The Donald Trump phenomenon.
With Donald Trump you want to simply say: Lapsus linguae. But, his “Donaldisms” are mostly thought out and mean-spirited. Consider his making public the private phone numbers of fellow Republican Senators McCain and Graham, asking his supporters to flood their phones with calls. His “Donaldisms” by intent are headline-grabbing appeals to Tea Party types who make up a growing percentage of the right wing of the Republican Party in to the frustrations of people towards their government, and, who, at first glance, are attracted to his simplistic black and white solutions to gray problems. In a large field, that includes many candidates with narrow bases, as well as some with low name-recognition, this early in the presidential nominating process, most polls show him having surged to the lead. The most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll of Republicans, and those who lean Republican just showed him improving from a marginal 5% at the beginning of June to a field leading 23% on July 19th. It should be noted that this poll was taken before his ungenerous denigration of Senator McCain’s war hero status. As a draft deferrer, Trump has received much flak from other Republican candidates, veterans organizations, and key newspaper editorials. For example, The Des Moines Register, whose endorsement is so actively sought by candidates in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation primary (actually Iowa is a party caucus state), responded to Donald’s statement about Senator McCain’s war record. Monday, in an editorial they called Trump, “a feckless blowhard,” and urged him to bow out of the race. They said “being electable is not the same as being qualified, and Trump has proven himself not only unfit to hold office, but unfit to stand on the same stage as his Republican opponents.” Iowa’s caucus system rewards candidates who have the support of an ideologically motivated sub-group’s support, where they would be motivated to make the effort to attend the caucus. Right wing politicians have often done well with Republicans in Iowa. Flash polling fairly soon after Trump’s deprecation of McCain’s war record showed little change. I would expect some fallout as his remarks sink in, and who knows how his next “Donaldism” plays there. Nonetheless, he still trails right-leaning neighbor Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker in that Monmouth University poll using a small sample. In the Washington Post-ABC poll, which was conducted over a three-day period, Trump’s support dropped noticeably on the third day’s polling.
Democrats look with glee at Donald Trump’s move to the top of the list of Republican candidates. His “Donaldisms” seem pour from his mouth in diarrehreic style, all the more planned since the media attention given him has translated into increased poll numbers. All of my political insights yield the conclusion that his meteoric rise will self-destruct. Like those other Hillary supporters who feel he would be an easy opponent to beat, on the one hand I’d love to see him the Republican nominee. On the other hand I can’t help but remember reading that German politicians from the Weimer Republic thought that about another demagogue named Adolph Hitler before the Nazi Party won a plurality in the German Reichstag in 1932. So, for the safety of a democratic United States maybe I should simply hope that my expectations of an early flame-out by Donald Trump prove correct.