Please note: I don’t like Trump and won’t vote for him but his message is spot on in some areas that Democrats and Republicans need to learn why it resonated.
There were a couple paradigms, emotional chords in a guitar he strummed that clearly someone smart has told Trump about:
- Problems in trade and shipping jobs overseas: “the losing on trade”, “losing to China currency manipulation”, “jobs shipped overseas”
- Lack of patriotism of mainstream politicians “giving up our bargaining rights to other countries…” … “other countries pay less into NATO” (Germany is still paying 1.2% GDP into NATO and building pipelines to Russia)… “other countries manipulate currencies and Americans get punished.”… “acting like loving America is a bad thing…”
- Lack of Republicans pointing out the hypocrisy of immigration. The more illegal “undocumented” (called deceptively) immigrants, the amnesty and citizenship granted to them and their children, are just votes that are being collected by the Democrats who keep promising them more and more while ignoring how legal immigration is so difficult. Legal immigrants get in line, illegal immigrants get the rewards. Mainly because Republicans are thinking of corporate profits from low-wage illegal workers. Democrats want to make them citizens for votes and place minimum wage for them, essentially bribing them to vote Democrat.
- Deregulations, Trump deregulated a lot of things and made taxes lower as a business friendly environment – now I think it’s a farce since he also damaged US trading partners and deregulated things that shouldn’t be deregulated, and caused environmental damage, and then gave ® congressmen a big tax break while skipping the middle class… But still, the positive here is that deregulations are not a bad word, and neither are regulations. It’s a balance and somethings are not competition-friendly and they are monopoly-friendly.
- The "tough negotiator/strong-fighter" stance. Leadership feelings resonate with citizens who feel that their leader “fights for them”… the “fighter stance” the “aggressive fighter” perception is key to any leader. A passive, doormat leader will NOT WIN.
- Trump’s attacks on political correctness. There are too many people being left to the wolves of social justice warriors who are getting people canceled, getting people fired, getting divorce courts to hurt men, getting people to refuse to talk about taboo issues by calling people racist/bigot/homophobe/insert-label.
- Trump’s defense of gun rights, including talk of saying things like “what if there were people to shoot back” against the mass-murderers, which is merely logical that Democratic pearl-clutchers can’t understand. Despite Republicans sometimes giving lip service to gun rights, they often don’t go to bat to defend it. Sometimes negotiating away and compromising some of these rights. You even get the sense from activists that NRA is not doing enough. They think the NRA is not defending rifle rights strongly enough. If something replaces the NRA or Republicans in office, on this particular issue, it’s going to get much more intense. For too long gun rights have literally been under attack and I’ve witnessed Democrat after Democrat promoting senseless authoritarian laws on guns that don’t even solve the original problem of mass-murder or homicides.
- Trump’s videos give a sense of America “winning” and “winning like as if it’s Reagan in the 1980s”… This is not how people felt under Obama. Under Obama people felt like the country is always battling problems within the country. That we are all imperfect and broken population that needs to be “educated” by the elites of Europe. That eurocentric thinking is disgusting to many conservatives. I can’t tell you the damage done to Obama by looking weak against Putin, against Syria’s Assad, against Iran, against Cuba, and then top it off with “apology tours” talk, his saying “they cling to their guns and bible” was super damaging and Hillary was doing the same things. People often associate fearlessness and strength with leadership (even if it sometimes may be closer to fascism or fake strength or fake fearlessness).
Now I have counter arguments to all these above but the "fantasy version of Trump" is resonating with people and Democrats/Republicans need to learn from the “fantasy version of Trump.”
Again I don’t want to vote for Trump <— but mainly because he is authoritarian and works with enemies of the state like Putin, which to me is the antithesis of patriotism. Probably the other worst thing about Trump is his corruption on a massive scale and funneling money to his friends. All of which is the opposite of "winning."
But policy-wise, and attitude-wise, there’s a lot to learn by mainstream politicians.
Sometimes I can’t believe I’m still having to explain Trump to Democrats… It’s so easy to defeat him, I just don’t understand why Democrats struggle so much.