My Donald Trump Epiphany

March 17, 2016

I had a minor epiphany yesterday morning. It related to Donald Trump and his supporters. That’s no surprise, for Mr. Trump is on my mind during most waking minutes. He’s hard to ignore, and I don’t mean that in a good way!

Many explanations have been offered for the Trump phenomenon. This week the Curator shared the “this has been 50 years in the making” idea. FiveThirtyEight—that’s guru Nate Silver’s shop—offered up Three Theories of Donald Trump’s Rise back on January 8. (The theories? Populist revolt, Republican Party power vacuum, and a media bubble, and the site favored the latter two. Two months and more than 30 states later, one wonders what 538 thinks now.) Then there is Matthew MacWilliams for In The One Weird Trait That Predicts Whether You’re a Trump Supporter he tells us Trump supporters prefer an authoritarian leader.

No doubt, theories overlap. The one I like best, though, is pretty close to the populist revolt theory which Mr. Silver and his people seemed to dismiss back in January: people are fed up with politicians and, especially, with Republicans in the House and Senate who haven’t delivered on promises expressed—Obamacare repeal, no refugees or illegals, a pipeline, no deals with Iran, etc.—and implied—the good old days, whatever they were, will return, and there will be no more people in high places who don’t look like me. Mark Barabak outlined the theory well for the Los Angeles Times six months ago in What’s Behind Republican Voters’ Support of Trump? Anger at Republicans.

I get “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” That it comes from a movie—Network—and a Paddy Chayefsky satire at that—aside, I understand anger. And I get how people must feel who think they’ve been had, time and time again.

So here’s what hit me—the minor epiphany—on Wednesday morning: the very people whose support for Trump comes in whole or in part from disappointment with a Congress which has not delivered are following a man who cannot and will not deliver on his many promises.

The wall? Here’s Trump Wants to Build a Wall on the U.S.-Mexico Border. Can it be Done? from the Chicago Tribune, explaining why small problems like treaties, laws, private property, and money make the wall idea silly.

Apple? According to Mr. Trump, “Apple and all of these great companies will be making their products in the United States, not in China, Vietnam.” He also said he will be the “greatest jobs president that God ever created.” Alyssa Newcomb for ABC News, in ‘President Trump’ Has Big Plans for Apple’s Manufacturing, explains why it’s so easy to say what Mr. Trump says, and so much harder to make it happen.

Other stuff? The Washington Post—and reporter Jenna Johnson, God bless her—put together Here are 76 of Donald Trump’s Many Campaign Promises on January 22. (There may be a few (dozen) more since then.) Most are stupid, outrageous, and unbecoming of anyone who wants to lead the leading nation on the Third Rock from the Sun. And almost none of them will happen. For clickers, check Promise No. 17, and if this a-hole gets inaugurated on January 20, 2017, wait for a new definition of the word vacation.

MRW has quoted President Andrew Shepherd—a fictional character—four times, and did so most recently only seven weeks ago. Alas, tough times call for extreme measures. Here’s the link.

The Rs in Congress over-promised and under-delivered. The Affordable Care Act would have been a better bill if it had been done the way Congress used to do big stuff. Alas, the Ds in Congress and President Obama gave the Rs lots and lots of months to participate, and all they got was No, and a shiv up their backsides. The Rs also chose not to work on immigration, climate change, financial regulations, and the myriad other issues that need attention in a mature country. The elected Rs made their choice, though, and their voters followed them. Now these disappointed voters have latched on to a fella whose raison d’ être is making bigger promises—on which he cannot and will not deliver—than the very folks who have the voters so agitated. Not good, America. Not good at all!

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