I did not watch the Republican debates last night (why willingly sit for a few hours and listen to people lie to you?) but I’ve heard plenty of people getting excited about Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump.
Fiorina I don’t know anything about; I know too much about Trump.
I get why he is popular: politics today is governed by so many rules about what you are allowed and not allowed to say that it is impossible to talk about economic and social realities. Everyone must fit into the blandest center-left mold or they risk being dumped on by their own party (Republican or Democrat) let alone by the media.
Trump is not a politician and only has a tenuous link to the Republicans. He may be a buffoon, but he is the only person saying what is obvious, but forbidden: that mass immigration from Mexico at a rate of 3 million people a year is a bad idea; that political correctness is out of hand, etc. He says it, and rather than apologize, fights back.
Honestly, the same could be said for Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, but they are not reality TV stars with high name recognition. They are also smart men. Trump isn’t quite an idiot, but you can’t really call him smart.
Trump is not as rich as he claims to be. He is not the businessman he claims to be. He is not as influential as he claims to be. He knows little about foreign policy. He knows little about international trade or even economic theory, in spite of the fact that he is a millionaire (not billionaire).
He is in fact a trust fund baby whose net worth is worth less than the real estate empire his father left him. What money he’s made in real estate seems to be based on cronyism and influence peddling. He is the last man the Republicans should want messing with the economy – that is if Republicans believe a word they say about free markets and the value of hard work.
For a wonderful take on Donald Trump and his supporters please see Kevin D. Williamson’s smackdown over at National Review. Here is a taste:
Spend any time around the Trumpkins — the intellectually and morally stunted Oompa Loompas who have rallied to the candidacy of this grotesque charlatan — and you will hear purportedly heterosexual men working up freestyle paeans to Trump’s alleged virility — those “pussies in Washington” aren’t ready for “a real man like Trump,” as one put it — and cataloguing his praises in exuberant gonadal terms, with special attention paid to calculating the heaviness of the Trumpian scrotum relative to the equipment being packed by, e.g., Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio.