NEW CASTLE, Pa., March 7, 2016 —Average Americans running for public office under the scrutiny of the 2016 Presidential Election would likely make many broken, poorly worded, ineffective, and contradictory statements that would be offensive to a lot of different people. Add in a tendency to simply react before thinking and a defensive personality, and you have Donald Trump.
In politics, the ability to resonate with voters on a personal level is often far more important than a candidate’s actual policies. Lacking the polish and the training of the political elite, who many believe mistreat political outsiders and exclude them from the political process, Americans are able to empathize with Donald Trump.
Although most Americans would likely prefer “the Donald” to be less explosive and more diplomatic, they actually enjoy his confrontational nature.
In a “politically correct” world where people often feel they cannot express their true sentiments for fear of offending someone, Trump’s bluntness has a great deal of appeal.
Able to freely defy and reprimand the wealthy political elite, billionaire Donald Trump becomes even more appealing.
That said, the political elite on both sides of the aisle do not like Trump. Even though many Trump supporters see anti-Trump efforts as a means of protecting the political elite, the so-called “Never Trump” movement capitalizes on Trump’s offensiveness in an effort to block Donald Trump from the Republican nomination.
Reminiscent of the name-calling and brawls often seen in the British Parliament, Trump has truthfully helped take the lack of civility in American politics down to a new low.
On the other hand, the rise of Donald Trump and the pushback against him is also beneficial to the political process.
First, it clearly reveals the total disregard of the political class for the views of the American public. Donald Trump’s popularity is the product of a political system that has failed to recognize and address the interests of the American people. Instead of addressing their deficits and showing a capacity to learn, those in the industry of politics have simply lashed out against Trump.
Second, it demonstrates to the political elite the limits of their influence. In order to shape public policies to reflect their special interests going forward, they must become far more strategic. Thus far, the political world has decided to take a stand against change in a “him-or-us” showdown.
Even if eventually successful against Trump, this tactic and the failing influence of the political elite add pressure for some of change.
Third, it reveals the true allegiances within the political world. As the political establishment has already started to seek retribution against political figures like Chris Christie, who endorsed Trump, and Marco Rubio, who has resisted helping Ted Cruz by ending his run for the Presidency, reprisal amongst the political elite will likely mean secrets revealed to the public.
Mutually self-destructive acts may hurt the political establishment, but it will help the American people in their quest for proper representation and better governance.
Finally, it may force the political elite to embrace some standards, or at least some limits, when it comes to campaigning. Outside of the largely positive campaigns run by Barack Obama, the dirty politics of Presidential elections has grown increasingly toxic to detriment of democracy and public policy.