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Not A Fan Of Donald TrumpGary Gerard, dumbhoosier.com
I am not a fan of Donald Trump.
Even before his newfound affection for politics, I never cared for him.
Mary and I were in Chicago last weekend with friends for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. We walked down State Street to take a look at the Chicago River, which had been dyed green as part of the festivities.
I was in a great mood. Then I looked up from the river to my left and there it was – Trump International Hotel and Tower. All $847 million, 2,600,000 square feet, 98 floors and 1,116 feet of it.
How did I know it was the Trump building? Easy. About 14 stories up the word Trump appears in gleaming metallic letters that are themselves three stories high.
(It took me just a few minutes to shake off the scowl that image put on my face and get back into the festivities.)
That’s what always bugged me about Trump. He’s all about Trump – all the time. And his brief – albeit meteoric – venture into politics confirms the stratospheric level of narcissism under which he operates.
I get why voters are attracted to him, though. I think the reasons are at best shallow and at worst just plain wrong, but I get it.
Trump has tapped into a feeling of anger and resentment that has been fomenting for quite some time in this country.
Lots of people feel betrayed by their government and their representatives. They feel like their country is slipping away from them and they see Trump as a way to get it back.
Lots of Trump voters are hard-working people who were hit hard by the 2008 recession. They haven’t fully recovered low these eight years later.
This has been the slowest, weakest “recovery” in the history of recoveries. People are tired of it and think Trump is just the man to turn it around.
But just because Trump has his name emblazoned on everything from big buildings, to golf courses, to bottles of water and steaks is no reason to believe he would make a good president.
Frankly, I think businessmen – CEOs, CFOs, etc., are not really the best fit for government jobs.
If you’re a CEO and you want Project A to happen, you tell your people to complete Project A. They leave no stone unturned until it is completed. Even if they think it is a dumb project, they still get it done for their CEO because their job is on the line.
Government doesn’t work like that. If the president wants Project A to get done, he has to do it in terms of legislation. That means he has to convince majorities of both houses of Congress to agree to Project A. We all know how difficult that is to pull off these days.
So just because Trump says he’s going to “build a wall” or “bring jobs back to America” or “make America great again” doesn’t mean he will be able to do any of that. Voters are naive to think he can.
And he’ll frankly be pretty frustrated as a president because I’m pretty sure he’s used to getting what he wants without a lot of resistance from those around him.
On the other hand, some voters probably don’t believe he can get things done. They know politicians – even ones like Trump – can’t really change their lives all that much. But they don’t care. Why not support Trump and poke your thumb in the eye of the establishment.
It’s not so much that Trump is the antithesis of a politician. He’s a politician on steroids – less civil, less principled and more arrogant than all the other politicians.
He’s the prefect vehicle for angry voters to say “Up yours!” to politicians. Essentially they’re saying, “Yeah, we know Trump is an insincere loud mouth, but he’s still better than you!”
That’s why conventional political wisdom doesn’t work with this guy. The more you bash him, the more inconsistencies you point out in his rhetoric, the more popular he becomes.
Voters are so unhappy with the current state of affairs they are simply willing to overlook all of Trump’s negatives.
Then there’s the Trump polling phenomenon. That’s where people being polled don’t admit that they are voting for Trump.
Trump polls between 7 and 10 percent better in online polls than he does in telephone polls. That’s because people feel a heightened level of anonymity online.
You might tell a pollster you won’t vote for Trump. But in the voting booth, where nobody can see and you have full deniability, heck, yes, you’ll vote for Trump.
That is a truly scary component to this election.
The other thing I’ve noticed is the more the “Stop Trump” movement gets covered by media, the less credible it becomes.
Distrust of the media is so rampant, people don’t believe what media say. That’s because for decades media have been playing favorites with Democrats.
So when media point out demonstrably false things Trump says, people blame media and keep believing Trump.
There is a dangerous level of naivete among GOP leaders, too. Their plan to “stop Trump” with a scheme at the national convention in Cleveland borders on insanity.
If Trump doesn’t have enough delegates after the first ballot, they’ll just put somebody else in who’s, well, not Trump.
If that strategy is successful, the GOP can write off roughly 40 percent of its base for a generation. Doesn’t the GOP get it? It’s these kinds of shenanigans that made Trump the frontrunner in the first place. It’s precisely why voters are angry about establishment politics.
The GOP leadership created this mess, and distasteful as it may be, I think at this point they need to suck it up and let the voters decide.
So let’s assume Hillary and Donald are the nominees for their respective parties in the general election. How will all this play out?
Some say it will be a cakewalk for Hillary. I’m not so sure about that. People don’t trust Hillary.
Any GOP candidate would key on that mistrust, along with the boxcar of political baggage Hillary carries around dating back to the 1990s.
But Trump? Trump will relish, exploit and exaggerate it. And lots of voters will believe every word. Enough voters to give us President Trump?
I don’t know. But be afraid, America. Be very afraid.
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My name is Gary Gerard. I was born and raised in Indiana and
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