Entertainers, at least successful entertainers, learn early on that the key to success is pandering to their audience by giving them exactly what they want, and expect, from their heroes. Although he claims to be running for the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump has demonstrated little interest or regard for learning, or knowing, what it takes to be the leader of the free world.
Still, Trump is leading in the polls not because of his business acumen, political experience, or foreign policy knowledge, but because he is giving the base exactly what they want and expect from their hero; a loud-mouthed bully lacking in substance. What Trump’s base of support, the typical low-intellect Republican voter, loves most about the Donald is that they have seen him for years on television as the archetype of the typical loud-mouthed American bully and want him as president.
After the CNN circus and lie-fest disguised as a Republican debate, and an incident at a Trump rally involving an audience member questioning President Obama’s religion, pundits and activists have had a field day stomping all over “the Donald” for not correcting his “fan” in public. Trump says it is not his place to correct his fans, and that he does not have to articulate policy or an agenda and it is why he is still leading Republican polls. Trump epitomizes the Republican base’s idealized American; a rich, white male bully the base wants to demean everyone he considers beneath him whether they are women, immigrants, minorities, or foreign nations; it informs exactly why the Republican base supports him.
It is curious that there is an uproar because a brash, loud-mouthed bully and entertainer is not disappointing his audience by apologizing to the so-called enemy or not pandering to media questions; it is not what a major WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) star would ever consider doing, and if Donald Trump is anything he is a former WWE star. It may even be the case that Trump entertained addressing the criticism for not calling out his supporters’ blatant bigotry, but he knows he would lose his audience’s support and the lead in the polls.
Most sensible people understand that the only reason Trump stands out from the crowd of religious Republican racist candidates, even though they all embrace his hostility toward women, immigrants, people of color, and social progress, is because he epitomizes a typical American loud-mouthed bully like the typical WWE “professional wrestler.” Most Americans are aware of Trump’s celebrity as a reality show host, but he also enjoyed raging success while a WWE celebrity that got him inducted into the “big-time wrestling” hall of fame in 2013.
One often hears that Trump is not presidential material and has little interest in learning anything about what being presidential entails. Even Jeb Bush said, “I have big problems with his lack of interest in learning about the job of being president of the United States.” Apparently Bush is unfamiliar with “professional” wrestling WWE-style, or that Trump’s success is founded on what he learned is necessary to entertain fans of “fake” wrestling who are also fans of “fake” governance Republican-style.
Trump is not interested in learning about what it takes to be president when he learned from his “big time wrestling” experience that success is being showy, being a bully, and being very loud and threatening. Trump even admitted that Wednesday’s Republican debate was a “little bit like the WWE;” Trump’s entire campaign has been entirely like the WWE and it is why he is leading in the polls. He knows his Republican audience wants a loudmouthed bully as their surrogate in Washington and Trump is giving them exactly what they demand; a racist, bigoted candidate with no experience and a lot of apparent anger and hate.
It is entirely likely that even Donald Trump does not hold the vile racist and nativistic opinions of his most ardent supporters. He is just an entertainer giving the GOP base exactly what they crave; extremely loud anti-woman, anti-immigrant, and anti-Obama rhetoric. It is important to reiterate that less than three years ago Donald J. Trump absolutely ‘body-slammed’ Willard “Mitt” Romney for his absurd immigration policy proposal of “self-deportation.” Trump’s complaint against Romney was not that his proposal was absurd, but because it was “a crazy policy of self-deportation which was maniacal and mean spirited.”
After observing the “maniacal and mean spirited” mindset of mainstream Republicans in Congress, and their equally inhumane and mean spirited base’s rage against immigrants, the Donald realized that “maniacal and mean spirited” is precisely what the base wants. Trump the WWE entertainer memorized the “correct” script and delivered it like the GOP base demanded; with feigned anger, overblown bluster and incredibly “maniacal and mean spirited” remarks about Hispanic immigrants and ridiculous threats to resolve the “immigration dilemma.”
Remember, Trump claimed he would build a gigantic wall on the Southern border and make Mexico pay for it, demand repayment of any money Hispanic immigrants have earned while working in America, force Mexico to pay reparations for allowing immigrants in the country, and then bankrupt a major American trading partner; all to the same wild applause Trump was accustomed to as a WWE celebrity.
It is possible that no-one is as surprised by Donald Trump’s success as a Republican presidential candidate than Donald Trump. One cannot help but believe that Trump is no different than moron Sarah Palin who just cannot tolerate being out of the media spotlight and will do anything for attention. Look, Trump has been out of the WWE spotlight for a few years, and his reality television career is, at least for now, not happening; so what better way to stay relevant than learning what his audience wants, learning the script, and being louder and angrier than the competition. It works for WWE wrestlers and it is working “fabulously” for Donald Trump.
What is telling is not that Trump appeals to anti-women, anti-immigrant, and anti-Obama racists; it is that they predominate the GOP base and support a know-nothing entertainer simply because he parrots their deep-seated contempt for everything. It is a sad fact of life that people around the world that already had a very negative opinion of Americans devoted to violence, hate, and racial animus now believe that conservatives are “insane for ardently supporting a fake wrestling celebrity as their choice to lead the United States.” For some Americans, the new level of conservative insanity is humiliating and they are well aware it is only going to get worse.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.