In my post last night, I said that the passions that Donald Trump is whipping up, and riding on, might deserve press attention, even though his candidacy itself did not. I also said that I’d write nothing more about a “campaign” that had no chance of leading to the presidency until Trump plays whatever role he is going to play during the next GOP debate.
But it’s consistent with all of that to quote some reader reactions that either reveal, or discuss, the sentiments Trump is playing to. Here you go:
“Your liberal butt.”
A reader who uses a pseudonym speaks for many, many people who wrote in:
I hope The Atlantic makes your liberal butt write the article explaining all the reasons why Donald Trump was elected to be the 45th and 46th President of the United States of America.
I promise that I will indeed write that article should the need arise. Similarly, from another reader using a pseudonym:
About your latest article, sounds like someone is telling you to right this stuff, because anyone with common sense can see, the last thing this country needs is another politician for president, we need a real business man, and its obvious that all politicians are scared of donald that's why everyone trying black flag him, there scared because he speaks the truth and no one can control him because he doesnt need there money!!!! Thats why the American people are going to vote him in!
Why we need someone without prior experience.
I pointed out that every one of presidents #1 through #44 had some prior public-office experience in an elective, appointive, or military role. A reader says that’s exactly what we don’t need for #45:
I served 4 years in the military, 2 more as a federal employee, and 2 more as a state employee. The one thing I can tell you, I've never seen as many lazy, unmotivated drains to society in one place at one time as I did in my time as a public "servant." And, I've never witnessed such utter disregard and gross negligence for other people's money, or such unfathomable fraud, waste, and abuse of resources, time, and money, as I did in my eye opening tenure within these various levels of government.
Regarding your article on Trump, I'm not sure why you want the world leader to develop these horrible, life altering habits that you state are a prerequisite to being the head man (or woman). I think that's exactly why the idea of a Trump Presidency is refreshingly optimistic, he's never been a public leech.
Your argument's facts may be true, but your conclusion renders it quite invalid.
Why he will win.
That is the contention of reader Daniel Stanton:
I told my father in the first quarter of 2013 that, given the way things are going, I would not be surprised by a Trump Presidency. That is not to say merely because Obama's failings are so great, nor that they are anything more than an extension and amplification of Bush's failings; it is to say that it is because of them both. In Trump, there's the one person who can benefit, politically, from bashing both.
This is because of his particular brand of bombast, mastery of publicity and his transcendent celebrity. He's unique and an anomaly in more ways than one.
On your points:
1) US Elective Precedent
Before Obama, there was never before elected a black POTUS. Furthermore, before Obama, there was never before elected a nonwhite POTUS. I haven't looked into this, but to extend the comparison to Europe, I'm pretty sure there have never been elected any nonwhite heads of state either. Has Japan, China, the nations of the Mid East, etc. gone on to feature support of leaders who are minorities to their native populations?
My point here is that America remains unique itself, despite our ailments and imperfections. That is, we tend to buck the trend, make history .... set new precedents.
Looking honestly at it, Obama should not have been electable either. He had a limp record as state senator, as US Senator one where his accomplishments were naming a Post Office in Illinois and sending some more taxpayer money to Africa, but the guy had a certain appeal because of his ability to give a speech and the uniqueness of his persona.
Not character. Not record. Not precedent. Persona. Trump is the same in terms of this denominator, which seems to be the dominant one by most of the voting electorate anymore.
Cain + Bachmann + Palin = Trump? That is not a working equation. The sentiment he's tapped into may have briefly blew winds into the sails of those three, but that gust has only grown more as national negligence on behalf of the political class and media cheerleaders and cohorts widdle away at what is perceived to be the mores of Americana.
Don't try to make that leap to read whiteness, to try to equate the influx of illegals with that of Irish and Polish and Italian immigrants of the past. This is way different. The government, alongside corporate America, are united in the importation of low or unskilled and, often, criminal elements of the third world. Sanctuary cities have released of 8,000 imprisoned illegals back into American cities and the Obama Administration has a massive program to disperse illegals across all 50 states. Clearly this is part of the Transformation of America, at the expense of the citizenry and society.
So when people look up and there are atrocities being performed, repeatedly and increasingly, by those who should not be here to begin with, you can understand the slow boil is getting close to tipping. Especially when we have political leaders who seem interested in looking the other way and probably ensuring amnesty both happens and illegals continue to get here.
Trump is far more effective at capturing the spotlight, period, and when there is this glaring problem that is really an easy one to fix that just doesn't get fixed, well it becomes a microcosm of all that is wrong with the American political system and guess what, Trump is not a part of it and he can exploit that in ways the three, well, pawns you mentioned.
3) Anecdotes & Generalities
Everyone has 'em but media are selective in their deployment and application. The fact that Webb has a personal story about a hispanic serviceman he fought with in Vietnam has nothing to do with the problem of the US having an insecure border and immigration system invested (both by neglecting to act and encouraging it to happen - see the US ads in Mexico) in allowing Tens of Millions of illegals to flood American towns and cities.
Trump didn't besmirch all things Mexican. He spoke of the border being the point of entry. Mexico is the one who is actively letting it happen while America looks the other way. Well it stands to reason that the nation that is the staging ground for illegal entry into American would naturally have the most numbers of people trying to gain access, doesn't it? The USAF has a huge counter-narco terrorism unit to monitor Latin America b/c so many of their governments are corrupt and/or compromised by murderous drug cartels. Hell, the most dangerous drug lord just escaped again from Mexico today! We have a huge border problem, everyone knows it, and the American political class is every bit as guilty for that as Mexico is.
This truth is all you need to know because that is what people understand. Again, the border and illegals are the microcosm of what is wrong with our government as a whole..
Lastly, another overlooked truth:
Where's the Gain for Trump? Every time you look up, someone has pulled out of a deal with him. You think he'd be doing this if his candidacy were not real? I don't. (I used to since he was always flirting with the idea ever since my eyes have been open.) I think he's sincere about it. I do doubt he will get the presidency, but I will not be surprised if he should since that is what America has always been: rule-breaker and record-setter.
Actually, he does have something to gain.
From another reader, making the opposite argument to Daniel Stanton’s point #4:
It should be fairly obvious that both Trump and the Media are after the same thing. MONEY.
The Donald's candidacy is yet another brilliant PR tactic. As was the "Apprentice", so it shall be that "Candidate Trump" will boost the real estate mogul's public exposure at the expense of the Media customers (voters).
The Media benefits simply from increased traffic through the broadcast programs covering the election, via advertising revenue. That's why, after all, campaigns cost so much- the media placement is astronomically expensive.
The American public simply views it all as entertainment in the same vein of a 'reality show' such as "The Apprentice " or a 'talent show' such as "American Idol".
The FAA comes to its senses.
Thanks to all my pilot friends who wrote in about the FAA’s response to Trump’s candidacy. As described in this AvWeb posting (and this NYT story), the FAA has decided to change some of the five-letter “waypoints” it uses to define pathways through the sky. As Deb Fallows has described here and here, waypoint nomenclature can be surprisingly playful. A famous sequence of waypoints leading into the Portsmouth, New Hampshire airport reads, in order, ITAWT ITAWA PUDYE TTATT (sound it out), followed by IDEED.
As involves Donald Trump, five years ago an FAA official and Trump admirer in Florida decided to create a departure sequence known as IVANKA.ONE. It included waypoints called DONLD, TRMMP, IVNKA, AMNDA (for one of Trump’s assistants), and UFIRD. Incredibly—remember, this is a federal agency, during the time of Barack Obama’s presidency— it also had a waypoint called BRTHR. Don’t believe it? Here’s the FAA plate, helpfully highlighted by me:
Congrats to cooler heads at the FAA for saying they will clean this up.
“I bet you’d love North Korea!”
And, to wrap things up before that first GOP debate, here is a note from reader Ernest Petito that represents in tone and content most of the response I’ve gotten from Trump Nation. To be fair, it is distinctive in its punctuation. The author gets through seven full paragraphs without once having to use a period.
Hello! First off I’m not a writer! You might think your something special but you’re a no body in my book! Have not heard of you till today! I just read the lousy things you said about Trump in your article you wrote! Your about as AMERICAN as a red ant from Africa!
You have a right to your opinion but I don't see anything about the corrupt politicians that been ruining this great country USA for decades in your work that I looked up just now too! I can tell you thousands of problems going on here! You must live is a small space! And all you do is write crap! You don't seem to talk about more important things going on that's why I have to wonder if you were paid maybe by a democrat to write what you said! Every single one of these bad politicians running for office DEM or rep are afraid of the Donald and what he stands for the majority of AMERICA PEOPLE!
You’re a terrible person because Trump is one of the greatest persons to run for president that this great country ever saw!
He is an honest, sincere, very successful, business man, born leader! Someone finally steps up to the plate with a pair, is not afraid to tell the truth and not lie like the rest of garbage politicians that are ruining our great country USA for decades but also financially burying the rest of the middle and poor classes alive!
Sorry I disagree with your tactics which I know they are and if they are not you should go to the nearest hospital ASAP!
Unbelievable what comes from someone that maybe has some talent but abuses it!
PS You might want to consider taking a very long vacation to IRAN! If not North Korea, China and Russia I'm sure would take you too!
That really is all.