I’m not so sure.
Conventional wisdom has it that he is simply a buffoon, a card - an eccentric or comical person. His only mass appeal comes from being a successful TV reality show host. As such, he is simply not the sort of person welcome into polite society. One American commentator called him “a short-fingered vulgarian who appeals to the lowest factors in American politics”.
This is a sentiment shared by just about all New Zealand politicians and political commentators.
Paulia Bennett: “Trump’s comments are both ridiculous and appalling.”
David Shearer: "Trump’s comments are moronic and undermine the United States reputation for religious freedom."
Metiria Turia: "his comments are particularly insulting to Muslims and women."
Winston Peters: “that is a very retrograde aspect of America you are hearing out of that man.”
In short, in politically correct New Zealand, he is loathed across the political spectrum.
If, instead of telling each other how awful he is, our politicians looked further into what he’s been saying they would find much to agree with on all sides.
Labour and the Greens would heartily approve his stance on the TPP
Trump is the first serious presidential candidate in a generation to understand that a “free trade” agreement with overseas slave labor is a pact with the devil. He wants to slap tariffs on imports from China and possibly elsewhere. He may be right. He is certainly right to raise the issues involved, and he is the only major candidate who does.
ACT and National would approve his tax plan. So would most PAYE earners.
- · Increase after tax wages by cutting taxes
- · Simplify the tax code
- · Grow the American economy
- · Don’t increase debt
NZ First would welcome his stand on immigration and banning Muslims. Brett Arend again. "We have allowed the unregulated and unsafe importation of low-wage labor — while blocking safe, regulated and skilled immigration. And anyone who’s said peep has been called a racist. Trump has put this issue on the map. Quite right too."
Perhaps that’s why I’m warming to him. He is anti-establishment, politically incorrect and, best of all, independent of mainstream media and political machinery.
It was pure genius to tell Fox News, one of his greatest media supporters, to get stuffed by refusing to take part in their terminally boring, except for Trump, candidate debates. His move bucked all conventional wisdom that politicians must pander to the media. In so doing he has only enhanced his reputation for independence and the media doesn't like that - but the public does.
Genius has been sadly lacking in American, indeed all western politics, stifled as it has been by a quarter of a century of ‘consensus’ politics.
Trump’s popularity can be understood in terms of the deep-seated wrath of wage earning middle Americans. They have had their wages undercut by illegal immigrants, had their religion trashed by Muslim fundamentalists, had their voices stifled by a PC mainstream media that keeps telling them they must apologise to all and sundry for being American, or male, or not native, or driving a car.
The best thing about Donald Trump’s campaign has simply been the way he has broken all the boring and stifling rules of modern politics. No, he doesn’t listen to consultants. No, he doesn’t follow focus groups. No, he isn’t mealy-mouthed. No, he doesn’t tailor each message to a micro group. No, he doesn’t “walk back” controversial remarks. No, he doesn’t waste time apologizing for gaffes. And, no, he doesn’t pretend that every single remark made on the campaign trail needs to be taken literally and analyzed like we’re back in high school literature class discussing the metaphysical poets.
A Trump presidency could be the most refreshing wind to blow through politics in a quarter century. It could open the doors to disestablishing the left dominated social democracies of the Western world that have embraced State control, planning and political correctness at the expense of individual freedom.
If it’s a rebellion against the status quo I want to be part of it.
Trump may seem like an eccentric card, but a trump card can beat any ace of another suit.