Normally I’d be sitting here writing about the new Fantastic Four movie, but watching Trump driving everybody absolutely batty this week has been way more entertaining than that movie could possibly be. (Also it looks nearly unwatchable and I’m not altruistic enough to pay real money just so I can review it for you guys, sorry.)
Now I have no love for Trump, but Jazz, and many others, have wondered how it is that everyone in the media keeps getting Trump so, so wrong. How does this crazy guy say all of this crazy stuff and still manage to get to the top of the polls for the GOP when he’s not even really a Republican? When almost every word out of his mouth ranges from the merely offensive to the downright disturbing, how could anyone possibly stand with this guy?
Well it’s pretty simple really. There is a growing contingent of people in this country who are totally and completely fed up with our entire political system. They don’t care about pragmatism, or policies, or outcomes. They just want to give everyone from the pundits to the politicians both middle fingers and they don’t care who else is looking when they do it.
For his part, Trump hasn’t merely knocked over the chessboard or set the rulebook on fire as Jazz postulated. That’s more like Ted Cruz level stuff. No Trump’s going the full Reservoir Dogs on our entire political process, dancing around as he cuts off its ear and pours gasoline on it while it begs him not to burn it alive. (Explicit content warning for those who haven’t seen the movie.)
And here I am, stuck in the middle with you, watching the political pundits lose their collective minds because they think our elections are still about choosing the candidate with the best record of accomplishment, a 51 point plan for each issue, and a carefully controlled image.
The reality is most people are just looking for a candidate who reflects how they feel, and right now what most people feel is anger, frustration, and resentment. They’re tired of the games and have absolutely had it with political parties and the rich old white guys in Washington running them.
Trump’s very existence as a political entity is as an expression of that anger. Indeed, anger itself is probably too weak a word. This is not merely some mild irritation with the GOP establishment. His support comes from raw, unadulterated fury directed at all the levers of power that have failed us all again and again and again. After all these years of being lied to, stabbed in the back, and disappointed at every turn, some people have just decided they want the entire structure burned to the ground, and if they have to immolate the whole country to do it? So be it.
Remember all those jokes about Sweet Meteor of Death in 2012? Well Trump is SMOD 2016. Throwing insults at his supporters and trying to convince them they’ve been duped by a conman will no more quell their anger than it would stop a burning hunk of rock from falling out of the sky.
Trump’s not really a Republican? Most people hate both political parties already anyway. He says mean things? He’s got nothing on what many wish he’d say to some of these politicians. His immigration policy isn’t detailed enough? They’ve heard everything there is to hear about immigration, and they don’t want to hear another word about any of it until there’s a giant impenetrable barrier at the southern border.
So you can stand there hacking away at your perceived Dark Lord of the Sith like Luke going to town on Vader, but for every swing of that rhetorical lightsaber, there’s Emperor Trumpatine standing there in the corner crooning “Good. Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you.”
One way or another the Republican Party, and to a larger extent America as a whole, is going to have to find a way to make peace with that anger. A candidate that figures out how to do that in a way that harnesses all of that energy to make things better around here…well that’s somebody for whom I might be interested in voting. And so would a lot of other people.