There are four reasons why people support Trump, warts and all.
1. The GOP has betrayed its conservative base at every turn. The final nail in the coffin was the omnibus bill.
2. Trump broke through all the PC barriers and said build a wall and deport the illegals.
3. He said suspend Muslim immigration until we figure out what’s going on.
4. He has a populist message on US jobs vs free trade.
5. He is not bought.
He has doubled down on his positions throughout the campaign.
Yes, his past life was full of contradictory positions. Yes, he was a ruthless businessman who threw little old ladies out of houses and rent-controlled tenants out of their apartments. Yes, his personal life involves two divorces and cheating. Everything neo-neocon has said about Trump’s past is true.
So, as Mead argued:
Donald Trump, for now, is serving as a kind of blank screen on which Jacksonians project their hopes. Proposing himself as a strong leader who ‘gets’ America but is above party, Trump appeals to Jacksonian ideas about leadership. Trump’s Jacksonian appeal has left the Republican Party in deep disarray, demonstrating the gulf between contemporary conservative ideology and Jacksonian nationalism. Indeed, one of the reasons that Trump hasn’t been hurt by attacks that highlight his lack of long term commitment to the boilerplate conservative agenda (either in the social or economic conservative variant) is that Jacksonian voters are less dogmatic and less conservative than some of their would-be political representatives care to acknowledge. Jacksonians like Social Security and Medicare much more than most Republican intellectuals, and they like immigration and free trade much less.
He may be a blank screen but he is connecting with his supporters in massive rallies across the country. He fills every venue, sometimes as many as 30,000 people at a time. Nobody has every done that in a primary season. He says he represents a “movement” and that is where Mead is right.
My wife and I flew into DC for the 9/12/2009 Tea Party Rally. We met people from all over the country. The MSM said fifty thousand attended. The actual number, based on aerial shots, bus permits, ridership statistics and more was closer to a million. These are a few of the photos I took.
What did this huge rally in Obama’s front yard accomplish? My guess is it put a IRS target on the back of Tea Party and related organizations. That’s about it. The Tea Party Patriots organization has splintered and its national office has endorsed Ted Cruz.
I would also suggest that the folk who made that trek to DC are the same folk who attend Donald Trump rallies and vote for him.
Can he deliver on his promises? Who knows? But no so-called “Conservative” politician has delivered on their promises except Reagan and maybe Gingrich.
I’ve probably repeated these points before. But, after three cycles of voting Conservative and getting even more of Obama’s agenda rammed down our throats, many folk would rather go with an obnoxious, foul-mouthed, thin-skinned, belligerent and politically incorrect billionaire than any politician.
That says more for how folk feel about the GOP than it does for Trump. But, at least he fights.