Here is a “must read” from P.J. O’Rourke
P.J. O’Rourke: Why Trump is leading the polls…
…. From P.J. O’Rourke in Stansberry Digest ….
An awful lot has been written about Donald Trump – emphasis on the “awful.”
Washington insiders tell us why Trump is an unattractive choice for America’s presidency. But Washington insiders can’t tell us why Trump is such an attractive choice for America’s electorate.
Support for Trump isn’t hard to understand… unless you’re a Washington insider.
Washington has gotten so out of touch with America that if you’re “inside Washington” and you’re talking about America, you don’t know what you’re talking about.
Start with the idea that Trump doesn’t have the experience or the temperament to be president. As opposed to the president we have now?
Barack Obama was a small-time community organizer and first-term senator from Il-wherever. His only experience with executive responsibility was being president of the Harvard Law Review.
“Send the Marines!” is not something you hear from the president of the Harvard Law Review.
Obama has the temperament of a smug, sarcastic, condescending junior professor, which is what he was for 12 years at the University of Chicago.
We all remember the type. There we were in his required survey course – “Rocks for Jocks,” maybe – just trying to get a “C” with last year’s exam on file at the frat house.
The junior geology professor despised us for not knowing or caring what the difference was between “igneous” and “sedimentary.” And he took attendance, even though there were 160 students in the class… and it was Monday.
Donald Trump is more like the guy sitting next to us in Rocks for Jocks, bragging that he would ace the course. Trump is boastful, but it’s a tall tale. His Paul Bunyan, Mike Fink river boatman kind of boasting is familiar to anyone who has ever been in a bar or a locker room. Obama golfs alone and never buys a round at the 19th hole.
People feel that they know Trump. What you see is what you get. Maybe he’s just putting up a big front. But when a guy is all front, there’s no secret side to him.
Americans are tired of political leaders who turn out to have a secret side. JFK was a compulsive womanizer. LBJ was a crazed egomaniac. Nixon was a pathological liar. Clinton was all of the above. Obama’s secret is that he thinks every normal American is a member of Animal House with an “F-” grade point average and that we should all be on double-secret probation.
We would rather have an imperfect candidate we think we know than a “good” candidate we’re sure we don’t know. It’s hard to tell who the other candidates really are (except for Bernie Sanders, who’s really crazy).
Is Chris Christie an effective Republican governor of a Democratic state or is he just a big bully? Is Ted Cruz an Ivy League grad or a fundamentalist redneck? Is Jeb Bush a clone of his brother? A clone of his father? Or – and he’d be winning, if this were true – a clone of his mom?
Another thing that makes Trump popular is that he does understand The Art of the Deal – just like he’s always saying he does.
Whether Trump understands economics is another matter. He’s vague about banking, finance, deficit, national debt, the Fed, and the costs and benefits of foreign trade. Trump is brutally frank about some things. But he’s much too vague about everything else. This vagueness is one reason why, personally, I’m not a Trump supporter.
But at some gut level, Donald Trump understands Adam Smith’s three basic principles of economic growth outlined in The Wealth of Nations:
- Pursuit of self-interest
- Division of labor
- The free market
Maybe Trump is a bit of a caveman when he talks about these principles. But after all, the principles have been around since caveman days.
The wily little fellow with the big ideas chips the spear points. The courageous oaf spears the mammoth. And the artistic type does a lovely cave painting of it all.
And this leads to deals. One person makes a thing. Another person makes another thing. And everybody wants everything. So they make a deal.
It may be a stupid deal. Viewing a cave painting cannot be worth 300 pounds of mammoth ham. It may be a lopsided deal. A starving cave artist gorges himself for months, while a courageous oaf of a new art patron stands scratching his head in the Paleolithic grotto. And what about that wily spear point-chipper? He doubtless took his mammoth cut. But the cavemen were free to make any deal they wanted. That’s how economic progress happens.
The cavemen didn’t have to go to Hillary Clinton and ask her permission to make the deal. And besides, no matter what some people say, Hillary wasn’t born yet.
And Trump is a fighter. Compare him with the doormat currently in the White House – an indecisive doormat who won’t hold still long enough for us even to know where to wipe our feet on him.
But I think the one thing that has put Donald Trump at the top of the polls – for better or for worse – is how pure, damn American Trump is.
Intellectuals, foreign and domestic, accuse us Americans of thinking that life is a John Wayne movie – with good guys and bad guys, as simple as that.
And we can hear Trump’s response. He’s saying…
“Life’s a John Wayne movie? Good guys and bad guys? Those intellectuals are right! And let me tell you who the bad guys are. They’re us! Americans! We’re the baddest-assed sons of a gun who ever jogged in Nikes. Don’t mess with America. We’re three-quarters grizzly bear and two-thirds car wreck and descended from an atom bomb on our mother’s side. You could take the gross domestic product of the EU, China, and OPEC and put them together and it wouldn’t make a down payment on a Trump Tower condo. We Americans walk taller, talk louder, spit farther, and buy more things than the rest of the world knows the names of. We’re the big boys, the original giant economy-sized new and improved butt-kickers of all time. We’ll eat ISIS for breakfast and flush them down the toilet before lunch.”