August 06, 2015

Trump This

I'm hypnotized by the strength of Donald Trump in the polls. He sells competence but went into bankruptcy numerous times and inherited a fortune from his father.  He seems a man of weak character given the serial marriages, flip-flopping positions, and constant verbal scrapes. 

Why would so many Republican voters, supposedly the party of “character counts” be head over heels for him?

I think it's because another characteristic of Republicans is a strong desire for order and strength. Witness how Repubs want a strong foreign policy and a controlled border. 

Maybe it's like how Nixon was favored by many. He was of weak character but that was overlooked in a time of war and in opposition to someone of similar weak character (LBJ). Having lost in 1960 and '64, to two different Democrats, the party overlooked the “Tricky” part of Tricky Dick in hopes of winning back the White House and the Vietnam War. (We all know how that turned out.)

Both Nixon and Trump had or have difficulty with truth-telling. Both tough negotiators and deal-makers. But Nixon was smart, sophisticated, experienced. Trump is like a drunk uncle (not to impugn drunk uncles).

Maybe Trump and a Bernie Sanders or Dennis Kucinich are similar in how they all dream of impossibilities, pie in the sky naivety, Kucinich with his pacifism and Trump with his hawkishness on trade, China, the Democrats in Congress. People in both parties are certainly susceptible to dreamers, and I suppose we're far removed enough from the election to intoxicate ourselves with dreams. 

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