What Is Donald Trump Up To?
When you think of Donald Trump, if you think of Donald Trump, you think entrepreneur, billionaire, showman, TV personality, and you may even think of weird hair. But when you look at Donald Trump do you really think—President?
This is the question many people are asking after Trump’s media blitz the past few weeks that has thrust him into primary discussions and water-cooler discussions.
So what is Trump up to? What is he after? What is he promoting?
Well, first and foremost Trump is selling Trump. Because Trump is always selling Trump. I believe, and I suspect most other people believe, that Trump has no real interest in running and/or being president if for no other reason that he couldn’t handle the pay cut or the blind investing required by the position. So Trump is using the weak Republican field and the media to garner a lot of free publicity. Trump knows what he is doing.
So the larger question is why is Trump succeeding so well?
Everyone knows that Trump is no conservative, that in and of itself is not unusual for a Republican. But I don’t think that Trump is really even a Republican. He heaped praise on Obama just two short years ago. He talks of his conversion tot he pro-life side of the abortion debate. I hope that at least that much is true but it doesn’t even mean much. This is not his core issue and he is certainly no true believer on the subject. Heck, most pro-lifers don’t even trust Mitt Romney’s conversion on this subject even though he governed, for all intents and purposes, as a pro-life governor despite his pro-choice rhetoric. Further, he has comments within just the last few years that completely contradict what he is saying now.
So why is a guy who is no conservative, who is questionably pro-life, who has a bit of a checkered past, and who many people believe doesn’t even want the job polling so well?
The answer is simple. People want truth. They are desperate for it. And for right now, at least as compared to the incredibly weak Republican presidential field and the Republican leadership in Congress, people think that Trump is giving them truth.
Trump has talked about the Obama birth certificate issue in a way that most other national politicians are too chicken. He says point blank, Obama is hiding something. Most Americans believe that Obama was born in the US, but they also know that the effort he has expended to keep not just his birth certificate but all his records confidential is really really fishy. He is hiding something and the people know it. And Trump says it.
He also speaks about our economic situation in terms that people can understand and because of his success, a credibility that many other politicians do not have.
So Trump seems like a truth teller in a time when truth telling is virtually absent in politics, and particularly absent in the Republican Party. Republicans routinely make promises they have no intention of keeping (see recent budget cut promises, Planned Parenthood promises, and the lies they tell about them.)
That’s the problem. Republicans have shown themselves to be untrustworthy. People are so desperate for truth telling that confuse bluntness for truth, even from a guy they know is only pretending to run for President.
Because in a party so bereft of truth telling, rank and file Republicans will take whatever they can get, even if they know it is a lie.
Trump’s success is an indictment of the entire Republican Party.