Donald Trump is far from my ideal of the perfect, or even the prototype of a strongly endorsable candidate. Yet one cannot help but marvel at Trump’s staying power since last summer, particularly when we consider that just less than a year ago Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was a presidential front runner. We will know after the Iowa caucus, as to whether or not Trump can maintain his front runner status. For a bit of history on this sort of situation, let’s recall the 2004 Democratic race when Howard Dean was the darling of the liberals, only to be blown away by John Kerry, once he shifted his campaign into overdrive passing gear. Will the same happen to Trump? We’ll soon see.
Trump is a guy who is easy to dislike. He’s a bully, he’s coarse, he shoots from the hip, he’s rich, etc. But that compilation of traits is also what makes Trump so popular, appealing even to potential cross-over voters. Trump is not beholden to political correctness, or any other form of diplomatic phony political orthodoxy. As such, he doesn’t lose any brownie points for stepping on toes and calling it the way he sees it.
Trump has appeal because he doesn’t sound like the typical fence-straddling politician. He voices what many people are actually thinking even if they are afraid to speak it. Trump leaves the impression that he will actually do the things he says.
While most common people can never identify with Trump’s wealth, his wealth allows him to speak his mind without worrying that he will offend financial backers desiring to shape the campaign message. That is why Trump is a persona unique to the political process.
Trump’s recent “birther” assault on Ted Cruz might be more than just Trump being Trump, trying to suppress the momentum of his closest rival. By bringing up the issue now, he takes that opportunity away from the Democrats should Cruz become the other half of the presidential ticket.
Meanwhile, on the liberal side, socialist Bernie Sanders continues to nip at the heals of Hillary Clinton. Sanders is particularly popular among youthful liberal voters. Some of this can be attributed to the ancient observations Aristotle made about the essence of youth.
“They [young people] have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things — and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning — all their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything — they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else.”
Again, Aristotle tells us why so many young people were mesmerized with Obama in 2008, and why Sanders is their poster grandfather in this election cycle.
“Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope.”
We could cite a more contemporary source such as Winston Churchill, who was quite succinct in this paraphrase attributed to him…
“If you are 20 and not a liberal, you haven’t got a heart. If you’re 40 and still liberal, then you haven’t got a brain.”
The point being that life experience creates an evolution of perspective that displaces youthful idealism.
But, an equal share of the credit for the youthful support of Sanders can be laid at the feet of the civics education indoctrination that emanates from the public school system. Public education instills maxims about public policy that grooms them to be disciples of Sanders ideology, rather than that of our founding fathers.
It simply doesn’t occur to them that socialism is antithetical to American constitutionalism.
If Donald Trump is able to secure the Republican nomination, despite attempts of the establishment to derail it, the choices are simple. Supporting Trump in the presidential election would not be holding your nose and voting. It is enduring a candidate with a few character flaws rather than capitulating to an ideology that is abominable.