Throughout my ten years of teaching, I recall many first days of schools. I’m not the best person when it comes to memorizing names, so those first couple of weeks always presented a challenge. However, every year, without fail, by the first or second day, I’d remember a name or two. Usually that wasn’t a good thing. The memorable name usually meant some mischievous, loud-mouth, can’t-sit-still kid.
Enter Donald Trump. It’s early in the 2016 Presidential race, but Donald Trump, like the freshman bound to get expelled by November, has made himself known. He’s flamboyant, yells at reporters, makes crass and racist remarks. Like teachers, many of us stare at him and wonder how such a bully and trouble-maker could be so popular. We all know his name, even the ones that don’t teach him, and secretly, deep down, we all wish his dad get a new job that required him to move away.
So why are so many attracted to Donald Trump?
First, people like Trump because he doesn’t need fame. When it comes to fame, Trump already has made a name for himself, and he plasters it around this earth like those sweatpants that say sexy on the backside. Call it his Trumpstamp.
Secondly, Trump isn’t in this for the money. The fact that Trump is so flauntingly rich and yet liked by many is quite the anomaly, but I think I’ve figured out why. Hear me out:
Most of society despises the 1%. Normally, that would make most also despise Donald J. Trump for his lavish flare, as he gives kids rides on his $7 million helicopter and tells them that he’s Batman. We typically refer to those people as douche-bags.
Most also hate politicians because they beg at the doorsteps of the 1%, promising to return political favors for money. NASCAR and politicians only drive around in circles, but at least NASCAR drivers have the decency to display the names of their corporate sponsors.
Most of society also hates politicians because they hate televangelists. Politicians are like phony preachers talking about how much they care for the poor. Somehow people like Hillary Clinton can give a speech, self-promoting herself as someone who cares about equality and poor people, then collect $200 thousand for that same speech.
So when it comes to wealth, why in the world would anyone support Donald Trump for president?
If you recall Trump’s very strange press conference where he announced his presidential bid, the man repeatedly touted his wealth. “I’m so rich!” he reminded us, as though that would make us like him more. Trump promises to make America great again, but one thing he doesn’t promise is more government handouts. Does Trump look down on the poor from his high tower casinos? Sure. But as Trump knows, many Republicans would rather support an uncharitable person than a blatant hypocrite.
Trump also has another surprising thing going for him. He is so volatile that most corporate sponsors want nothing to do with associating with him. This creates a very weird situation where most hate the 1%, most hate politicians, but even more hate politicians who cater to the 1% more than anything else. As long as Trump is making himself un-sponsorable, he is also untying politics with corporate sponsors. Despite how we feel about Trump, most of us think that’s at least one positive aspect coming from his campaign.
So Trump isn’t in this for the fame or the money, but he is in this for the power. That is the point where Trump loyalty divides. You either love Trump or hate him because he’s power-hungry. Think I’m wrong? Who else makes a show where the punch line is “You’re fired.” If someone pitched a show to me and said, “Hey, at the end you can humiliate someone in front of millions by telling them you’re fired,” I’d be like, “Umm… did you eat paint chips as a child? What’s wrong with you? Why do I want to be portrayed as some horrible, unsympathetic boss?” Donald Trump jumped at the opportunity.
Most political advisers would say Trump’s lambastic approach towards anything that stands in his way is certain political suicide. But remember, Trump comes to the table with his own capital. So as long as this guy is at least garnishing some favor in the polls, he can back up his mouth with his money. For some people that type of transparency, lack of filter, or whatever you want to call it is what has been missing in politics.
In the era of 24×7 news, the camera is always rolling, and eventually, each politician is going to say something they wish they hadn’t and pray that the panda at the National Zoo dies so that attention gets diverted. Not Donald Trump. This guy steps in crap, lifts up his shoe so that everyone can see it, tells people that he did it on purpose, and then presses his soiled sole in his opponent’s face.
Like a male dog humping another male dog, Trump has even exerted his dominance over the media. Again, that would typically mean political suicide. However, Trump lives in an era where if the media is anything, it isn’t fair and balanced. 24 hour news channels seem more content to overtly take political sides these days, and in a society where half of the population hates the other party, it means that even the media can be hated by association. So when Trump gets up to the microphone and tells a guy to “sit down, and go back to Univision” (kudos for at least not saying “Mexico”), there are at least some Univision haters (probably also people opposed to immigration reform) that cheer him on.
Donald Trump may be liked by some for these reasons, but this is exactly why you shouldn’t vote for him. Trump is like a volcano that constantly erupts and threatens to blow up anything near him. He is so arrogant that he will take shots at anybody and everybody. He is used to getting his way and building his empire by hard negotiations and bullying tactics. Washington D.C. in all of its failures does have one positive – no one person can call all the shots.
If we think partisan politics are terrible right now and that politicians lack the decency to work cooperatively, imagine what would happen if Donald J. Trump were elected president. This man has insulted members of his own party, including calling Senator John McCain’s a “loser” and questioning his heroism for being caught and imprisoned in the Vietnam War. How much is Trump possibly going to accomplish when he’s making enemies in his own camp? Even now the Republican Party is planning on spending millions on ads against Donald Trump. There isn’t much hope for any type of cooperation.
I realize most people couldn’t locate Minnesota on a map, but there is some important political wisdom that we can learn from this state’s blunders. Even worse than being the only state to vote for Walter Mondale instead of Ronald Reagan in the 1984 election, Minnesota elected former WWF wrestler Jesse “the Body” Ventura as its governor in 1998.
Running as an independent, Jesse Ventura seemed like a breath of fresh air in this very liberal state. He urged people to not vote for politics as usual, and once he was elected into office, he proved that he wasn’t going to play politics as usual.
Like Trump, Jesse Ventura marched to his own beat. Like Trump, Ventura openly criticized the media, even making them wear credentials that said “jackal.” Like Trump, Ventura blasted both parties indiscriminately. Like Trump, Ventura criticized American war heroes. Jesse Ventura was quickly eaten alive by the establishment. His quest for power reduced him to childish antics when he didn’t get his way. Ultimately things didn’t turn out well for Governor Ventura. After four years, he called it quits and didn’t seek reelection.
Most of Minnesota would probably agree with me. Jesse Ventura was like that awesome muscle car you couldn’t wait to buy, only to discover it was a lemon the second you drove it out of the lot. What Jesse Ventura had in body, he lacked in character, class, and the ability to work with others.
Listen. I hate Washington politics more than anyone. But I’ve had enough conversations to know that there’s a culture inside of Washington. There are these unwritten rules and codes, and if you violate those codes, you’re done. Trump isn’t anywhere near office, and he has already torched his bridges. If he is president, nothing but bickering will ever get done. There’s a reason why there are so many lobbyists. It turns out yelling and insulting people in order to get your way has proven less effective than kissing a little butt. Business and politics operate very differently. Just because someone is successful in one arena, doesn’t mean they’re going to be successful in another. Donald Trump has proven a lot of things, but he isn’t the Bo Jackson of playing two sports. The Donald may be making this primary entertaining, but he will make Washington a disaster.