling him into the White House. That was quite an accomplishment.
Obama bettered that accomplishment four years later by riding that same vagueness to reelection, in spite of a first term that had failed America and the American people in every measurable way. Unspecified, nebulous, but wonderful change was still tantalizingly achievable, we had just not hoped enough yet. We obviously needed four more years of hope.
If Obama accomplished political marvels, Trump is on his way to making Obama look like a piker. Where Obama’s sketchy past held nothing to disqualify him among his liberal base, Trump’s extremely public life is chock full of things that should, at the very least, throw up big red flags to Republican—especially conservative Republican—voters. That Trump can with impunity brush off such a seriously disqualifying history is a tribute to both his emotional sway and his supporters’ desperation for someone, anyone who will channel their legitimate anger and champion their righteous cause—even when they can have no expectation based in fact that Trump is the one best suited to fight for them.
Trump follower after Trump follower will gleefully explain how he or she is happy to sacrifice his or her most sacred values and issues because “Trump is the only one who will fight for me,” even though Trump has given no solid indication of what values he will actually represent when the time comes to fight.
No one is allowed to question Trump’s past, character, abilities, knowledge, wisdom, demeanor, or motives; he is the guy who will get things done. What things? Irrelevant! He will get them done.
Herein is found the freakishly cultish nature of Trump’s following: they have no care about his real plans; they have blind faith that he will do whatever it is they most desire. In their blind faith, they resemble Obama supporters of elections past; but the credulity and outright gullibility of Trump’s followers outstrips that of Obama’s supporters by far: Obama has never espoused values and beliefs that were so anathema to his base as Trump has to his. In the lexicon of Eric Hoffer, each of them is a True Believer.
This is the secret of the “Trump Coalition”: individuals’ values are quickly laid aside and forgotten in deference to the One who says He will fix everything and Make America Great Again. People of many disparate and even competing, mutually exclusive beliefs are united in one thing: their utter belief that Trump is the only one who will do what they want, even though it is impossible for Him to do what everyone wants.
With regard to Trump’s personal motives, in place of a desire to serve the public and do what is best for America, Trump exudes the air of a bored snob and political dilettante who flipped a coin in order to decide whether to add climbing Mount Everest or running for US President to his bucket list. Tails… US President it is.
To his followers, Trump may be a narcissistic, liberal-leaning, Constitution-ignoring, megalomaniacal strongman, but he is THEIR narcissistic, liberal-leaning, Constitution-ignoring, megalomaniacal strongman. What could go wrong? Go Trump!