Donald Trump’s meteoric rise to political stardom has positioned him squarely atop the totem pole of presidential candidates – making him the number one target in American politics.
In an overly crowded Republican field, Trump has emerged as the candidate that says what he wants and does what he wants, regardless of the public fallout that may ensue.
Trump’s calling card continues to be one of blunt honesty. And while some of his latest remarks are frustrating Democrats, one of the most recent GOP polls finds that Trump in fact improved in popularity among his primary constituents.
So the question arises: how has Trump managed to ignite the Republican base?
He is not a politician
“I’m a successful businessman, not a politician,” Trump said, speaking at a tax-day rally in West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011.
This is the image of Donald Trump that sticks in most minds: a successful, billionaire real-estate mogul. Using this persona to his advantage, Trump has drawn more favor to his campaign than might have otherwise existed.
Trump hopes by distancing himself from a growing pool of “career” politicians that he will influence voters to consider electing him based on his business record alone. Ironically, if this strategy works, and he wins the presidential race, he would effectively become the most powerful political figure in the world.
So while Trump isn’t a politician yet, it is evident that he is making every attempt to become one.
His vow to improve the economy
“I will be the greatest jobs president God ever created,” Trump declared, during his presidential campaign announcement in June.
Voters who heard this were intrigued. One indicator of this is that Trump is still the most Google searched presidential candidate – a trend that spiked and corresponded with his announcement to run earlier in June.
While most of Trump’s fortune stems from his ventures in real estate, he is also the creator of the NBC reality television show The Apprentice, and owner of the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants.
Trump has been successful. He knows how to work good deals, he is a savvy salesman and he enjoys making money. Lots of money.
Compared to President Barack Obama, Donald Trump would appear, on paper, to be the more capable jobs creator. In an economy that suffered worse under President Obama during his first term in the oval office, Americans are still looking for signs of significant improvement.
Trump has made this comparison a primary component of his platform, and it clearly has begun to resonate among middle class Americans. As long as President Obama remains in the oval office, and Trump remains on the campaign trail, the state of the economy will continue to be hammered into the mind of each and every American citizen.
This tactic may very well play to Trump’s advantage come November 2016.
He is fed up with political correctness
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “politically correct” as: “agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.”
Trump has been criticized by both Republicans and Democrats in the past for reputed insensitivity toward different groups of people. One recent controversy involving Trump was his portrayal of the Mexican government and illegal immigration.
Jeb Bush, Trump’s main competition in the Republican field, was quick to condemn Trump and his comments.
“Everybody has a belief that we should control our borders,” Bush said. “But to make these extraordinarily kind of ugly comments is not reflective of the Republican Party. Trump is wrong on this.”
In similar fashion, Hillary Clinton denounced Trump’s remarks as “appalling,” redirecting his comment away from the Mexican government and toward the Mexican people in general.
“It was appalling to hear Donald Trump describe immigrants as drug dealers, criminals and rapists. He’s talking about people you and I know, isn’t he?” Clinton asked. “I have just one word for Mr. Trump: Basta. Enough.”
Coming to her father’s defense, Ivanka Trump explained his feelings on political correctness.
“My father is the opposite of politically correct,” Ivanka Trump said. “He says what he means and means what he says.”
In a country where our government is progressively adopting a Marxist and totalitarian mindset, Trump is standing up and using his political platform to say the things that many conservative Americans are thinking. This is what has made his message popular, despite the spin the media would attempt to put on it. This is why many Americans are choosing to listen to Trump, even as influential politicians insult and disregard him. This is why Donald Trump terrifies the Washington establishment.
He is a puzzle that cannot be solved.