CHARLOTTE, NC, March 1, 2016 – One thing is undeniable, whatever you think about Donald Trump, he has turned the world of American politics upside down.
Presidential campaigns have always been filled with mud-slinging as a necessary part of the process. In today’s world “mud slinging” has degenerated into potty mouthed references about someone’s character that are unprecedented in political history.
But the “Party of Lincoln” is probably more responsible for creating its own Frankenstein monster in the person of Donald Trump than any other factor in the 2016 election campaign.
Though the saying “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door” is actually a misquote attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, it is a perfect example of the Trump phenomenon, which is, in many ways, not dissimilar to the popularity of UBER in the world of transportation.
Establishment Republicans complain and moan about Trump’s damage to the party, but just like taxi cab companies who decry UBER, they have done nothing to adjust to their methods to accommodate their constituents.
In 2010 and again in 2014 the Republicans were handed an overwhelming mandate from the American people to challenge Barack Obama’s administrative tactics including ramming through changes in the healthcare system, a woeful foreign policy and his continuous efforts to bypass congress among countless other abuses of his executive powers.
The result, Donald Trump, who may not be a better “mousetrap” but he has certainly morphed into a better “mouthtrap” that appeals to all those things Americans thought they were getting in the previous two elections.
Taxis cab services created UBER just as Republicans created Trump. With excessive waits for rides, outdated and often offensive-smelling vehicles, abusive drivers who cannot or do not speak English and outlandish fares UBER came along and changed everything in the world of taxi transportation services. In many cases the cabbies have spoken out vociferously, but the key is that they have done little or nothing to improve their service or their rates.
Hence, UBER, and similar ride-for-hire businesses, continue to laugh all the way to the bank because they are offering the public a viable, attractive alternate. Just call it “hitchhiking without thumbs.”
Whether or not Trump is the ideal candidate, he, like UBER, is offering the very alternative Americans demanded twice and did not get.
What is most amazing about the Triumph of Trump is that establishment Republicans still don’t get it. Americans are loving every minute of the party’s hand-wringing efforts to maintain its grip on business-as-usual in Washington after “sticking it” to the people time and time again. So long as there was no one around with the resources to challenge the Washington elites, it was an Eden-like existence for both parties.
The most valuable thing Trump has done, love him or hate him, is expose the two party system as a “good old boys club.” It’s a “club sandwich” the American people reject and until something changes, Trump will continue to thrive.
Certainly the Democrats offer no alternatives. Bernie Sanders is practically a Communist and Hillary Clinton is nothing more than an extension of Barack Obama in a pants suit. The only reason they have any chance is because, other than Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, on the Republican side, there is no other choice. Marco Rubio is young, enterprising, eloquent and talented but he is now the establishment choice and that is not what the American people want.
Trump may be unorthodox and brash, but his public persona is an angry reaction from the citizens of the United States to provide the true “hope and change” that was promised in 2008. Though Trump is certainly flawed, Americans are willing to grant some leeway if it will clean up Washington and get the government functional again.
As a businessman without political experience, Trump is the anti-politician who is beholding to no one and someone who can afford not to be.
Publicly Trump may appear to be a buffoon in the way he goes about his campaign. On the other hand, you have to believe that privately he could never have built his real estate empire by conducting business in the same manner in which he is running for president.
Should Trump get the nomination, and should he actually win the presidency, we can only hope that the true businessman will emerge in a manner that contains, at the very least, some level of competence, diplomacy and statesmanship.
Meanwhile, the challenge is there for others to follow. The gauntlet has been thrown down. And as for Mr. Trump, he will simply continue to “UBER on.”
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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