Why is Trump ahead? There’s more to it than the extreme statements and refusing to bow to critics. What no one seems to be noticing is that he’s actually pulling off a masterclass in appealing to his voters. Are mainstream politicians so drowned in mainstream narratives that the best they can do is make hints about what they’ll do here and there and otherwise snap back to the main talking points? It appears so.
Trump knew that the “natural born” question was more complicated than the media, who hadn’t bothered to look, was reporting. Now it is an ongoing story backed up by renowned Constitutional scholars and will certainly dog Cruz for the rest of his run.
Trump knew that despite what seemed “shocking” that most of his voters favored stopping and removing illegal immigrants and preventing Muslims from coming here. The fact that the implementation of all of this is complex can be left to the pinheads in government to point out. It’s what the voters want, and we live in a democracy.
This is seemingly transparent. He’s saying what voters want. Yet it still surprises everyone and seems mysterious to the press.
When Jeb Bush and the rest point out we need the other Muslim countries, or that requiring fair trade with China would make [Chinese] products more expensive, it’s music to the business interests’ ears, but the actual Republican voters don’t want to play in their neoliberal sandbox anymore, if they ever did. And they don’t care if it’s wrapped in the sympathetic cosmopolitan political correctness of lefty versions of neoliberalism.
In this way, and not in the superficial anti-PC “hate” label, he is leading the American version of the UKIP and similar movements in other European countries.
Dismissing this as merely racist or xenophobic is to forget the very narrative liberals tell themselves about Republican voters, which is that they vote against their self interest when supporting the business elite of the Republican party. And when both parties can be seen as doing so, and one party seems, from their point of view, bent on making everyone equal, but equally average instead of forcing more income equality, why side with the Democrats? To put it in terms of Supreme Court decisions, it’s a world where corporations can spend billions on elections, teachers unions are likely to be defunded, but a court decision made gay marriage legal. That is the Neoliberal political order of the United States as it is now. So why side with Democrats who are at least somewhat complicit?
My answer is that in their guts, the instinct of Democrats is to help working people. They took it on the chin to pass the ACA and shouldn’t be blamed for failing to achieve what the Republicans stopped them from doing regarding Wall Street. But when Democrats don’t talk about working people, they aren’t as strong.
But not everyone buys that answer. And those that don’t are likely to at least hear a few things coming from Trump that they agree with and while they might not totally agree wit what Trump says about immigrants and Muslims, it’s not a deal breaker for them—and why should it be if we live in a democracy where people can vote for their own self-interest however they construe it?
This should surprise no one. At all.
For me, the notion of expelling Latino immigrants is a deal breaker that would change life as we know it not just for the workers, but for anyone who buys food. It would cause a disgusting human toll. But again, that’s the implementation. The theory of it, heard as “give American jobs to Americans” is harder to dismiss.
With the birther issue unlikely to be off of Cruz’s back in time, I suspect Trump is the most likely person to now win the Republican nomination.
He is very beatable but he must not be dismissed.