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Why is Trump so popular?

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In yet another television interview, Donald Trump teases his presidential aspirations.  (Is anyone else as sick of Trumpmania as I am?)  But as The Corner points out, some of Trump's most fundamental views expressed in recent interviews suggest he's not as conservative as many Trump supporters might hope.

While he says he's pro-life, Trump believes there's an inherent right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution.  Additionally, Trump told MSNBC's Savannah Guthrie that Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal is too extreme and may “tinker too much with Medicare.”  Although Ryan has received conservative praised for his solid approach, Trump says, “I think Paul Ryan is too far out front with the issue... He ought to sit back and relax.”

Instead of viewing domestic spending as a detriment to the future of the country, Trump says "the world is destroying our country.”

“These other countries are sapping our strength. OPEC is sapping our strength. We can’t pay $108 a barrel oil. It’s sapping our country.”

I get that Trump wants to play up his business relations and negotiating prowess, but to say that OPEC poses a larger threat to America than our own growing (and yet controllable) entitlements seems naive.

I'm also perplexed but the unrelenting media attention Trump is commanding these days and it makes me wonder what's really driving it. Last week, Peggy Noonan warned that Republican "unseriousness" threatened the GOP's chances of ousting President Obama in the 2012 election. My fear is that Trump plays to the "unserious" side of the party -- voters drawn more to Trump's rhetoric than any actual policy substance.

While the GOP establishment refuses to acknowledge any kind of legit Trump challenge in 2012, the mainstream media is playing up his disjointed opinions and sloppy rhetoric, adding to his popularity and detracting from legitimate Republican contenders. Perhaps the media realize Trump "unserious" challenge represents Obama's best chance for reelection and are doing their part to assist the unpopular president.

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