Donald Trump keeps putting his foot in his mouth. That is obvious. The more serious consideration is whether Trump is doing it on purpose.
The media with no lack of assistance from “The Donald” has managed to depict Trump as a buffoon whose campaign is fodder for Saturday Night Live. The Huffington Post has put the campaign on the entertainment pages. Republicans are getting squeamish about whether Trump will hurt the party. It is frequently suggested that the entire campaign is simply a masquerade to enhance Trump’s publicity — as if he possessed no other mechanism to accomplish that.
Meanwhile, Trump continues to generate enormous publicity. The recent barb hurled at Sen. John McCain’s war record dominates the news.
Trump turned himself into an iconic brand. Are we to assume that Trump has no idea what he is doing?
[sharequote align="center"]Trump turned himself into an iconic brand. Are we to assume that Trump has no idea what he is doing?[/sharequote]
So, if Trump is such a buffoon, how did he get so rich? If the Huffington Post is such an authoritative source of news, why it is it struggling to survive?
It would appear Trump has bamboozled the media. He is generating a mountain of publicity while doubling down on his comments. Is he drawing the “crazies” as Sen. McCain suggests, or has Trump tapped into a political wellspring that his opponents have ignored?
While Hillary Clinton cannot fill her political venues or give a straight answer to a question, Trump is accommodating a larger audience than anticipated, and giving straight answers to direct questions. Maybe not answers some people would like to hear, but there is no doubt where Trump stands.
Yes, he has changed positions. Show us a candidate who has not. Remember Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama on gay marriage? Remember Abraham Lincoln’s position on slavery when he was debating Stephen Douglas in southern Illinois, just north of Kentucky?
Trump has compelled the media to keep him in the spotlight and in so doing he has taken a leaf out of the propaganda that characterized Europe between the wars. The basic theme of the rise of the dictators was that the truth is what was being hidden from you--the other parties are cloaking the truth in deceptions and euphemisms.
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
In the age of the Internet the real buffoons are those who think they can mask the truth. Most prominent among these is President Obama, whose entire administration is incapable of uttering the words “Islam” and “terrorism” in the same government report let alone in the same sentence. The Obama administration thinks that it can defy logic and common sense with euphemisms and circumlocutions.
The chattering classes might follow in lock step, but we can assure you that even before the media surfaced the name of the murderer of our Marines and sailor in Chattanooga, nearly everyone listening to the report of the shooting knew that the shooter’s name was going to be Middle Eastern.
The government is still trying to determine the shooter’s motive, but the common people know the motive. It is the same motive that crashed planes into the World Trade Center, killed innocents at the Boston Marathon, tried to stop a cartoon drawing contest with violence, or daily perpetrates unspeakable horrors that are too graphic to print and require a viewer discretion tag on YouTube.
The government’s inability to speak what nearly everyone knows to be true does not hide the truth. It tarnishes the government. It gives legitimacy and authority to the idea that the truth is what you are not being told. It further separates the purveyors of euphemisms from the citizenry.
You can call illegal aliens the undocumented, but that does not change who they are or give them a right to determine our immigration policy. You can say they are all hardworking people, some of the best people to come to America, but we all know they are generally Mexico’s and Central America’s underclass. Many are illiterate. Some speak indigenous languages, not Spanish.
[sharequote align="center"]The silent majority doesn't care if Trump stumbles, if rhetoric is offensive, if he offends McCain.[/sharequote]
Mexico is not a poor country. It is 13th in the world in terms of GDP and 11th in the world in terms of purchasing power. Mexico has problems providing opportunity to its citizens. It chooses to fix that by exporting its poverty across the border.
So, who is speaking to the issues that ordinary citizens see in the media and experience in their daily lives? Generally the Republicans and Democrats are indistinguishable from each other. They choose to dodge the issues that might give offense.
Let us not offend the organized interest groups. Let us just offend the silent, complacent majority.
Let us not protect the small business owners in Ferguson, Missouri. Let us protect the rioters.
Let us not showcase the death of Katie Steinle at the hands of a repeatedly deported illegal who was a seven-time convicted felon, it might offend illegals.
Let us wash the White House in rainbow colors to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage, but let us not lower the flag for our heroes shot in Chattanooga.
Let us not arm the Marines, but let us tell them not to walk the streets of America in their uniforms.
All these policies unobtrusively reveal burning truths about what really is happening in America. In the process, they are causing a vast seething rage among the people who obey the law, pay their taxes, and never set flame to anything but a bar-b-que. Those people are out in the streets of Chattanooga peacefully venting anger. They and others like them are ripe for mobilization.
Trump is speaking to those people. The media is inadvertently giving him a platform. A duplicitous government and a complacent set of political candidates are giving him credibility.
The silent majority does not care if Trump stumbles, if his rhetoric is offensive, and if he offends McCain. They see McCain as having betrayed them.
The genius of the propaganda of the German fascists was that they actively engaged all the issues the mainstream parties would not touch. Germans, lost in economic dislocation, wanted those questions addressed.
Many Americans are now strangers in their own land. Their institutions denigrate their culture while filtering out goodness from cultures that are steeped in mendacity. Americans are made to feel guilty about who they are. People from all over the world no longer come here to become Americans but to require Americans to become more like them.The silent majority are tired and angry of this cultural usurpation.
The American political elites acknowledge and legitimize what sociologist Charles Tilly calls identity claims—the collective claims of specific identity groups (e.g., ethnic minorities, gays, etc.) on public authorities.
Not recognized, not yet mobilized, are those groups that have standing, long-lasting claims on the political system as it is. Those groups have been silenced. For them to speak out is now defined as illegitimate. They are seen as a product of an America that needs to be changed or as the more radical identity claimants have said, the America that needs to die off.
The majority of Americans love the political, cultural, and legal integrity of America as it is.
Among the other candidates, no one really speaks for them. They are ripe for mobilization.
For better or worse, Trump, at least, hears them. Do not underestimate what can happen if they become part of a mass movement.
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