1) Trump’s success will shake up the political establishment

— “I’m seriously thinking about voting for trump, and here is why. I firmly believe that our system of government is deeply flawed, if not completely broken. Yet we still keep voting for the same type of people. If trump wins, there’s a good chance the whole thing will collapse from his absurdity. Then maybe we could start over and build something better that works. A vote for trump is a vote for full system breakdown, which I believe is exactly what we need.”

— “He’s not the president we need, he’s the president we deserve. I’m older than most of you. I remember when politicians worked together sometimes for the greater good. Now, with MSDMC and Faux News controlling the conversation, this country is so divided, nothing gets done. The whole system is what it wasn’t supposed to become. The only way to fix it is if the entire system emplodes so we can start over. That’s what Trump would do.”

In a political climate dominated by special interests, Trump is a breath of fresh air. He’s widely known as a savvy businessman with enough of his own money to ignore the lobbyists and donors seeking influence. Trump isn’t beholden to the Super PAC-funding billionaires. He is a billionaire. Rather than fall for the left’s divisive class politics, voters got behind Trump immediately. They know only a successful business leader can bring jobs back to the US instead of China. He was the only candidate with the courage to say what they were thinking, and they loved it.

While pundits were wringing their hands over his blunt talk on issues that matter most to the base, voters were praising his honesty at their kitchen tables across America. His “controversial” statements about immigration put the issue back on the table in a meaningful way and struck a chord with voters of many stripes. His warnings about China and Mexico stuck to the same core message…

Many Republican candidates like to compare themselves to Reagan, but most of them need to read more about him. Trump’s background and style are different from Reagan’s, but his big-picture themes are very similar. Like Reagan, Trump gave voters a clear, simple vision of a great America and pointed out that the stakes are too great to worry about offending those who would make America weaker. Both have used the kind of direct language that makes our enemies and economic competitors nervous.

Having studied the ballot access rule in 15 states, maybe it’s 19, the Republican establishment can keep you off the ballot with the stroke of a pen, or in this case, not including your name.

So, he said over and over again on the stump if he’s given a fair shot, if he has a level playing field, if the establishment doesn’t gang up on him. Of course he wants to run as a Republican! He’s the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, as of this moment.

But I wouldn’t give up that leverage [of running as an independent] because I think there’s a war room at the Republican National Committee of guys sitting around saying, ‘what can we do today to try to derail Donald Trump?’

The ruling class is pissing their pants here. This guy is a challenge to the two-party duopoly that is running the government.

The landfall of Hurricane Trump couldn’t have come at a better time. For Americans who’d like Washington to focus on reality and not the pointless controversy of the moment, the flippant billionaire seems to be a source of the problem, but they have it all wrong. He’s the solution. With Storm Donald and his whirlwind of offensive comments now blowing by at 140 ratings points an hour, there might be some hope that, in the chaos, our farcical national debate might change.

That certainly won’t happen anytime soon and certainly not because Trump himself will turn the conversation toward substance. No, the change will come only after the storm blows itself out, leaving in its wake a more substantive debate among more credible candidates. But before the tempest stills, Trumps unique combination of ego and bluster might turn the speech police into the laughing stocks they deserve to be…

Today, if you attack racism, but don’t genuflect properly, your attack on racism can be racist. Ask Kelly Osborne who, appearing on The View, uttered an insufficiently politically correct defense of Hispanics against Trump’s attacks on allegedly criminal Mexicans. While Trump’s ferocity blew on, Osborne delivered an abject apology.

The only sane response is laughter. The fury of Storm Trump has blown away the cover of respectability that let the speech police and their social media mob hijack our ability to talk to each other without having to constantly talk about how we are talking to each other all wrong.

Even if you don’t do anything wrong, you’re supposed to apologize for your privilege: white privilege, male privilege, straight privilege, upper-middle-class privilege. Simply identifying as your actual biological gender counts as “privilege” today.

In this suffocating, absurd, oppressive environment of political correctness, Trump looks like a free and brave man, saying what he wants and refusing to apologize. The people who support him see him as unchained, and they want to be like him…

He’s found success by gaming bankruptcy law, failing to repay debts, exploiting his crony connections, whining, and working the refs…

Trump is another sewer rat in American industry. He wants to be another sewer rat of American politics. And he promises to make the U.S. the sewer rat of the world.

[M]y concern isn’t that Trump exists, for such men have always existed, but rather, that a good chunk of the public (and even more concerning, the conservative movement — which ought to reflect a more Christian worldview) are falling for this. I’m not worried that Trump is Hitler, or even Mussolini. But I am worried that we have arrived at a time when a sizable chunk of the American public is so simultaneously frustrated and naive as to fall for populist demagoguery. And I worry where that could take us some day.

And, of course, many conservatives are falling for Trumpism hook, line, and sinker — despite the fact that he offers no specifics or details. You just have to trust that — because he is brilliant and successful (and because the current establishment politicians are stupid and corrupt) — he will magically solve all our problems. Even his slogan, “Make America Great Again” evokes a sort of nostalgia that has been used by strongmen throughout the ages to hearken back to some magical time when all was right with the world — before the people in power sold us out and betrayed us…

I am worried about an American public who is not skeptical, but rather, hungry, for this American übermensch. I am worried about what the next Trump who comes along might do. And this might sound paranoid. But nobody said preserving freedom would be easy. No, it requires diligence. It also requires a public that is both knowledgeable and virtuous.

But Trump offers a different kind of “representation.” By flouting PC norms, reducing opponents and journalists to sputtering outrage as he trashes the conventions of political discourse, and dismissing his critics with airy put-downs, he is living the life that—at least some of the time—a lot of people wish they had either the courage or the resources to live. In this sense he’s not unlike Italy’s bad boy Silvio Berlusconi, who accumulated tremendous popular support by flaunting his refusal to abide by conventional rules of behavior.

For voters who’ve come to believe that both parties are owned and operated by the kind of people who pay Hillary Clinton hundreds of thousands of dollars to make platitudinous speeches, who believe that the system is rigged and will never be reformed, that the candidates offering “real solutions to real problems” are fooling either themselves or, more probably, you, Trump at least offers the satisfaction of making the other rat bastards and pompous PC elites squirm. He laughs at them and makes them look small; he defies their hatred and revels in their pursed-lip disapproval. By incurring the hatred of the chattering classes, he seems to some voters to be signaling both that he hates the empty showmanship of the capital as much as they do and that, by making himself the enemy of the self-determined arbiters of the rules of the political game, he is throwing himself on the support of the American people.

Trump is a sham, of course, but for many Americans in 2015 the whole political process is a sham. Trump, however, is an entertaining sham, and some voters think that if the establishment is going to screw you no matter what you do, you might as well vote for the funny one.

People are more angry now than they have been because they have been pushed and pushed and pushed. Let me explain a little something about human nature. When someone feels oppressed and controlled and you continue to belittle them and push them against the wall, they get angry. They’re not going to be particularly rational at that point. They’re in a corner and they lash out—that’s human nature. They fight. They get angry. They grab hold of whatever weapon they can find to defend themselves. That’s what you mostly see with Donald Trump. It’s anger, fueled by fear and stoked by insiders who continue to demean the base, who refuse to listen, and who want to maintain the status quo.

As I watch what’s happening with the Trump phenomenon, I see it not just from a political point of view, but from a human one. Nichols says supporters of Trump and Tea Partiers are just a bunch of petty “pedestrian” narcissists who like to play the victim—they’re just stupid, enraged idiots. He’s wrong.

This reminds me of a toxic relationship between a man and a woman in which the man continues to control the woman, keeping her from speaking her mind, calling her stupid whenever she does. She tries to find ways to win her independence, to be heard, to be free, but he keeps pushing her back against the wall, telling her that she’s the problem. Over time, the anger swells within her. She’s afraid. She isn’t free, and she hates it. She’s powerless. Anytime she tries to stand up for herself, she is mocked and slapped down. Her fear resides. Her anger grows. Her hope recedes. One day, she just loses it. She lights a match and burns the whole house to the ground. Give me liberty or give me death takes on a whole new meaning in the context of oppression and abuse.

I’ve come to realize that the Obama Cult and the Trump Cult are two sides of the same personality-cult coin. The cognitive dissonance between what the Trump faction hated about Obama and what they love about Donald is so far beyond ironic it would take a team of trained linguists and semioticians decades to decode…

Everything that set your teeth on edge, and raised your hackles and made you loathe Barack Obama is there in Donald Trump. Every aspect of the con game Obama played on America in 2008 – the obsessive focus on one base issue (for Obama the war in Iraq, for Trump, Mexicans), the cult-like obsession, the instant attacks on apostates, the willful ignorance of his history and his beliefs – is present in Trump.

Everything you despised in Obama is there.

But you love it from Trump.

The Republican Party in Washington won’t cooperate with its base, won’t level with them about why, continues to view them as ignorant or ungrateful or easily led by external groups, and spends much of its time complaining when this same base resorts to bullying and resentment in response.

Trump rises in a reality in which the Jacksonian American spirit – fed up with being told what they can and can’t say and do, with what is reasonable or practical to expect given the circumstances, with leadership they feel no longer serves their priorities – decides to just throw their hands in the air and express their rage the only way they can – “sure, whatever, Trump.” It is an asymmetric backlash based not on some logical political thread but on the frustrations and dissatisfactions of people who sense their nation has crumbled, their leaders have lied to them, that we are ruled by a government of cowards and thieves, and that they have nothing to lose by supporting a man who will stand up and say so in the face of elite objection.

Of course Donald Trump is an unserious candidate. But that’s not the question that matters. The real question here is: Do Trump’s supporters have something important to be upset about, or not? If your answer is “no”, I wonder if you’ve been paying attention.