WHY THEY HATE HIM SO MUCH (PART 1)
One of the emptiest compliments a candidate can give himself is that he’s “not a typical politician.” It doesn’t matter if you’re a gazillion-term Congressman representing the fine people of Gerrymanderstan or a shriveled senator entering his third decade as chairman of the Senate Redundancy Committee. Rare is the humanoid who runs for office without claiming to be an atypical mutant – this certainly was Scott Walker’s tune.
Perhaps it’s because they’ve read all those surveys showing “typical politician” polls somewhere below eyeball parasites on the popularity scale. So when yet one more self-proclaimed “outsider” like Donald Trump trots along attempting to make this tired tune his campaign theme song it’s easy to be dismissive.
Until you look a little bit closer.
Trump has never served in — or even run for — any political office, anywhere, ever. Indeed, it would be probably fair to estimate around 99.9% of his adult life has revolved around things other than politics. He’s spent decades a highly successful real-estate tycoon, TV personality, and brand manager, but never served so much as a single term as county dogcatcher.
During this era in the political wilderness, The Donald’s been something of a partisan agnostic. He formally re-registered his party affiliation five times since the 1980s, beginning as a liberal New York Republican, followed by an idealistic stint in Ross Perot’s Reform party in the late 1990s (nearly running as their 2000 presidential candidate), before moving to the Democrats for most of the Dubya era. His fiery speech at the 2011 CPAC conference is considered by many to be his coming out as a unqualified conservative — at age 65.
Trump is a quintessentially American success story and the country has watched his rise with pride, envy, and fascination. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say millions of Americans have literally grown up with him — along with his hotels, his casinos, over a dozen seasons of The Apprentice, and a well-worn track on the talk show circuit, he’s appeared in everything from Pizza Hut commercials to Home Alone 2. He enjoys a easy rapport with the American people born from a very real, very human personality defined by sass, humor, candor, and a consistently no-BS attitude.
Let’s face it, The Donald is cool.
In other words, it should be obvious why the guy is currently giving Republican insiders conniptions. What he values is not what they value, and — even more importantly —what is he is not what they are.
Recently Scott Walker was on Wisconsin’s 620 WTMJ remonstrating that Trump could win the nomination.
“Yeah… it’s possible. If more Republican [candidates] sat back and say ‘Boy, I can have an impact in narrowing this field so that… a true conservative with a positive message is the viable alternative, maybe it is time to suspend the campaign’… I think you’ll get a viable alternative,” said Walker.
Walker’s language — “a true conservative with a positive message” — echoes the pitch from GOP establishment favorite, Jeb Bush. And why is this? Why do they view themselves as the true conservative?
As already said, he’s not one of them.
They valorize “public service” — i.e.; a long, political career on the taxpayer’s dime. Trump does not. He’s proud of getting rich in the private sector ‚ i.e.; producing and selling things the public actually wants.
They value unshakable party loyalty, and a life spent blindly hurling money and compliments at any self-serving hack with an “R” after his name. He views support as something parties have to earn.
They obey the elaborate etiquette of Washington high society — always speak with moderate temperament and inflection; never show anger, never insult, curse, yell, or whine; never make the political personal (remember, your opponents are all good, decent men who are trying their best!) and never, ever raise serious questions about a rival’s competence, motives, or agenda. He speaks and reacts like a normal American, who do, in fact, insult, curse, yell, and whine quite frequently last time I checked.
Sometimes the people you hate most in life will be the ones most similar to you. Or even worse, someone who started off like you, but ultimately chose to go down a different path. Trump chose to work in the private sector, he chose to vote for whoever he liked, and he chose to behave like a red-blooded human with normal emotions and opinions. That really grinds Republican insiders who chose the exact opposite life path — the path of that has turned them into unpopular, unthinking, unlikable, drones. And frankly is the reason Scott Walker failed as a candidate and why Jeb Bush and other establishment candidates will fail as well.
You see this all the time on the campaign trail. Trump will hurl a crude — but entirely accurate — insult at one of his opponents, say, calling Jeb Bush a “low energy person” or Rand Paul a “spoiled brat,” and the career politicians will splutter and stammer in response. He’s not supposed to talk this way to us! Who is this guy, anyway! I bet he’s never co-sponsored legislation to raise the debt ceiling or served on the board of his father’s Super PAC!
Trump makes politicians look like idiots and weirdos, and that’ why they hate him. He reveals the art they’ve devoted their life to perfecting, the craft of solving America’s problems with big government and political correctness is a scam. His popularity causes the stiff GOP establishment to take a look at themselves and think maybe, just maybe, we’ve been wrong the whole time. Maybe, just maybe we are just in this for the money and the power.
The great irony of Trump’s candidacy, however, is that the pointy-heads in the Republican power cliques have long claimed to want a candidate exactly like Trump. Indeed, if they could just extend the mild courtesy of measuring the man by their own standards, Republican apparatchiks would be jumping with joy at the emergence of a candidate who conforms so perfectly to their own fantasy checklist at precisely the moment they need him most.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.