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What makes Donald Trump a new kind of candidate

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Have we ever seen a candidate like Donald Trump before? Not exactly. Trump combines two political traditions: the political outsider and the fringe candidate. We've seen each of them before. But not in one candidate.

We've seen outsiders with no political experience run against the establishment. They appeal to voters' disgust with politics and their exasperation with Washington.

Sometimes such feelings lead voters to turn to celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger in California or Jesse Ventura in Minnesota. Businessmen like Ross Perot in 1992 can also fill the role of political outsider. They appeal to the belief that government should be run like a business. Perot said he would hire "world-class experts" to look under the hood and fix what's wrong with the country. And then let the people vote on their solutions in "electronic town halls." Politics would be eliminated.

Trump's approach is a little like Perot's. Asked about his policies, Trump responded, "We're getting the best. I'm going to come out with more positions." Trump will just buy the positions and put them on display. Like Perot did with his infomercials and his flip charts.

Is there a reason why government can't be run like a business? Sure there is. Business is not a democracy. If business were a democracy, it would look like government.

A lot of voters enjoy watching Trump take on the media and the Republican Party establishment. And beat them at their own game. The latest Reuters-IPSOS poll, taken after the debate, continues to show Trump at the head of the pack.

Didn't Trump horrify Republicans by threatening to run as an independent if he doesn't get the nomination? Trump explains that like a true businessman: "My whole life has been leverage, OK? I believe in leverage."

Trump is different from Perot in one crucial respect. Perot had no distinct ideological appeal. Trump does. He appeals strongly to Tea Party conservatives.

That's the other tradition Trump represents: fringy ideological candidates. They emerge on the far right of the Republican Party (Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson and Michele Bachmann) and on the far left of the Democratic Party (Jesse Jackson, Howard Dean and now Bernie Sanders).

It sounds far-fetched to describe Trump as an ideologue. The only cause he deeply believes in is himself. His credo: "I'm a smart person" and "I'm really rich."

Consultants write him memos offering political advice. Trump don't need no stinking memos. "I've got to be me," he says.

"That's why I am where I am, leading the polls. It's not because of memos." Trump's jobs program? "I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created." If narcissism is an ideology, Trump is its Karl Marx.

Why is Trump so popular with the far right? Because he has chosen to run at an opportune moment. Conservatives are desperate for a champion. The right feels embittered by the Obama presidency and betrayed by the Republican establishment.

The Tea Party sprang up as soon as President Barack Obama entered the White House in 2009. To them, Obama is the most radical left-wing president in this country's history. They've been waiting for a candidate who can express their contempt. That's exactly what Trump does.

"We have a president who doesn't have a clue," Trump said in the debate. "I would say that he's incompetent, but I don't want to do that because it's not nice."

Trump also has an issue that galvanizes the far right: immigration. "I will build a great wall," Trump said when he announced his candidacy, "and nobody builds walls better than me."

Conservatives don't like what's happening to the country, specifically the emergence of a New America that is more diverse and more inclusive. The right is determined to roll back the changes of the Obama years. Starting with Obamacare, which Trump called "a disaster" and "the big lie."

Conservatives are a resistance movement, and Trump is a resistance leader. His slogan - "Make America great again!" - is a call to arms to restore the Old America. "This country is in big trouble," Trump said in the debate. "We don't win anymore."

It's amazing when you think about it. Trump is a multibillionaire running against the establishment. He's a candidate with no coherent political philosophy running as a conservative champion. It doesn't make sense. But, so far, it's working.

That's because he has an unusual coalition behind him: antiestablishment populists and the far-right fringe. What they share is joy in defiance. And Trump is the Great Defier.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

22 Comments
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USA has anyway quit being a democracy long time ago, being ruled in the interests of the corporate and the 1%.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

We’ve seen outsiders with no political experience run against the establishment. They appeal to voters’ disgust with politics and their exasperation with Washington.

Because people are against "the establishment", and when the state of affairs has declined to the point that Washington has "insiders" (politicians and the polictically-connected) and "outsiders" (everyone else), things are quite bad.

People elected Obama because they wanted change, and he promised to give it to them. But Obama didn't give us change, he gave us a larger dose of the same.

Trump is a rich loudmouth who speaks first and thinks later, and makes no apologies for it. He appears to be sincere in his opinions, however disagreeable they may be. Your normal politician says what people want to hear, never let's people know what his real opinions are, and once in office, does what he pleases, and begins thinking of new promises he can make before his next reelection campaign. The usual upper-level politician is a legacy Ivy-League educated son, nephew, or grandson of another politician, and knows as little about how ordinary people live than ordinary people know about the lecture rooms and libraries at Yale and Harvard. They are the entitled, the kind of people which America had aimed to keep out of power when the country was founded. For all his money, Trump is a nobody, like most Americans, and perhaps America wants a nobody in office.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"Why is Trump so popular with the far right? - article

AWOL Bush gave them his privatized wars and Trump wants to give them his privatized wall. Both bought and paid for with tax payers dough and farmed out to the most influential con men. Americans certainly can't think they got a bargain with AWOL's Three Trillion Dollar disaster. What makes anyone think Trump's wall will be any different? Imagine, that's Trump's only idea, a cash grab bag give away because Mexicans are so repulsive to him. Nice guy.

"The Tea Party sprang up as soon as President Barack Obama entered the White House - article

Proving themselves the most racist and ignorant of the populous. No wonder Trump's 'Birther' racism is so fondly cherished by these hooligans, or as Nick Gass wrote in 7/10/15's Politico: "Trump: I'm still a birther". There's one candidate who isn't afraid to double down on his racism, and you though it was only Mexicans Trump held special contempt for.

"Trump said in the debate. “We don’t win anymore.” - article

Huh? The GOP-Tea won the private wars AWOL lied his way into and AWOL himself boasted Mission Accomplished. What does Trump mean? Americans are losers? That's Trump's rally cry?

"That’s because he has an unusual coalition behind him: " racists, the mentally incompetent and misogynists. IF that's who Trump wants to lead Americans to winning he sounds as addled as Charlie Sheen. Charlie might make a great VP for Trump, two losers on the raged edge of reality.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

He is a buffoon !

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@sangetsu03

You hit the nail straight on the head. Perfect analysis and on point!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

This guy's a freak show! He forgot that image and charisma still are important assets. But he threw them both out of the window (if he even had any of them).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If Donald Trump should ever become the president of the USA, it's degradation and downfall would be complete.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Hes politically incorrect. Speaks his mind. The people are sick and tired of all these ridiculous social taboos where subjects can't be discussed otherwise your given an unflattering label.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If Donald Trump should ever become the president of the USA, it's degradation and downfall would be complete.

That's impossible!! There is no way the US can slide further down the tubes than it already has and we still have 2 years to go. But I'm confident we'll get through this as well.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@Yogizuna If Donald Trump should ever become the president of the USA, it's degradation and downfall would be complete.

Nail on the head, in my opinion. Trump is a 1% of the 1%-ers, a man who had a privileged upbringing and has zero understanding of those brought up and living in worlds other than his own, (meaning over 99.9% of the world) a man who apparently has zero regard for those in worlds other than his own. He’s a narcissistically impaired champion of toxic masculinity. (He was bullied by a woman at Fox? Get serious.) With all of the money and expensive schooling his daddy bought him he is incapable of putting together a complete and coherent sentence, nor any idea with more substance than his toupe. He’s another chicken-hawk, someone who proudly evaded military service and was able to because of his rich daddy, but someone who says he’s willing to start even more wars in which he’d send someone else’s children to do his bidding to benefit his business associates. (I doubt he has friends.) Or maybe he’ll continue buying mercenaries like the US has been doing. The only people I can see him appeal to are those in the military related industries and while male racists and misogynists. But don’t worry teabags for brains: Rupert Murdoch, Karl Rove and the Koch brothers, the people who brought you the war in Iraq, will decide who your candidate is.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So you think Bernie Samders would be better??? So it's back to advocating more socialism, bigger government and government dependency. How about Dr. Ben Carson? He can relate to the people, he's not a 1%, the man grew up in very humble beginnings? So it shouldn't be a problem or even Scott Walker, Cruz or Rubio for that matter.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@bass4junk The question was about Trump. I give two anythings about the other candidates.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The question was about Trump. I give two anythings about the other candidates.

Yeah, yeah, I get it. But my question, if Trump is everything you despise in a 1% who would you prefer? Someone that can connect to the people, right? Does it have to be more socialism? Or why not a candidate that advocates self-reliance instead of a giant government apparatus? It's a fair question.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bill-clinton-called-donald-trump-ahead-of-republicans-2016-launch/2015/08/05/e2b30bb8-3ae3-11e5-b3ac-8a79bc44e5e2_story.html

Four Trump allies and one Clinton associate familiar with the exchange said that Clinton encouraged Trump’s efforts to play a larger role in the Republican Party and offered his own views of the political landscape.

http://thehill.com/opinion/brent-budowsky/250445-brent-budowsky-is-trump-a-clinton-plant

Is Trump a Clinton plant?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

bass4funk I made a point about Trump. I have zero interest in engaging in a discussion with teabaggers or ideologues of any sort, people who can only see the world in binary terms, e.g. self-reliance v. whatever. Modus vivendi

4 ( +5 / -1 )

We need a very pro abortion believer as president. He would and shall Tell Japan to tell China and South Korea to shut up. He should be pro nuclear power, and build up the military with all state of the art weapondry. He should also initiate a draft for all that fail and never graduate from high school. I think it would make America a better place and respected.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I made a point about Trump. I have zero interest in engaging in a discussion with teabaggers or ideologues of any sort, people who can only see the world in binary terms, e.g. self-reliance v. whatever. Modus vivendi

So basically, you just want to hurl vitriol attacks towards Trump, blame him for being in the top 1% but having another conservative that is a genuine and soft-spoken person that could teach other minorities YOU CAN rise above poverty and become a surgeon or anything you want if you dedicate your self to working hard, never depend on government for ANY assistance, self-reliance is the key to success. If you don't like conservatives say it, but don't use Trump as an excuse to slam because you don't like him because he's a conservative and grew up rich. Carson is rich and grew up very poor, so he has the ability to connect to the everyday common people. He would be a better alternative to Trump.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

This is going to be a very interesting election season ! People are already getting pretty excited, and it is about six months until the caucuses in Iowa, and primary in NH. I heard today that The Donald doesn't care to spend 1 billion of his fortune on the election. I believe that what Hillary said is true ! He is having the time of his life. Is there anybody out there who really believes Trump can be elected ? When it is all said and done for the GOP, who is going to be the last person standing ? Jeb ? Maybe John Kasich ? Fiorina ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

far left of the Democratic Party (Jesse Jackson, Howard Dean and now Bernie Sanders).

None of these people are far left. In fact Bernie is right down the middle on most issues in the USA now. The dominant right wing media paints these folks as fringe when in reality they are not. Higher taxes on the rich, mainstream, no stupid republican wars, mainstream, no crushing debt for students, mainstream, public healthcare, mainstream, and on and on. Polls for all these issues indicate majority support in the country. That is why Bernie is polling so well and beats all republicans in head to head votes. All of them.

The Donald is not a real candidate, he is a foxistein creation that has turned on its creator. HIs appeal is based on racism and stupidity. Or in other words the two main elements of the tea party republican crowd. He is simply Sarah Palin with a comb over.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Have we ever seen a candidate like Donald Trump before? . . . he has an unusual coalition behind him: antiestablishment populists and the far-right fringe." - Bill Schneider

Did Mr. Schneider consider Sarah Palin? The implosion of GOP-Tea has been based on the same principles. First, find someone who can't maintain the attention of a house plant. Sarah had the same exact "coalition" and the exact same attention span. Her failure was what the McCain camp called: "She just didn’t have a bandwidth to do a mock interview session the way we had prepared before. She was just overloaded."

Trump ran into the same overload in his first outing as a misogynist in front of millions of Americans. Basically the electorate has seen Trump before, he's Palin's mirror image, a Caitlyn Palin if you will. Trump spices thing up with a limited intellect, a genuine streak of racism and too full of himself to care about anyone but himself.

Have we ever seen a candidate like Donald Trump before? Sure, the GOP-Tea, start to finish, backwards and forwards and now they anoint their billionaire buddy to send thousands to their deaths in a Trumped up war.

Have we ever seen a candidate like Donald Trump before? Mr. Schneider certainly baits the hook but there's already too much stink fish on the GOP-Tea's line of jive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Regardless of the "opinion" expressed by Mr. Schneider here, the entry of Mr. Trump has "awakened" debate among all candidates, the media and the general public. These intense debates and active arguments were sorely needed in what was becoming a "divided" nation with emotional action and reaction to everything without meaningful, rational and reasonable discussion and debate. That in itself is a "contribution" to the political and electoral process in a democracy.

Mr. Trump's "opinions" and "remarks" also "awakened" the awareness of world leaders as well as world financiers that manipulate power, that the most powerful nation's, the USA's public has by his outburst started to "think". That was something which was hidden behind religion, race, sexuality, and other "emotion based decision making and outright complacency which was beginning to "dominate" the entire nation. A "thinking" nation, especially the USA is exactly what the world needs today.

Hopefully everyone is thinking rationally, reasonably, practically, globally as a united mankind, a single humanity and without "negative and destructive prejudice".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@kazetsukai

well said!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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