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Why is Donald Trump polling so well?

July 24, 2015

Frankly, given the state of U.S. politics and the country in general, almost anyone not currently seen as a career politician and not running as a left-wing liberal could be doing just as well. The minor fact that Mr. Trump ostensibly doesn’t need any PAC or party money to make a run at the nation’s top office isn’t hurting either.

Many people seem to be getting a vicarious rush from his rhetoric.  Finally, someone with enough monetary insulation seems to be saying what they are afraid to say in public.

But is he? And what kind of president would he make?

A quick look back at his record really doesn’t support his popularity, or his credentials as a life-long conservative, leading to the inevitable speculation that he might be running to deliberately split the Republican party.

Since all of his publicized personal attacks on his opponents have been against other Republicans rather than the Democratic candidates, he leaves himself wide open to those charges.

His lack of substantive policies on the most important issues concerns thoughtful people that actually are giving him a look.

His readiness to drop his most extreme positions (from a 2200-mile long wall to “strategically placed walls” in his Laredo TX appearance) may show that he’s capable of adapting to public opinion, but aren’t evidence of any real deep thought processes that might occur before he opens his mouth.

One of Mr. Trump’s strong points with fans is that they can imagine him walking into Congress to give his first State of the Union address, pointing  imperiously at the assembled Congress and saying “You’re all fired!”

One of the nightmare scenarios for his opponents is the exact same video clip.

As for Trump’s fortune protecting him?  Well, his self-reported net worth of just over $10 billion wouldn’t even have made it onto the list of the top 100 richest people in the world in 2014.

The guy that tops that list is an American all right, but it’s Bill Gates, not the Donald. As billionaires go, he’s kind of a pipsqueak.

If Donald Trump has any positives it’s precisely that he has pulled out for measurement the actual number of people who are so damned sick of what America has become that they would vote for a yellow dog for President, even if they had to take the dog to the pound later.

Maybe Trump can pull the other Republican candidates farther right, much as Bernie Sanders has pulled Hillary Clinton left.

That might be what people are looking for… a champion, not just a president.

In a nation whose titular head of state has just decided that agreeing to defend the United States in a time of war is not a requirement for citizenship, who can blame them?

From → op-ed

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