Is Donald Trump the Best Politician on Earth?

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The media is full of vitriol for Donald Trump.

Even amongst those political commentators who normally incline towards right-wing views, he’s a figure often discussed in terms closer to naked hatred than objective political analysis.

Yet what is Trump really saying? Is he being misrepresented in the press when portrayed as speaking solely for ‘the lunatic fringe’? Does he actually represent mainstream America rather more than his opponents would like to suggest?

The Pressures in US Society

All societies have stresses and tensions within them – and the US is no exception.

Since the 1960s, US society has changed out of all recognition and has arguably fractured along major fault lines. Those stress points aren’t exactly news and include things such as abortion, gay marriage, race, social care, gun laws, immigration, multiculturalism, economic management and so on.

Although it’s very easy to portray these as typically Republican right wing versus Democrat left wing political inclinations, that’s overly simplistic. There are people with strong opinions on all sides and it’s misguided to assume all Democrats support abortion on demand because it’s a “woman’s right” or that all Republicans support free access to guns on demand.

Yet what has undeniably happened increasingly over recent decades is that liberal viewpoints captured the moral high ground and are today often represented as being ‘mainstream’, ‘enlightened’, ‘just’ and ‘politically correct’. By contrast, viewpoints that argue against (e.g.) increased social care provisions are labelled as ‘reactionary’, ‘outdated’, ‘oppressive’ or the domain of marginalized cranks.

However, the intelligentsia in DC political and media leadership circles seem to have made the mistake of believing their own propaganda in this respect.

That’s perhaps understandable because they’d ‘seen off’ the previous rumblings of groups such as the Tea Party. So, they hugely underestimated the frustrations in very large sections of ‘traditional’ US society who lacked an outlet for their views, fears, hopes and aspirations – and into that breach stepped Donald Trump.

Trump – A Voice for the Unheard

Whatever one thinks about individual elements of Trump’s approach during the Primaries, there is little doubt that he has tapped into a vast reservoir of discontent in US society.

Nobody should doubt that Trump has the large-scale and spontaneous support of many in the US. His views, whether one agrees with them are not, are those of a large number of ordinary Americans who have been frustrated by not having a spokesperson.

In the past, Democrat Presidential candidates have portrayed this group as political ‘dinosaurs’, with views that have no place in modern America. Many traditional ‘comfortable’ Republican contenders have equally distanced themselves from this section of society, as they strove to adopt centrist stances and positions that were both ‘PC’ and in their view, ones which would make them potentially electable.

Trump’s brilliant inspiration and shrewd vision was to recognize the size of this group of disenchanted voters, who were anything but a tiny fringe minority. Even had it been in his nature, which it probably isn’t, he wasn’t going to tone down his views simply to make himself popular with the media or the ‘men in clubs’ in Washington.

He has effectively gone over the head of the political and media establishments and appealed to the masses – and masses they are. That’s why to date he’s been so successful and why he’s created a political earthquake.

If nothing else, he’s forcing the ‘unheard masses’ back into focus in the corridors of power.

Is Trump Electable?

Already, the Washington establishment is in danger of writing Trump off, should he get to stand against Hilary Clinton. The same tired-old clich├ęs are being wheeled-out, branding him a racist, sexist and sadly deluded figure who doesn’t represent a significant proportion of US society.

Those views may well be VERY naive.

It’s already clear that Trump doesn’t just appeal to older white and ‘red neck’ voters. His plain-speaking and lack of fear of controversy is striking a chord with many – and that might cross traditional Republican-Democrat demarcations.

For example, it’s absurd and patronizing to postulate that African-Americans won’t vote for Trump because of his views on immigration via Mexico. If they’re struggling to find work and housing, then looking at local immigration issues as a possible contributory factor might be just as likely for African-American voters as White voters.

Equally, his stand on abortion might well strike a chord with significant numbers of predominantly Catholic Hispanic Americans, irrespective of his views on illegal immigration across the border or gun control.

Many voters of all political inclinations might be attracted to his stance on breaking the Washington establishment – whatever segment of society they come from.

Donald Trump is an astute man and has already proven himself to be a capable politician. His appeal may be wider-spread than many believe and he just might pull off an upset in the election. At the very least he’s forcing some soul-searching in the DC corridors of power along the lines of “who knows the electorate best, us or Donald Trump?”

It’s a question that’s worrying the establishment to its core.

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