Donald Trump, Open Source Insurgent and Ball Buster of Oligarch Politicians
So much has been written about Trump's primary election campaign, the “Trump Phenomenon.” I have read in the last few months hundreds of articles trying to explain it, but so far nothing rivals the three articles listed below for deep insight and explanatory power.
UPDATE: More analysis from Owl and many more links including comparisons of Trump to Teddy Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson
The first listed, by blogger John Robb, categorically insists Trump is not running a campaign, but rather an open source insurgency. Which means he focuses on a single idea, and that is, as Robb states commenting on a recent Trump tweet, “I'll Represent You and Your Needs as President.” That's it. It might not seem revolutionary, but in a country where big money owns the political system, the middle class is being shredded, and politicians are afraid of offending anyone, this is a big deal.” Following this is the article from Matt Taibbi, in Rolling Stone. Very smart, irreverent, rollicking, noisy and very entertaining, kind of like Trump himself. Taibbi detests Trump, but he is remarkably even-handed and fair with him. The last article, also by Robb, is especially helpful for grasping Trump's appeal to the blue collar/working class due to his penchant for, among other reasons, as Robb says, “busting balls” in his criticism of rivals. Whether one likes Trump or not, these articles are essential for understanding why he is winning and the other candidates losing, and why he will very likely win the nomination.
Trump's Insurgency (a must read)
Phi Beta Iota: On his current path, Donald Trump loses to Hillary Clinton. He vulgarity and his lack of substance are going to be growing handicaps. His self-centered manner and inability to build a team or demonstrate an ability to deal with multiple complex challenges on the basis of evidence (intelligence) are huge negatives among Independents and No Party Preference (NPP) voters. Trump is also a fraud — he may be saying he will represent the dispossessed but this is not at all true — he is ignorant of blacks and Latinos, youth and the elderly; he is planning a massive tax cut for the 1%; and he has absolutely no clue how to achieve a balanced budget that stops the military-industrial complex. His comments on water-boarding are sheer idiocy — the mindless babble of someone abused at boarding school. His Eastern European wife is a toss-up. Absent a massive make-over of his strategy and his staff, we product Trump being assassinated before the convention, or losing if he is the nominee. Below is an additional article that explains why Trump can win the GOP nomination. He has two things going for him in defeating Hillary Clinton (the huge Anyone but Hillary movement and the majority of Republican governors able to enable electoral fraud) but Trump is his own worst enemy in terms of the long race.
UPDATE 1: Due to very high email responses to this post, along the lines of “More, Please,” Owl has kindly offered the below additional comments and links.
All the negatives you and others mention are true, though yet to be adequately answered are questions of how deep do the negatives go, how much is his talk merely bombast and verbal chest pounding for the masses, and how much substance does he really have at the end of the day. It seems to me there is some precedent in American presidents who are very similar to Trump in his most negative and positive characteristics, yet they were quite successful, Andrew Jackson and Teddy Roosevelt. This implies Trump, despite his negatives, can be successful too. Especially because Trump is also similar – and most importantly – in very positive ways to these prior presidents in his anti-elite populism in their willingness to oppose the 1% of their day. The bankers in Jackson's case, and the big trusts and international capitalists in Roosevelt's time. These articles can give readers a good sense of this, though more needs to be researched on this score beyond these articles:
Note: the graphic is of primary interest, though incomplete.
I think the most important analytical task regarding Trump for now is distinguishing the repulsive, vulgar, negative verbal bombast from what he says that has substance, hence to understand what makes him so appealing to a large number of supporters, as seen in his primary wins – and not just for negative reasons, which almost all anti-Trump writers assume, implying the huge turnout for Trump comprise only racists, mean-spirited and ignorant yokels. Many are without a doubt, but it is simply false to say most of them share such characteristics. As John Robb says in a Twitter post, “While Trump says bad stuff, she's [Hilary Clinton] actually done bad stuff (from the financial collapse to Syria/ISIS).” Despite the tsunami of coverage and awareness of Trump's negatives and almost complete lack of attention by mainstream media on why he is appealing to so many people for reasons pertinent to anti-elitism, as seen in his primary wins, some sane, non-partisan and respectable analysts have managed to highlight Trump's very real positives, such as Justin Raimondo did recently in these two articles:
At the end of the day, the biggest questions to answer about Trump is does his positives significantly outweigh his negatives and how real are they? Analysis will reveal if his negatives are true and real or not. Same goes for his positives. From vast number of articles I have seen, these questions have yet to be fully answered.
Phi Beta Iota: We searched long and hard for a single article capturing the essence of the internal GOP revolt, below is what we found that best suited the moment.