Understanding The Trump Phenomena

Some people out there are starting to figure it out. Even some politicians – like Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE):

…I would humbly suggest that before another person in this body – or in the national media – stands up to scold the American people about how they could possibly entertain voting for candidate x or y, perhaps we should look in the mirror at why so many of our people are running to demagoguing leaders.

Do senators really not understand why this is happening? I think it’s obvious why: Because they get so little actual leadership out of this town – out of either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, or out of either political party.

Make no mistake: There were some genuinely dreadful things said on the national stage yesterday. But they were almost totally predictable. Did anyone here really not see this coming? And why is it that these words are attractive to some? Why do they find so many followers? Because they are comforting to people who are scared. They are food to a people who are starved for real leadership.

Sunday night was a drought. Monday night was a flood. Neither are what the people need – or what they, at their best, want. But don’t be surprised that a people who are being misled by a political class in denial about the nature of this fight comes then quickly to desire very different, much more muscular words and utopian pledges.

This town’s conversations are so often completely disconnected from the people…

Senator Sasse does not mention Donald Trump, but he’s clearly talking about Trump and his supporters – and, in my view, completely understanding the secret to Trump’s success: Trump is at least addressing the real issues which concern the American people. This is not to say that Trump is addressing them correctly – but when everyone else is talking in circles and doing nothing but ignoring what the American people think, the one person who does talk directly to them will gain support.

Our terms of debate up until the arrival of Trump The Politician were entirely scripted by the liberal Ruling Class of our nation. We were forbidden to say certain things – indeed, even to entertain certain thoughts contravening the Liberal Narrative was considered bad form. The biggest worry the GOP Establishment had (and still has, because they still haven’t figured it out) was to come out on the wrong side of the liberal Ruling Class. I read today that, essentially, all we on the right have been permitted to say is how we’ll advance liberalism differently from the liberals, themselves. Take the immigration debate – boiled down, all we were allowed to say is how we’d still get to amnesty and citizenship for the illegal immigrants. We weren’t permitted to talk of deportation even if all we wanted was deportation of criminal elements. We weren’t permitted to talk of border security even if all we wanted was to save the lives of Americans and foreigners being victimized by criminal gangs along the border. To talk up such issues was, per the liberal Ruling Class, racist and as the GOP Establishment believes everything the liberal Ruling Class says, this was a formula for political defeat.

Trouble is, deporting criminal aliens and making sure that only those we want are allowed to come in aren’t racist opinions. They are just plain common sense – and the American people in large majority understands this. And when no one would advocate for the common sense position of securing the border and expelling criminals, it infuriated the American people. All Trump had to do was say he wanted to deport criminals and secure the border and, presto!, millions of people were instantly hanging on his every word – and were (and are) willing to defend him come what may against the very Ruling Class which says we must not discuss such things.

The upper reaches of our liberals don’t understand America, or Americans. Safely protected by government and quasi-government jobs, educated at elite universities where they never had their views challenged, living in areas where everyone agrees with them (and the few who don’t keep their mouths shut for fear of losing jobs and social standing), they just can’t imagine anyone having a reasonable disagreement with them. Controlling, as they do, the media, it is easy for them to just not see The Other in their own nation. But out there where people are not protected from the ravages of a failing economy, collapsing schools and destroyed public morals, hundreds of millions grow increasingly impatient with a Ruling Class that is clearly disconnected from reality.

Sasse is right that Trump is not the answer we’re looking for – but he’s the only one providing any sort of answer to public questions. Trump will continue to rise high in politics as long as no one else talks to the people – he could even get elected President next November. Trump will not just lose the primary nor just lose the general election – he’ll have to beaten, and he’ll only be beaten by someone who fearlessly tells the truth to the American people, pays heed to their concerns and promises concrete actions to address those concerns. And if we Republicans don’t find a way to beat him in the primary, I doubt that Hillary will in the general. Hillary is precisely the liberal Ruling Class which simply does not understand what the people want or think – and doubly so because people like her think that the people can be endlessly manipulated by slick, political machines. They can, for a while – such served her husband well for 8 years of his Presidency…but the mask if off, now, and no one other than mindless Democrats would ever dream of awarding Hillary the powers of the Presidency. Trump might well end up having her for lunch, if he gets the nomination – but, so, too, could any other GOPer who is willing to show a bit of respect for the American people and promise to do, well, American things.

Americans are generous to a fault, but they wish to be no one’s door mat. Americans understand fully that their nation has had her flaws and sins – but they love America, anyway, and really do consider the United States not just one nation among many, but the best nation, ever. Americans know they are the descendants of immigrants and are willing to let anyone in – but only if they become Americans in thought and deed; no problem with celebrating some aspect of the Old Country (St Patrick’s day, eg), but a big problem with importing the pathologies of the Old Country (killing each other over religious differences, eg). Americans wish to war with no one – but if war there must be, then Americans want complete, crushing and absolute victory. Americans are the most tolerant people in the world – but will never buy a false notion of tolerance which means that tiny minorities get a veto over long-established traditions of American life (Merry Christmas, folks).

The rise of Trump is the result of American fury over a Ruling Class which is blind to reality – and people are getting sick to death of it, and doubly so when it is easy to see that the Ruling Class (including the GOP part of it) is shoveling bull at us in an attempt to just keep us quiet so they can get on with their corrupt deals. Trump will continue to rise high until someone comes along to speak to the American people and fight for them better than Trump can. It is really just as simple as that.

UPDATE: It’s not just me – Victor Davis Hanson has an excellent piece along the same lines.