Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Trump's Popularity Explained

A lot of political commentators seem to be surprised, and some are even shocked, that Donald Trump continues to do well in the Republican primary race. On the cable shows the talking heads stroke their chins and survey their guests for an explanation for his dominance in the polls, but it's not really hard to explain at all. Anyone who wants to know why Trump continues to enthuse average Republican voters need only compare the forthright and unambiguous way he answers questions with the vague, contentless responses given by the typical politician.

Trump isn't afraid to transgress the politically correct media censors, skewer their sacred cows, and stick his thumb in the eye of those who try to embarrass him. Most politicians are horrified by the thought of saying anything that might send anyone anywhere to the fainting couch, but not Trump, and that trait has struck a chord with people who are desperate for authenticity in our political leaders.

Many people, especially conservative folk, are disgusted by candidates who are loath to say anything that hasn't been tested in a focus group. They're weary of listening to politicians ramble on for minutes in reply to a question and wind up saying nothing. The public appearances and speeches these people inflict on the voters are a waste of everyone's time. For an example, watch this "mash-up" of Hillary Clinton's legendary evasiveness:
People are tired of this, they find it insulting, and they're telling pollsters and their friends that they're going with Trump because he doesn't weasel and mince his way out of answers. He's not a "squish."

Now, if only we could be sure that Trump actually means what he says. Hearing someone say the right things unapologetically and unambiguously is refreshing and important, but actually meaning what one says is even more so. On Trump's sincerity, given his past positions, there's plenty of room for doubt.