While many people seem surprised that Donald Trump has catapulted himself into being the overwhelming Republican presidential frontrunner, they shouldn’t be. If anything, it all makes perfect sense. After all, in many ways, Trump is the perfect Republican presidential candidate.
Trump is actually proving something I’ve joked about for a while now: Manipulating conservatives is easy.
I absolutely believe that I could walk on a stage right in front of tens of thousands of conservatives and, based on what I know about the idiocy that drives their party, have them eating out of the palm of my hand – cheering almost every asinine thing I could come up with.
Trump’s proving my theory correct by doing exactly that.
So I thought I’d list five of the ways Donald Trump has become a Republican superstar.
1. He panders to racism and bigotry: Long before he became the GOP’s leading presidential candidate, Trump made his mark among conservative voters by becoming a vocal “birther.” While it’s a topic he cowardly refuses to discuss today, not all that long ago he had no problem perpetuating the ridiculous conspiracy that President Obama faked two forms of his birth certificate.
Now, since moving on from Obama’s birth certificate (which was a conspiracy clearly driven by racism), he’s continued to build his support by pandering to bigotry against Mexicans and Muslims. He’s saying publicly what had only been previously pushed by far-right media pundits. As I’ve said before, Donald Trump is basically a live-action version of your typical right-wing blog and comment section.
2. He trashes the United States and bashes the “establishment”: For people who claim to think the United States is great, Republicans obsess over how terrible they think this nation has become. Trump’s whole slogan is predicated around the fact that he thinks America is no longer great. He stands in front of thousands of people and calls America a loser while bragging about communist China and defending a psychopath in Vladimir Putin.
He also plays right into the hands of those who hate our government, pushing the facade of an “outsider” who’s looking to “clean up Washington.” Yes, because a billionaire businessman who’s admitted to trying to buy off politicians and has exploited our laws to his own benefit just screams “I’m ethical and I’ll get rid of corruption.”
Then again, this is what Republicans do – he just does it better than most. They degrade the United States, tell people how awful things are and promise to deliver prosperity the likes they’ve never seen. It’s all bullshit, but Republicans eat it right up.
While far from perfect – and with many flaws yet to be fixed – the United States is still a great nation. Sadly, it’s jackasses like Trump and the people to which he’s pandering who keep holding us back.
3. He preys on fear: This is actually a go-to move for Republicans and many tyrannical groups. If you keep people afraid, tell them how scared they should be – and find things for them to be scared of (immigrants, the poor, women, Muslims, liberals) – you can get people who would otherwise be rational to act in direct contrast to their own best interests.
Just look at his blatant 9/11 lie about “thousands and thousands” of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey. Even though there’s not a single shred of video footage supporting his bald-faced lie, he still had people saying they saw the same thing. Which is amazing considering there’s not a single piece of video evidence anywhere to support his claim.
Facts don’t matter because Trump has pushed his anti-Muslim rhetoric so well that they’ll believe and support damn near anything he says – even if his rhetoric is so radical that he’s suggested all-out bans on Muslims and databases to track those who are already here. Two things that are the antithesis of what American values are all about.
4. He’s an arrogant, offensive bastard: The Republican party is driven by some of the most hateful, angry rhetoric I’ve ever encountered, which makes Trump the perfect candidate in this regard.
Here’s a man who twists being flat-out offensive into the ridiculous “I’m sick of being PC/I’m telling it how it is” nonsense that conservative voters love hearing. As if it’s being “PC” to be appalled at someone disrespecting a war veteran; making sexist comments about women; mocking the physical disabilities of a reporter; or calling most Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals.
And the worst part is, he never apologizes – ever. Why would he? The more offensive he is, and the more he refuses to apologize for being vile, the more support he gets from conservatives.
They want an arrogant blowhard who “doesn’t take crap from anyone.” But in reality all they’re supporting is an egotistical, immature prick who belittles and attempts to bully people with which he disagrees.
Despite what he’d like us to believe, Trump isn’t a “tough guy.” That’s why he throws so many hissy fits and temper tantrums on Twitter whenever someone calls him out. A real “tough guy” who’s confident in themselves wouldn’t feel the need to stoop to such levels. They wouldn’t have to brag about their polling numbers every time a new poll comes out to build themselves up.
That’s what insecure, arrogant people do.
5. He panders to stupid people: Normally I wouldn’t be this blunt, but I have zero patience for Trump supporters. If you look at this man and think, “Wow, he would make a great president” – you’re an idiot. There’s a reason why polls have proven that a good portion of those who support Trump aren’t highly educated.
He speaks like a 4th grader; has the maturity of an immature 13-year-old and uses a total of about five adjectives (pathetic, loser, wonderful, fabulous, stupid) to describe someone or something; and just says… stuff.
Sure, Trump says a lot of things – but almost nothing he says is actually true. Often he just seems to literally make stuff up on the fly. He knows his supporters are so dumb that they’ll believe whatever he says and doubt anyone who disproves something he’s said. I’ve never encountered a group of people who are so devoid of reality in all my time covering politics. I’m convinced he could say Jesus Christ came to his home, told him he was the chosen one and God’s pick for president and his supporters would believe him.
That’s how absurd many of them act.
He knows his core group of supporters are simple-minded folks, easily manipulated by being told what they want to hear – and to his credit he plays that character perfectly.