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Wed Mar 2, 2016, 11:54 AM

Trump's bizarre popularity - the sanest explanation I've seen

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by one_voice (a host of the 2016 Postmortem forum).

The Atlantic
3/2/16

Donald Trump: The Protector

He will make you safe. He will give you health care. He will give you jobs. He will build a wall. Protecting you is his prime directive.



Like many people, I have been wondering: What on Earth explains Donald Trumpís remarkable appeal to voters?


Iíve come to the conclusion that the answer is fairly simple. The message of his Republican opponents has effectively been: We are more faithful to conservative principles. Trumpís message has been entirely different. He essentially says: I will protect you. Iím conservative, but if protecting you requires jettisoning conservative ideology, I will do so. Protecting you is the prime directive. This message has powerful resonance, especially for voters who feel the Republican Party has failed to protect their interests.

You see this pattern in all of Trumpís deviations from conservative orthodoxy. Take the debate over Planned Parenthood. Like all conservatives, Trump opposes abortions. But he stresses he does not want to stop funding their wonderful work protecting women from cervical and breast cancer. The other Republican candidates simply express a desire to destroy Planned Parenthood outright. Trumpís message to voters: The other candidates will adhere rigidly to ideology, even if it needlessly fails to protect millions of women from cancer. I wonít.

Or consider the debate over Obamacare. Again, like all conservatives, Trump promises to repeal and replace it. But he stresses that he is not going to let poor people die because they lack access to health care. The other candidates say: Aha! Trump is not a purist opponent of government-funded health care. Neither Trump nor his opponents offer many specifics, but the message to voters is that at least Trumpís goal is to protect them from the financial burdens of Obamacare without sacrificing their health. His opponents suggest their goal is just the ideological purge of Obamacare, regardless of the health implications.

On campaign financing, Trumpís message is basic: I am financing myself, so you can trust me to protect you because I will be beholden to no one other than the people who elected me. You canít trust these other guys to protect you, no matter how good what they say might sound, because they will protect whoever paid for their campaigns...

..........Free trade is great, Trump says, but it has to be fair. His opponents just adhere to pure free trade, which does increase the economic pie. But economic research shows that free trade harms some subsets of voters, particularly the working-class voters flocking to Trump. The message to his voters: I will favor free trade only to the extent that I can protect you from harm, perhaps by compensating you using the gains of trade. My opponents will favor free trade even if it harms you.

Much the same goes for taxes and entitlements. Trump says he will cut taxes but not cut Medicare and Social Security, while the others favor cutting both. His message to voters: Only I value protecting your retirement benefits over tax cuts.

Read in full~
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/donald-trump-the-protector/471837/


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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Trump's bizarre popularity - the sanest explanation I've seen (Original post)
RiverLover Mar 2016 OP
Kber Mar 2016 #1
RiverLover Mar 2016 #3
liberal_at_heart Mar 2016 #2
RiverLover Mar 2016 #4
liberal_at_heart Mar 2016 #7
Arazi Mar 2016 #10
Hiraeth Mar 2016 #5
RiverLover Mar 2016 #6
cheapdate Mar 2016 #8
Svafa Mar 2016 #9
one_voice Mar 2016 #11

Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 12:10 PM

1. Very interesting read

It is one of the few that takes him and his biters seriously.

The GOP's problem is that their idiology does not allow them to address the concerns he raises without sullying their purity.

However, protecting the weak and vulnerable is part of the Dem core message. There's definitely something to work with here

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Response to Kber (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 12:14 PM

3. Its easy to see why the Rethug Establishment wants to banish him, that's for sure. /nt

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 12:12 PM

2. Trump is a rich asshole, but he is not stupid. He has not gotten to where he is today by being

stupid. He knows how to get people to do what he wants them to do.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 12:16 PM

4. I wonder if he's capable of getting a GOP house & maybe senate to do what he wants?

It sounds like he'd have a difficult time, since he's so willing to reach beyond the typical cold-hearted RW stances.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 12:23 PM

7. Money is the universal language and both parties speak it fluently.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 01:10 PM

10. I just had a bizarre thought. What if he simply buys their support?

he's got enough $$ to simply funnel millions into their superpacs to ensure their cooperation

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 12:18 PM

5. protect? yeah. Like the fox will protect the henhouse. Don't trust him one little bit, I don't.

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Response to Hiraeth (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 12:22 PM

6. I trust Bernie.

He's the only one running for president whom I trust.

(plus Jill Stein, of course, but of the ones with a reasonable chance, its only Bernie.)

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 12:30 PM

8. Interesting narrative.

However, a large part of The Donald's supporters are attracted to him because they believe he represents the spirit of bold, entrepreneurial, capitalism that succeeds without any help from the government (and f%$k those free-loading Mexicans!)

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 12:44 PM

9. Good point.

Studies have shown that political conservatives tend to be more fearful in general. I can definitely see this playing into the popularity of Drumpf.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 01:11 PM

11. Locking..

Doesn't meet SoP for GDP. Better suited for GD.

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