Monday, July 11, 2016

The Meaning of Donald Trump

From Salena Zito, at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "Can we retire our 'politics of the ridiculous'?":

Take last week, when a scathing FBI report concluded that Clinton essentially lied several times about her conduct regarding her State Department Internet server and her handling of classified information. The headlines for two days afterward insisted that Trump failed to focus on Clinton's problems, that he was off-message.

Well, what the headline-writers didn't comprehend is this: If Trump had delivered a crisp, scripted message about Clinton to his supporters in suburban Cincinnati, he would have lost the audience; they were looking for vintage Trump and they got him.

Such Americans are tired of scripted messages; they don't want to hear about Clinton's woes, because that was pounded into them all day by the news networks and by social media.

They want to hear about Trump, from Trump; they enjoy his confrontation with the national media — just as they enjoyed his riff with NBC's “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd — or that he talks about his grandchildren and mosquitoes.

This race has never been about ideology, a strict platform that no candidate can veer from, scripted messages that are so coordinated that every candidate in the party repeats the same talking points.

This moment is about what happens when you spend an entire generation ignoring the will, the wants and the needs of your people beyond cosmopolitan America.

This is what happens when voters get tired of putting on their team jerseys and supporting their side, but get nothing in return when that team wins.

If politicians and academics begin diving into the whats and whys of Campaign 2016, instead of just walking around shaking their heads in judgment, then perhaps they will root out the results from 30 years of political correctness, of policies that benefit a select few, of creating a culture of “otherness” when it comes to the country's interior, of mouthing promises that they can't keep.

Then, maybe, we can retire our politics of the ridiculous and start to govern the country once more...