Trumping with the Showman’s Honesty

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You should read all of Mark Steyn’s theatrical review of a night out at a Donald Trump rally, but this particular point caught my attention:

Traditionally in American politics the way you connect with voters is to pretend you’re just as big a broken-down loser as they are. One recalls Lamar Alexander and his team flying in to Manchester, New Hampshire and just before touchdown changing out of their Brooks Brothers suits and button-down shirts into suspiciously pressed and unstained plaid. In this cycle, it’s been John Kasich doing his slickly produced, soft-focus “son of a mailman” ads. So much presidential politicking is now complete bollocks, as rote and meaningless as English panto or Chinese opera conventions. Trump doesn’t bother with any of that. Halfway through, he detoured into an aside about how he was now having to go around in an armored car, and how many rounds it could take before the window disintegrated, and how the security guys shove you in and let the reinforced door slam you in the ass. And the thing’s ugly as hell. “If I win,” sighed Trump, “I’ll never ride in a Rolls-Royce ever again.” And all around me guys who drive Chevy Silverados and women who drive Honda Civics roared with laughter. Usually, a candidate claims, like Clinton, to feel our pain, but, just for a moment there, we felt Trump’s.

When people say they want authenticity in public figures, they don’t mean they want somebody who’s pretty good at pretending to be just like them.  They mean they want somebody who seems to behave genuinely as him or her self, and then when it comes to the decision of electing him or her, they’ll decide if, like them or not, he or she is the right person for a job.

Trump comes out and speaks off the cuff.  He’s clearly a showman and is entertaining, and that helps, but I wonder how much of his appeal has simply to do with the fact that you know what you’re getting.  When President Obama goes off script, he more often than not says something that does (or should) undermine all of his slick performances.



  • Max

    I thought Trump’s appeal was his lack of political correctness but I think you’re spot on with authentic. The prior is just a part of the whole. That said, the showman scares me.

    • 13citizen13

      Why does he scare you?

      • Max

        I don’t know the if there are any limits on the showmanship part of his personality.

        • Rhett Hardwick

          I was troubled by his attitude of “get him out of here” regarding hecklers. Can’t put my finger on it, but I found it troubling. I haven’t forgotten the Democrats putting dissidents in cages at their convention in Boston.

          • Mike678

            There is a a slight difference, is there not? BTW, I go to a concert/rally/play to hear the performers, in this case, Trump. If someone wants to ask pointed questions, I support that. But if they disrupt the event they are trampling on my rights–and I will assist in their removal.

          • Rhett Hardwick

            With me, it was not the act, it was the attitude (probably coached). If they had cut to the hecklers, I might have a different attitude. My point about the Democrats fencing off the hecklers is that the liberals aren’t so wonderful either.

        • 13citizen13

          I think his immense ego would prevent him from screwing things up. I’m sure he wants to be remembered in history books as a success and someone who brought the US back from the brink. His judgement is obviously well honed, and he surrounds himself with smart people. I don’t think anyone doubts that he would listen to, and take the advice of, military experts.

          0bama had that same opportunity, but he chose to follow a personal agenda.

          People keep saying they want somebody other than a polished career politician. The GOP is offering a number of “citizen servants”, but the media, in all its power, has convinced people to turn against them.

          • Max

            You could be absolutely right although polished politicians don’t worry me as much as proven liars. It just occurred to me that your definition of liar could be polished???

          • 13citizen13

            How does Trump stand out as a liar?

          • Max

            I wasn’t calling him a liar but pointing out sometimes the terms are interchangeable.

  • 13citizen13

    I can’t find anything about Trump that would keep me from voting for him. I have to admit that the effort put forth by the media, political class – both sides, and the donor class initially made me weary, but, like a growing number of Americans, I see that Trump is a major threat to the politics-as-usual mindset in this country. If nothing else he will break up the good ol’ boys club in DC AND put the media in its place. The media has has somehow acquired dangerous power over time and Trump just doesn’t play along with them.

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