Looking, as he does, like Mussolini with an orange pompadour
, I found it hard to take Donald Trump seriously. For the past few months, however, I’ve been watching, fascinated, as he deals with criticism from members of our media elite who have long taken themselves too seriously.
He deals with them as a parent might deal with a confused adolescent, and I have to say I’m beginning to like him. He baffled NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet The Press last week
when he said about illegal immigrants: “They have to go.”
Todd interrupted him saying: “So, you’re going to split up families…”
“Chuck,” said Trump, but Todd interrupted again, saying “You’re going to deport children?”
“No, no,” said Trump. “We’re going to keep families together. We have to keep the families together.”
Todd interrupted again. “But you’re going to keep them together — out?”
“They have to go,” repeated Trump.
“What if they have no place to go?” said Todd, interrupting yet again.
“Chuck,” said Trump — this time putting his hand on Todd’s arm in an attempt to get him to stop interrupting, “We’ll work with them, [but] they have to go. Either we have a country or we don’t have a country.”
And there it was — a simple, common-sense statement that summed up the whole issue. Either we have a country or we don’t have a country. That’s how Trump is. He speaks extemporaneously. He doesn’t travel with a teleprompter like our dear leader in the White House. He doesn’t read speeches prepared by others. He doesn’t work from note cards. He talks. He explains. When questioned he comes back with real answers, not equivocations.
Pundits on both the left and the right are baffled. They said Trump’s popularity was a flash in the pan and he would soon flame out. I thought so too, but he hasn’t. During the first debate, the three moderators from Fox News were loaded for bear and they blasted him from the starting gun, but he hung in there and even started turning it around on them. That was when I realized what was happening.
Trump’s growing support is not unlike the phenomenon we called “The Tea Party” a few years ago. That same exasperation with Washington is out there, but now it is without a name. Trump’s support is made up of people who are sick of the status quo. They elected a House Republican majority, then a Senate Republican majority, but those Republicans aren’t doing anything to stop our runaway government the way they promised they would. They’re right in it with the Democrats.
|What the Tea Party got from the Republican Establishment|
If there’s one thing the federal government is supposed to do, it is to police our borders — prevent invasion. But we have been invaded by more than 30 million illegal aliens and neither political party is doing anything stop it. They believe Trump will, and they’re getting behind him.
|Standing in Nogales, AZ looking across border|
Five years ago, I went down to the Mexican border to see for myself what was going on
. I rented a jeep and drove along our side of the fence in Nogales, Arizona. The first Border Patrol Agent I spoke to was from Lisbon Falls, Maine and he confirmed to me that the chaos I saw was just how it was down there all the time. He warned me that it wasn’t safe for me to even be there, and I was standing on American soil!
About a month later I was invited to voice a conservative viewpoint on a local [New Hampshire] television show. “Do you represent the Tea Party?” the host asked me.
“No,” I said. “The Tea Party is an amorphous group without official leaders or representatives or any real organizational structure, but my views are representative.” Then I explained that we believe the Constitution is being ignored by the federal government, which is seizing too much power and needs to be cut back.
Whatever the movement comes to be called this election cycle, it’s already having a huge impact on the presidential race. Templates used to analyze past races don’t apply to this one, and pundits are baffled. Republicans are led by Trump, but right behind him is another non-politician: neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Behind him, non-politician and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is rising steadily.
Over on the Democrat side, it’s all senators and a governor, but perceived as an outsider because he’s a socialist, Bernie Sanders is coming on strong. One thing he has in common with Trump? He says what he thinks and eschews professional handlers. Ordinary people in the “way down here” like that because they’re sick of political rhetoric. The pundits are still shaking their heads over how Maine Governor Paul LePage ever got reelected. He’s another guy who says what he thinks and people like that. He also does things, his favorite motto being: “When all is said and done, a whole lot more is said than done.”