I haven’t been the only one scratching my head trying to figure out why Trump is so popular. We thought it was about harnessing people’s anger over the immigration issue. But then people like Mark Levin began talking about his record on immigration. It’s shaky. We also began hearing a lot of questioning of his integrity, throwing serious doubt on whether or not he actually believed the things he was saying. Nothing like this seems to make a dent in his support.
Then yesterday, Drudge linked to this article in Salon by Camille Paglia titled I was wrong about Donald Trump: Camille Paglia on the GOP front-runner’s refreshing candor. She made this comment:
Why can’t there be a party that is basically Republican, but minus the religion, minus the legislating of morality . . . .
A light bulb went on for me in understanding these Trumpsters. She hit it! That’s Trump’s appeal. Yes, it’s an emotional thing—we had figured that out, because it it clearly impervious to logic. But what they like about Trump is his irreverence.
Here we have Camille Paglia who is really making little sense. She says she is worried about a candidate who would legislate morality. Not only is no one talking about legislating morality, but a president can’t legislate. Her fear of religion appears to be visceral (we would expect that at Salon) and, I think, may be subconscious. And this may be happening with other Trumpsters. I have learned throughout my life, aided by my study of marketing, that a lot of these emotional reactions are subconscious. We like things or don’t like them and often we don’t fully understand why.
It was back in January, speaking at a college in Iowa when Trump famously said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?” There is some truth in that. Part of Trump’s connection with certain people is that he is bad—not bad as in evil, but bad as in naughty, irreverent. He makes them feel comfortable with themselves, much as Bill Clinton did for Democrats in the 90s. It remains to be seen if there are enough voters in the Republican party who want someone who is “good” and who will turn back his efforts to gain the nomination.
It’s going to be interesting to watch. I hope he loses. But in the end, the people will get who they want. That’s how the system works.
Do you agree? Disagree? I welcome your comments.
Click here to visit the Liberty Musings conservative politics home page.