AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
Trump is running an exceptionally visceral campaign.
As Donald Trump’s GOP opponents regroup in South Carolina, they are running into a new political phenomenon: Trump is riding on a wave of adulation. Rarely has a presidential hopeful emerged like Donald Trump, who consistently touts his resume and plans for the nation in sweeping and over-the-top terms.
All politicians like to brag about their abilities and achievements. But Trump is particularly unique in how he talks about himself: “My brain is very sharp, super-genius stuff.’’ “I’m much smarter than you.” “I think I have a much higher IQ.” “I think I went to a better college — better everything.” “I have the world’s greatest memory.” “I’m proud of my net worth. I’ve done an amazing job.” “I’m self-funding my campaign.” “I’m probably the least racist person on Earth.” For many voters, Trump is the ultimate alpha male who says exactly what is on his mind and his appeal is fairly broad in South Carolina where a majority of angry, rural white males feel disadvantaged by the economy and overlooked by the establishment.
Will Trump betray the GOP?
Right now, the GOP establishment is being torn between two conflicting ways of thinking about the clear front runner to be their party’s presidential nominee. The first says that apart from Donald Trump’s chances in a general election, his nomination would be a disaster for conservatism. Having him as the nominee would leave conservatives without a party. The second way of thinking says that while all that may be true, there is little choice but to make peace with the possibility that Trump could be the nominee.
While there is wisdom in acceptance, those verging on panic, have a more accurate assessment of Trump: not only is he not a true conservative, but there is also the possibility that he could betray them even sooner than they think. There is no reason to think that Trump will not turn on a dime the instant he has to face a general electorate, and begin advocating a whole new set of policies. Up to now, during his campaign, he adopted an entirely new set of beliefs, one attuned to what his current audience wants. Trump is not only just xenophobic, but fervently pro-life, pro-gun, pro-God, and pro-whatever else he thinks primary voters want to hear. Unlike other politicians who struggle to explain any hint of contradiction between what they are advocating now and what they’ve advocated before, Trump waves it all away.
Booing Trump during a debate is not a good idea!
Unlike other politicians, Trump seems to have no friends, no allies and no commitments. He is completely stranger to everything that gives any sort of shape and predictability to politics. You say something he does not like: you are dead to him. Any cooperation he shares with anyone is temporary and conditional on him being “treated fairly.” The instant he decides he is not, his former friend becomes his foe. Trump has no real history in conservative or Republican politics and because he is not bothering to court the people and groups who populate the party’s institutions and coalition, he has no promises to keep.
Trump does not care about The Party, and a lot of Republican voters don’t either.
JMD is a talented Keynote and Motivational Speaker, Writer, Columnist, Public Affairs & Communications Strategist.