OPINION: Stumped by Trump? An analysis of ‘The Donald’


Donald Trump will finish with the most votes of any GOP primary candidate. Every voice speaking against him is met with one speaking for him.

The Donald is polarizing by design. Given that many people appear to agree with him through their vote, to simply dismiss him as a racist bigot would be irresponsible.

When a candidate who is as unexpected as Trump rises to become the GOP candidate, we must try to find why support is growing. Given his clashes with the media, it is especially important to get it right.

For an emerging constituency–a “silent majority”–Donald Trump has become an antihero for a section of people disillusioned with the sins of a broken political system – and is winning, due to a savvy media use and weak opponents.

Trump has ruled the media, allowing him to run a campaign vastly under expected budget for a presidential campaign. Trump didn’t create this machine. He has commandeered it.

While Correct The Record, a pro-Hillary super-PAC, spends $1 million to defend Clinton on social media, Trump has an enthusiastic group of people who willingly spend their leisure internet time to parrot his ideas for him.

Half hearted criticisms and poorly researched hit pieces are quickly attacked, sometimes by Trump himself on Twitter, discrediting the source of criticism to a point to which its truth becomes diluted.

In the same way, the mainstream media has seen the same effect when they give him an extremely lopsided amount of airtime. Trump has ruled the sound bite, giving news makers the low hanging fruit they have been accustomed to picking.

Trump’s trick that  grabbed headlines is called truthful hyperbole, which he has written about in his book “The Art of The Deal.”

One begins with a pebble of truth and deviates from it, supporting it with strong and loud exaggeration.

Media coverage accounts for some popularity, but there must be some sort of message to sustain this.

Trump claims to be anti-establishment. In some ways he is –he is not beholden to corporations and funds his own campaign through a loan to his political campaign.

He capitalizes on the same disdain for the corrupt establishment that Bernie Sanders appeals to.

People who have had little care for politics rooted in a distrust of a corrupt system have taken interest because there is someone who is not part of the system.

While Sanders and Trump supporters both believe that the current system is broken, they have vastly different opinions on how to fix it. Idealists tend to like Sanders’ socialist views and realists like Trump’s strong capitalist views with economic reform.

In the latter case, Trump has tapped into peoples’ disappointment and infused them with hope to Make America Great Again.

Trump and his supporters argue that America should take care of its own problems, though detractors say that idea of closing borders is xenophobic.

There is no doubt that America has issues, many of which have stemmed from bad decisions made by previous governments.

Foreign policy, in particular in regards to immigration, has been allowed to fester.  Trump’s answer to this is hostility towards Mexicans and Muslims.

He wears his hostility proudly. Surprisingly (and alarmingly) to some, voters have latched on to this message of firm and hostile isolationism.

This might not be the ideal strategy, but it is a clearly defined one. For some, that solution–any solution–is enough.

Some have accepted a sad reality that this is the best alternative compared to others who hide their evils.

Even among the poor, some believe that he will be the best choice for president and will cite that under Trump’s economic plan, there will be 0 percent tax rate for yearly incomes under $25,000.

Confusingly, there remains some reason not to trust him. He is a real-estate mogul who is synonymous with excess and egocentricity. He likely doesn’t have the disillusioned poor’s best interests at heart.

He is only beholden to himself. With a stacked Republican Congress, there is nothing stopping him from becoming the new establishment.

We know what @realDonaldTrump aims to do, but do we know what Donald Trump wants? It is our task to figure out.

There exists an asymmetry of good and evil. It takes a magnitude more effort find truth than it does to tell lies. Trump can rattle off pebbles of truth wrapped in something less. We cannot.

So far, the media have taken a lazy assessment of the phenomenon, and have lost credibility because of it.

The New York Times recently was accused by an interviewee of spinning her quotes to fit their anti-Trump narrative in their front-page article last Sunday.

The media and voters cannot have the same lack of effort. We must be above it.

Despite any moral shortcomings, Trump has never lacked for energy. The media and voters must give the same amount of effort and more in deciding whether he is the right person for the presidency.

Ultimately, the presidential race is a matter of personality and trust. Do we like this person? Do we trust them to do what they say they will do?  Which issues matter to you?

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I'm just trying to have a good time and produce good journalism. I'm the Web Editor for the Citrus College Clarion. camurao@ccclarion.com


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