Happy New Year to all. And it promises to be at least an interesting one.
Trump is no dummy, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding. He appears the way he does because that’s the way he wants to appear. He groomed that appearance for 14 years on the Apprentice show. Sort of the way Reagan groomed his appearance in 8 years of speaking to factory and community audiences about the virtues of the free enterprise system on behalf of General Electric. A lot of people like Trump. The show lasted 14 seasons even though I never watched a second. But a lot of people did. As a result, people see Trump as the reality candidate as opposed to all the other inside the beltway political candidates. Even the outside the beltway governors are seen as inside politicians. People want a genuine leader and not an artificial politician fabricated by political consultants. Warts are part of reality.
Starting in 2011 Trump began appearing on Fox and Friends every Monday morning, practicing his pitch and getting feedback, just as Reagan did on his daily radio broadcasts from 1975 to 1979. This routine communication with the people gave them greater insight into the concerns of regular people. You can’t get that by spending all your time talking to other politicians about the political minutiae of the moment. On air you have to talk about what people care about or they won’t listen. Both started early on their soft campaigns to reach the people directly. Each was dismissed as an airhead actor (Bedtime for Bonzo?) or a billionaire buffoon. Neither was.
The difference between them is that Reagan was an ideological communicator whereas Trump is a pragmatic entertainer. Each was appropriate to his time. The vast majority of the electorate was literate in 1980. Not so much any more. Little of our information is gathered from print. Reading is rational, viewing is emotional. Clinton and especially Obama have governed as entertainer in chief as opposed to commander because of their desire to dispense goodies to the people so they will be loved as they weren’t by the fathers who abandoned them, their unrealistic view of our enemies and disdain for the military, and their desire to distract the populace from the serious matters they ignore. Heck, No Drama Obama ran as a blank slate. Or was it an empty chair? So the people are prepared for an entertainer in chief. And Trump would be entertaining. But I am beginning to believe there is much more to him than “You’re fired!” We’ll know much more about that when he selects his running mate.