It’s futile to try to post a short list of the misconceptions that surround GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump. We’ve tried to narrow it all down to the top five biggest things that most people get wrong about him. He’s not a bad guy, nor is he our savior. He’s somewhere in between and completely misunderstood by friends and foes.
With these misconceptions comes a handful of certainties. He has changed the conversation in the Republican party to focus on issues that are important to many Americans. He is a brilliant campaigner who has natural talents in predicting the way that people will react to his actions. Perhaps most indisputable is the fact that when he gets hit, he hits back harder.
These are things we know for sure about him. We aren’t deep cover biographers following him around taking notes. Most of these things would be obvious to anyone paying enough attention, but with so much coverage on the guy these are things that can easily be missed, apparently.
Remember, these are misconceptions. We’re trying to bust the myths.
“Donald Trump Will Fight the Establishment”
The campaign started off as one of protest against the Establishment. Like Ted Cruz, he pointed to corruption on both sides of the political aisle and ran his campaign as the outsider who will get in there and clean up Washington DC.
This concept didn’t last long. Early on, he started saying things that made him seem more inline with the Establishment than his campaign pledges seemed to indicate. It all came to a head in Iowa when his full-blown Establishment tendencies came out. When Cruz made his move to take the lead in Iowa, Trump turned not towards conservatives or reformists but to the Establishment for help.
— Up Yours, Mexico (@actlightning) January 24, 2016
Governor Terry Branstad, who’s son is part of the Big Corn lobby for ethanol subsidies, wasn’t going to endorse a candidate. Then, things changed. Trump came out opposite of Cruz by saying that not only does he want to continue ethanol subsidies, he actually wants to increase the ethanol mandate. Suddenly, Branstad goes after Cruz.
Pro-Ethanol Subsidy Iowa Gov. Branstad Wants Ted Cruz Beaten https://t.co/dWCPwwruEx
— We Are Tea Party (@WeAreTeaParty) January 20, 2016
Trump’s quick switch to support ethanol subsidies wasn’t just a play at Iowa voters. It was a message to the Establishment that he was willing to play ball to get the nomination. Bob Dole popped in to help. Sitting members of Congress stepped up to the plate for him. The attacks from Senators against Ted Cruz intensified. Trump embraced it all. He IS the establishment.
“Everything Trump Touches Turns to Gold”
In the worlds of real estate and entertainment, Donald Trump is arguably the king of both hills. He has made some real estate deals that boggle the mind and would make his father not just proud but probably a little stunned. In entertainment, he’s the ticket to success when it comes to ratings.
In every other endeavor that Trump has attempted, he’s failed miserably.
When he got into the airline business, he was going to build an empire. It took three years and dozens of documented mistakes for his dream to come crashing down.
— Freedom Lover (@markl280) January 26, 2016
When he bought a USFL team, the league was thriving. It was heading in the right direction and was likely less than three years away from becoming the NFL-approved spring farm league, a major coup for the owners. Unfortunately for them and the league, Trump convinced them that they could accelerate the process by switching to a fall league and suing the NFL. They won the lawsuit and were awarded a whopping $3.00 (as in 300 pennies). The league dissolved a year later.
— Johanna Lapp, MD (@johannalapp) January 27, 2016
Trump Vodka, Trump Mortgage, Trump the Board Game… he has an exceptionally long list of endeavors outside of real estate and entertainment that were disasters. He touches a lot of things that turn to gold, but he also has many more things that turn to dust after he touches them.
“The Media Hates Donald Trump”
Just stop. This pervasive fallacy is so bad it’s almost laughable. The media absolutely adores Donald Trump for two reasons. The first is obvious: he draws in viewers. Whether you love him or hate him, you’re reading and watching about him. The media isn’t in the game of truth. They’re in the game of eyeballs. They adore that aspect of Trump.
The biggest reason that the media loves him is because they are, for the most part, liberal. Sure, there are conservative publications like National Review and Red State that take up the William F. Buckley mantle, but 90% of journalists are Democrats. They want a Democrat in the White House.
Unfortunately for the media, they have a pair of weak candidates at the top of their heap. This is why they want Trump. They’re begging for Trump. They’ve been holding back hit pieces for months that will destroy him because they need that ammunition in the hopes that he wins the nomination. They don’t want to destroy him before he’s the Republican choice. They want to destroy him after he has the nomination locked.
They will roll out women he’s hurt, minorities he’s insulted, business partners he’s screwed over, employees whose lives he’s ruined… the hit pieces that will come at him once he has the nomination will boggle the mind. The way they see it (and they may be correct), a Trump nomination will mean that they could win 41 or 42 states in the general election whether it’s Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
“The Democrats Fear Donald Trump”
I won’t say much more about this because the perspective above with the media is echoed by the Democrats, but there’s one more thing to note. They realize that his net favorability is the only one lower than Clinton’s. They realize that many Independents and moderate Republicans who voted for Obama actually hate Clinton. They see Trump as the countermeasure to this hatred. If given the choice between Clinton and anyone else, they’ll choose anyone else, but if given the choice between Clinton and Trump, they’ll err on the side of Clinton.
“Donald Trump is a Conservative”
No. He’s not. On immigration and taxes, he leans conservative. His proposed wall is conservative. On nearly every other issue, he’s moderate at best and often even liberal. When he discusses tariffs, he’s echoing Bernie Sanders. When he talks about supporting affirmative action, he’s echoing Hillary Clinton. When he supports single-payer health care, he’s echoing President Obama.
Keep in mind that we’re not even looking back at his past. Right now, today, his views are often to the left of Clinton. The media won’t tell you this (as we’ve discussed above) because they want both conservatives and liberals to think that he embodies the conservative movement. He absolutely does not.
It’s impossible to appeal to Donald Trump’s supporters because they’re very firm in their support. That’s the trait of authoritarians – they don’t change their minds very quickly because they don’t want their minds changed at all. The same can’t be said about their chosen one, of course.
Those who support Trump will do so to the bitter end. That’s the type of dedication that he draws from his people. Rather than leaving him as his views change, they will change their own views right along with him.