WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2015 – After Donald Trump declared that John McCain is not a war hero, media outlets across the country predicted the certain end to Trump’s 2016 run for the highest office in the land. Since then, he has dominated the news coverage, even becoming the front-runner for the GOP ticket.
The 2016 presidential contest so far has been defined by one front-runner after another rising then following. That trend, combined with Trump’s often outlandish commentary, makes it clear why political analysts continue to predict the ultimate fall of Trump. It is not clear why Trump continues to defy those predictions.
During the first Republican primary debate, Trump repeatedly quarreled with Fox News moderators and other candidates. Given that Fox News is itself conservative, the “tough” and personal questions posed by the moderators have won the panel of three praise from their fellow journalists.
It was Donald Trump’s comments during an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon the night after the debate that sparked still more outcry throughout the professional media industry and political world. “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes,” Trump stated concerning a heated exchange he had with Megyn Kelly during the debate. He then reiterated his remark, “blood coming out of her wherever.”
In politics, people often take statements out of context and interpret them in the worst possible way in order to frame candidates they do not like in the worst possible light. Interpreting Trump’s remarks as a reference to menstruation, it is easy to conclude the man must be sexist.
The second thing to know is that politics is a sport of etiquette and rules. The pageantry and rules of the political game keep those in the political world safe from scrutiny that they cannot endure.
Criticism is allowed, but only certain kinds of criticism at certain times. When members of the press violate these rules, they become part of the out crowd and face backlash. When politicians violate these rules, even if by accident, they become a target of the media and their fellow political figures.
Trump knows no political etiquette. He states what he believes and he feels is the truth, even if it is not. After all, he is a businessman, not a politician. Unfortunately, he is not much of a communicator, which is why it so difficult to understand what he is actually trying to say and why he is such an easy target. Although Trump should not be politically correct, he does need to learn how to be more diplomatic.
That said, Trump’s refreshingly blunt demeanor is what draws voters to him.
Voters have long been weary of the superficial niceties and backstabbing mudslinging of politicians who will say and do anything to get elected. The GOP in particular has cultivated an anti-politically correct culture for decades. Meanwhile, the tea party revolt within Republicans ranks is driven by a lack of sincerity and principles among establishment politicians.
Under normal circumstances, an ill-tempered billionaire who makes controversial remarks about women and minorities while talking down to others would have lost an election by now. It is, however, because the political world and the media so aggressively try to discredit Mr. Trump that there is growing support for the candidate.
The Huffington Post, for example, was widely criticized for its decision to cover Donald Trump’s run for president as entertainment instead of politics. In doing so, it framed the elitist billionaire businessman as a political outsider, which has turned him into an insider in the eyes of the Americans.