I think I figured out what the root driving force is behind Trump’s voters and his popularity. I think it’s a combination of the following 4 things:
1)He’s brought excitement back to politics and made it entertaining. Before now it was boring, and we’ve been getting the same results or no results for so long that people have tuned out. Some people have wanted to be involved in politics but were turned off by the professional political class and the fact that nothing was ever getting done or the problems they wanted to be solved weren’t being solved.
With Trump as a candidate they can support, they know he has the guts and the ambition to get things done, and at the very least he’ll make the process entertaining again. Also, there are people who didn’t wanna be involved in politics and never really care who are now getting involved because they think they have a candidate who will keep his promises and not sell out to the political establishment.
2)His supporters are living vicariously through him. They’re not completely satisfied with their lives, or they want some things to improve in their lives, and by following Trump’s candidacy, they can root for him as he puts the establishment, the weaker candidates they don’t like, and the media in their place. His successes or moments of fame become their successes and moments of fame.
3)At a time when many people are isolated, suffering, or just frustrated with the state of affairs in this country, they want someone to stand up and just shout about how things currently suck and we need to change them. Specifics don’t matter, it’s the general message and the way that message is conveyed that matters.
Also, these voters want a distraction in their lives, and by saying they’ll vote for him, what they’re really voting for is a distraction from either the harsh realities they face in their personal lives, or the harsh realities of our current political situation, like the fact that they don’t have another candidate they’re impressed with, or that nothing ever gets done in DC even with the GOP controlling both houses of Congress.
4)Even though he’s rich and famous, in the political world he’s seen as an underdog because the pundits and the political establishment mocked him and has written him off from the start, only to be proven wrong time after time and forced to eat their words. Americans always love rooting for an underdog, it makes for a compelling story and makes politics interesting, like rooting for the underdog in a football game. Trump has turned politics into a boxing match instead of an intellectual debate, and that makes the average voter feel like they’re part of the process because now it’s simple enough for them to understand and there are clear messages on both sides and clear winners and losers.
He’s made it about personality instead of policy, and unfortunately that’s what many people prefer in politics because that’s how they can relate to it. They don’t have time to figure out or research the nuances of policy, even ones they agree with, but they do have time to watch Trump get into a shouting match with Jorge Ramos. This makes them emotionally invested in him, which is why he’s getting such high poll numbers.
I predict that the only thing that will take him down eventually will be when he starts to act more like a conventional politician, because then his voters will have no reason to vote for him over someone like Cruz who is far more conservative and just as willing to take on the establishment, even if he’s not as brash, offensive, or entertaining as Trump is.
Trump has made politics personal for these voters. They have a personal and emotional investment in him, which is why they’ll never care about the offensive things he says or the dumb statements he makes on policy, or even if he’s had very liberal positions in the past. Obama had this same effect on liberals.
Trump is nothing but a giant ball of ego. But unfortunately he represents 1 of 2 things to people: 1)the opportunities they always wish they had to be rich, famous, and fighting the battles he fights or doing the things Trump does, or 2)The kind of person they wanna be. Not caring at all about what others think, have the guts or courage to be politically incorrect and to take on famous people and survive, etc.
Trump isn’t constrained by the social or moral rules of society that most of us are constrained by, or at times allow ourselves to be constrained by. He’s free because he works for himself and thus can’t be fired, and many people envy that freedom cause they don’t have it in their own lives. What they don’t realize is that freedom isn’t the ability to do whatever one wants, it’s the ability to do what one ought to do, the right thing, which is not at all what Trump does.