Donald Trump is an offensive powerhouse. He slammed illegal immigrants in the infamous “rapists” rant. He called for the banning of Muslims who try to enter the United States. Within his own party, he gave his opponents and biggest critics unflattering nicknames en route to destroying their chance at the presidency. He left “low energy” Jeb Bush, “Lyin” Ted Cruz, and the rest of the Republican nominees in his dust trail, scratching their heads asking how and why they lost to Donald Trump.
The billionaire businessman turned presidential nominee racked up wins, accumulated votes, and dished out the pain.
Thick-skinned New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had the foresight to hop on the plane that bears the Trump name before any other GOP casualty could. Trump, Christie, and the rest of his team are one win away from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but before they get there they have to beat “crooked” Hillary.
It might sound like fiction, but for the U.S. electorate in 2016, it’s a fact.
Donald Trump’s voter appeal has many working parts. His U.S.-China trade reform is one of the mechanisms that connects Trump to his supporters. They like that he wants to get tough on China for currency manipulation. They believe he’s the right choice to take on America’s $19 trillion debt. Whether or not anything he says makes sense/is possible/is actually a policy or “just a suggestion” as he recently told CNN in reference to banning Muslims from entering the U.S., seems to depend on what state he’s in and which demographic he’s catering to at any given point in the election. He’s not the first politician to do that, and he’s not the last, but he is the first to do this.
Trump has taken a swat at many people (political opponents, citizens who don’t support him, President Obama), places (China, Mexico) and things (ObamaCare), since he entered the race for the White House. Voters are the exception. Besides the above video, his charm has allowed him to befriend supporters across the nation without being blatantly patronizing. Voters like what he’s selling when it comes to blaming President Obama for everything including the sun, saying the sitting President will, “go down as perhaps the worst President in the history of the United States.” The “perhaps” in that statement makes it a meaningless claim but it successfully receives applause breaks at Trump rallies – mission accomplished.
Second Amendment defenders have aligned themselves with Trump for his statements on the controversial issues of gun-control, Trump’s stance is very simple to understand,
“The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.”
The military and specifically veterans are also holding Trump in high regard. According to the Republican nominee, “The current state of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is absolutely unacceptable … Politicians in Washington have done too little too slowly to fix it. This situation can never happen again, and when Donald J. Trump is president, it will be fixed – fast.”
(He has a long-standing record of supporting veterans and has proven his efficiency in the business world, how that translates to governance is yet to be seen.)
Trump’s health care reform is essentially universal health care for Americans with a piece of what Sanders and Clinton are proposing and a twist of Trump (read: right-wing conservatives hate it). It’s one of the most benevolent proposals to the populace and definitely a vote-getter, here’s part of the TrumpCare tale.
“Modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines. As long as the plan purchased complies with state requirements, any vendor ought to be able to offer insurance in any state. By allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up.”
Trump’s only other rational position is his tax plan. The key points of the plan are “tax relief for the middle class, simplifying the tax code and growing the American economy without adding to the deficit.”
Gee, that all sounds pretty good, maybe this Trump guy isn’t so bad after all.
(For the full story on Trump’s positions, visit: donaldjtrump.com/positions.)
Here’s where the antagonizing/alienation begins. One of the positions that can be found on his website along with “Healthcare Reform” and “U.S.-China Trade Reform,” is a position literally called “Pay For The Wall.” It’s Trump’s detailed plan on how he will make Mexico pay for a multi-billion dollar wall that stands along the U.S.-Mexico border. Here’s part of how Trump would do that, pulled straight from his website.
“Pay For The Wall”
“It’s an easy decision for Mexico: make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year. There are several ways to compel Mexico to pay for the wall including the following:”
“On day 1 promulgate a ‘proposed rule’ (regulation) amending 31 CFR 130.121 to redefine applicable financial institutions to include money transfer companies like Western Union, and redefine “account” to include wire transfers. Also include in the proposed rule a requirement that no alien may wire money outside of the United States unless the alien first provides a document establishing his lawful presence in the United States.”
“On day 2 Mexico will immediately protest. They receive approximately $24 billion a year in remittances from Mexican nationals working in the United States. The majority of that amount comes from illegal aliens. It serves as de facto welfare for poor families in Mexico. There is no significant social safety net provided by the state in Mexico.”
“On day 3 tell Mexico that if the Mexican government will contribute the funds needed to the United States to pay for the wall, the Trump Administration will not promulgate the final rule, and the regulation will not go into effect.”
“We have the moral high ground here, and all the leverage. It is time we use it in order to Make America Great Again.”
(And on the seventh day, Trump rested.)
Moral high ground!
If Trump was trying to appeal to people who think the Mexicans are stealing our jobs, he might have crossed the invisible line on this one.
But perhaps there’s still hope.
One of his points during his fiery-tempered campaign was the banning of all Muslims entering the U.S. Now Trump tells CNN it was “just a suggestion.” Perhaps the idea of building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico will also become just a suggestion. If not, Trump will inevitably build a wall around himself with proposals like these and make it impossible for many to vote for him in the general election.
New demographics are on the horizon to try and appeal to. When will Trump realize that he will never get a chance to “Make America Great Again” by running on policies that have to do with banning Muslims and building walls? The only building that can lead to the white one is building on his rational policies, which are: The U.S. China Trade Relationship, Healthcare Reform, Second Amendment Rights, Veterans Administration Reform, and Reforming The Tax Plan. If he can build on that he has a legitimate chance of beating either Hillary Clinton or (though unlikely) the venerable Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders.
With the general election looming, Trump’s positions need to become policies – fast. “Yuge“ issues such as climate change must be specifically addressed. So far, Trump has offered this to voters, “not a big believer in man-made climate change.” ‘Not a big believer’ is not good enough. Flip-flopping, pandering to the crowd, and maturing politically should not be allowed to be this interchangeable on a daily basis at this point in the race for the most important job in the world.
The clock is ticking Donny.
Trump (albeit a long shot), still has a chance at becoming the 45th President of the United States of America. If the economy continues to slump, ISIS still threatens and Sanders continues to surge, Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump will not be as predictable a win for Clinton as many perceive(d).
Trump’s saving grace is the geographical landscape of the election. The North East is usually a political stronghold for Democrats, but Trump is popular in New York and making New Jersey Gov. Christie his VP would also cut into Clinton’s numbers. He also has a foothold in the ever- important Florida. The “rust belt” and “coal country” seem to be swinging his way. The South is likely to stay red. He’ll get destroyed on the West Coast but due to his popularity on the East Coast (a rarity for Republicans), Trump should keep it competitive versus Clinton.
With respect to political experience, perhaps Trump’s immature behaviour throughout his campaign is partly motivated by his insecurity. The only real world example/silver lining/something we can see with our own eyes of Trump teaming up with an elected official to show what he’s capable of in politics, is a clip from many years ago (1986), when he teamed up with Mayor Koch to fix a skating rink in Central Park. Politicians mishandled millions of dollars in trying to rebuild the rink. Trump was sick of seeing the giant pothole in the New York City landmark and decided to get involved. He fixed it for less money and in less time and received acclaim from Koch for his work. It’s not the strongest example, but once again there’s not much to go on for the budding politician who doesn’t seem interested in anything else but the presidency.
In conclusion, the “Trump versus the world” attitude is not good for Trump and subsequently the world if he keeps acting so immaturely. Donald Trump is a very intelligent man who has not lived up to his potential thus far. Winning the Republican nomination has a lot to do with the poor quality of his opponents and less to do with his strength as a presidential candidate. Even if it was a hustle and the real Donald Trump is yet to emerge, the “just a position” argument might not be good enough to win over new voters. In terms of New York City icons, the demeanour he’s displayed on the campaign trail reminds me more of King Kong than the brilliant business man of the 80’s and 90’s who was often asked to run for office. King Kong needs to crawl down from the Empire State building, let go of Hillary Clinton, take off the gorilla-suit and be (not act) presidential in order for voters and the rest of the world to take him seriously. It’s difficult to imagine Donald Trump’s current tone, positions and appeal to produce 51 percent of the vote in the 2016 general election. Or as Fran Lebowitz eloquently put it,
“The lunatics vote in the primaries and Americans vote in the general and that is why we don’t have a Republican president.”
[Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images]