Despite the charged stance of the headline, this article really isn’t a personal attack against those who support Donald Trump. It’s a statement based upon the the facts surrounding Donald Trump, his “policy” recommendations, and the path through which many Trump supporters made their decision to back him for President.
It’s important to note that I like Donald Trump. I believe that he truly wants to be President and that he’s latched onto concepts that many Republicans (including me) believe need to be addressed with strength and without the standard falsehoods that ooze out of the majority of politicians’ mouths. After carefully watching and weighing his words, his actions, his history, and most importantly his personality, it’s my solid belief that Trump is incapable of delivering on most of his promises. Perhaps more importantly, his demeanor is only appealing to a very select group of Americans and I am 100% certain that he is incapable of winning in the general election even against a weak candidate like Hillary Clinton. That’s another story. For now, let’s look at Trump’s supporters.
If you take offense before reading on, that’s completely up to you. If you read this through and continue to be offended, then there’s likely nothing that can wake you up from Trump’s magic spell. It’s understandable; he has taken the most passionate topics for many Americans and framed them within a sales pitch that is purely designed to register on a emotional level. It’s arguably the best sales pitch any Presidential candidate has ever made which is why despite his history, his actions, and his words, he still leads the pack. It’s not surprising, but it also elicits remorse from those who have heard the sales pitch with discerning ears and seen it for what it is.
Deaf Trump Supporters
The type of deafness we’re diagnosis is willful. It’s not from an inability to hear and understand. It’s an unwillingness to look into any details behind Trump’s history, methodology, and policy stances.
They don’t want to hear the truth so they cover their ears and chant Trumpisms loudly like infants.
An example of the deafness of Trump’s supporters can be found in a closer look at his economic policy. His tax plan is, of course, quite liberal, but that’s fine. Compared to what we have it’s practically right wing. It’s a populist perspective but at least it cuts taxes for most. In fact, despite being more moderate than even Jeb Bush’s or Marco Rubio’s tax plan, it still somehow yields less revenue than some of the deeper but more practical tax cuts.
That’s the best part of his economic plan. From there, it gets weird. He plans on building a wall. That’s great. It’s what we want. However, it’s going to cost a lot of money and no, there’s no way he’s going to get Mexico to pay for it. Remember, we have very little leverage over Mexico. We owe them money, not the other way around. He also plans on dramatically improving the US infrastructure. This should, of course, be a state issue, but he plans on getting in there and improving grids, roads, and bridges. Doing so will require hundreds of billions of dollars. Then, he wants to improve the military by making it bigger and more advanced. While he hasn’t given details about exactly what that means (not that we expect details about the military from someone who was unaware of what the nuclear triad was on two separate occasions), and given the Neoconesque way that he frames it, we can assume this will cost hundreds of billions more than we already spend, possibly trillions over a Presidential term.
The takeaway here is that everything he has offered as economic policy means dramatically increasing government spending. Most Trump supporters are willfully deaf to this. Those who are not will recite his claim that he’ll cut frivolous spending. He says he’ll find the places where money is being wasted and that will help to pay for all of this. What he’s doing here is hoping, rightly, that his supporters won’t understand scale. He points at government programs that are completely unnecessary and that are costing taxpayers tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. I was unable to pull the exact reference, but a few months ago he noted a program that was ludicrous and costing taxpayers $120,000 per year. To the average Trump supporter, this sounds like a lot of money. They can do the non-calculations in their head and determine that it makes sense. At scale, it’s a juvenile thought. To partially pay for his wall, his improved infrastructure, and his increased military, he would need to cut over 10 million programs that were costing taxpayers $120,000 per year. In other words, he would need to cut around 7,000 such programs per day, every day, for an entire 4-year term.
Of course, there aren’t enough programs to cut, but to a Trump supporter scale doesn’t matter. This also doesn’t take into account the programs that would need to be cut based upon the lost revenue in his tax plan. Lastly, it doesn’t take into account the nonsense he spews when talking about existing and future trade agreements. He wrote the Art of the Deal so therefore he’s qualified to negotiate trade agreements, right? That’s the thinking of a Trump supporter. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. He’s not going to take office and suddenly bring jobs back. He’s not going to be able to force other countries to reverse the trade deficit and start importing overpriced American goods. He’s not going to be able to force companies to stop going overseas by making it impractical in the short term. It should be done, of course, but it will take years to correct the current trade agreement debacles. By the time we see Trump’s promise of making America rich again actually take effect, he’d have been out of office long before.
Probably the most credible aspect of Trump is that he’s rich. His supporters look up to him because he’s a billionaire. What they seem to ignore is that he was born rich, he was given a real estate empire, he took out a “small loan” from his father and future loans from his family, and he was able to build himself up to somewhere between Forbes’ estimate of $4 billion and his own estimate of $10 billion. Even if we use his number, it’s important to note that he didn’t make brilliant moves to get to where he is. In fact, if he’d simply taken his money and invested it index funds, he’d be worth around $20 billion today. His brilliance in finance only cost him $10 billion over the years.
Dumb Trump Supporters
Anyone ready to be offended that I’m attacking their intelligence can rest assured that I’m referring to the original meaning of the word. By “dumb,” I mean having an inability to communicate. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting that Trump’s supporters aren’t loud or boisterous. I’m simply saying that they don’t really say much of substance.
Look at your Facebook feed. Read the comments on articles or videos. As uninformed as most commenters are on a slew of topics, it’s clear that those who support Trump are even less articulate than most. You see a lot of Trump support in the form of “TRUMP2016!!!” or “Make ‘Merica Great Again” but you don’t see valid arguments being made about how Trump’s skills, knowledge, or core values are preferable for solving America’s problems.
The funny part is that many can’t even articulate why they support him. They say they believe in him. They say he’s the only guy who can do it. They say he’s King Kong or any of a number of macho symbols that are intended to make him seem superior. However, they can’t actually tell you why he’s better.
They say that he can’t be bought. That’s a joke, of course. Just because someone is rich doesn’t mean that can’t be bought. Do you think that Barack Obama takes bribes from Wall Street? Do you believe that campaign contributions to other candidates means that they give their cell phone numbers over to hedge fund managers who tell them what they want done about the Iran Deal?
I’m not going to hold it against Trump supporters for being dumb. Most supporters for most candidates are dumb in that way (speech, not intelligence). However, it seems like there is a much smaller percentage of Trump supporters who can even describe what eminent domain is, let alone defend why Trump is such a prolific user and adamant supporter of the concept.
Blind Trump Supporters
For all of the traits of Trump supporters that I dislike, their blindness makes me most concerned. If you don’t want to hear his proposals and break them down for what they actually mean, that’s fine. Most don’t. If you don’t want to post more than a couple of words or memes about him when trolling Facebook, that’s fine as well. However, if you intentionally cover your eyes and disregard the truth about Trump the man – past, present, and future – then I have no patience for you.
Trump, who often uses the phrase “believe me” when doing his pitch, has been able to convince Trump supporters that he’s qualified to make decisions for the United States of America and the free world. He was able to do the same thing to those in the airline, vodka, board game, mortgage, and football industries and in all of those cases his decision-making yielded absolute failures. He didn’t get unlucky (though Trump Mortgage did have bad timing). He made terrible decisions that destroyed his interests in these industries. Trump Air bombed in less than three years. The USFL was flourishing before he stepped in and took them down the path to oblivion in less than a year. For Trump Mortgage, he hired someone who lied on his resume and had literally six days of experience to be the CEO. His history demonstrates one thing very clearly:
Donald Trump makes horrendous decisions.
He’s made some good ones. He’s great with real estate. He’s an excellent entertainer. He’s arguably the most talented salesman in the public eye. He’s brilliant. Unfortunately, he’s also been known to get into things that he has no understand of before failing miserably at those endeavors.
If he failed when he decided to get into the worlds of airlines, vodka, board games, mortgages, and football, what confidence can we have that he’ll be better off getting into the world of Presidential politics?
His supporters are blind to these facts. Their blind to the fact that he has always voted Democrat and gave huge campaign contributions to the Clintons and other liberals. They say that he’s changed from being pro-choice, pro-gun-control, and pro-big-business. They are unwilling to see that he represents the same type of big government policies that have plagued this country since Ronald Reagan left office.
There’s no need to invoke reason, facts, or common sense. Most of Trump’s supporters are either unable or unwilling to see him for what he is. I don’t blame them now, but if Hillary Clinton is elected President, the blame will rest squarely on their shoulders.