Confused By Donald Trump’s Popularity?

Let me preface this by saying that I don’t support or encourage political action. I used to. But I don’t anymore. I believe there are better uses of one’s time.

On the other hand, I don’t like when people lie or use intentionally imprecise language, either. I’m not a huge fan of sophistry.

That being said, it seems either entirely disingenuous or entirely shortsighted for those on the left, those on the right, and those in “liberty” circles to claim that they don’t understand why ANYONE would support Donald Trump or that everyone who supports him does so because of “authoritarian” predispositions – especially when the latter criticism can arguably be universally applied to anyone who supports a seeker of state power. Given that the vast majority of criticism of his campaign can be traced back to the misreporting of the mainstream media, acting bewildered about why he has support demonstrates the degree to which one’s own perceptions about him have been formed by the mainstream media. 

Reminder for those who were emotionally triggered by the previous paragraph: I don’t support or encourage political action. If at this point you think I do, you need to go back and reread every word up to this point very, very carefully. Preferably once you calm down a little.

But let’s look at the facts of his campaign (taken mostly from his website):

– He self-funds it (for the most part).
– He publicly opposed the Iraq war.
– He made political incorrectness okay again (which was long overdue).
– His tax code overhaul plan reduces the income tax burden on the middle class and isn’t entirely unlike that of Rand Paul’s.
– He wants to eliminate income tax for people making less than 25k a year.
– He publicly acknowledged that the perceived economic growth of the last 8 years was really just a bubble.
– He wants to eliminate tax loopholes for the super wealthy.
– He has a plan to bring off-shored funds back into the U.S. through one-time tax discounts.
– He didn’t spank his children (unlike more than half of Americans, undoubtedly including at least a few of the people who claim to oppose Trump for his authoritarianism).
– He gets heavy criticism from establishment politicians on both the right and the left (including the head of the RNC).
– He is constantly attacked by the liberal media.

Again, I’m not saying I believe or trust him about much of anything. I’m not saying I agree with everything he says. I’m sure as hell not telling people to vote for him. I’m just saying that it is dishonest to suggest that it is IMPOSSIBLE to see why people support him or that they only do so because they support the use of violence against others. It’s pretty clear at this point that most voters are just desperate for anyone who seems different than a career politician – especially after the nearly identical presidencies of the last 15 years.

Besides, I don’t think anyone on any side of the debate claims that they don’t understand why people want to vote for any of the other candidates. You don’t see people who oppose Bernie Sanders claiming to not understand why people vote for Bernie. “I don’t understand why ANYONE would vote for Trump” is therefore the argumentative equivalent to clutching one’s pearls and fainting. Not very becoming of anyone who touts themselves as a critical thinker.

You might not agree with people, but claiming that you don’t understand where they’re coming from doesn’t really make the case for why they’re wrong.

It just makes you look like a sophist.