A Dangerous Popularity: How Donald Trump is Changing the Dynamics of Presidential Politics

Whether they like him or not, most people listen to Donald Trump. Many do so because they like the idea of a successful businessperson telling it like it is without worrying about whether his comments are politically correct or not. Some because they are laughing gleefully at the potential train wreck that the Republican nomination is quickly becoming. Others listen to see how the rest of the presidential field – both Republican and Democrat – adapt to the changing political landscape.

Trump has shown that words have weight. That people do listen to candidates and that regurgitating the same mindless pap year in and year out is not enough in presidential politics anymore. Take, for example, his speech on December 7th in Charleston, South Carolina, where he called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

On the 74th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, standing on the deck of the USS Yorktown at Patriot’s Point Museum, Trump called for the banning of a religious group from entering this country. He was talking about the statement his office released earlier during the day.

“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

Trump SignThe legality and constitutionality of the call is open for debate, of course, but every Republican candidate has been forced to clarify their position on Muslim immigration into the United States. The same thing happened with the call for a wall on the Mexican-American border that Trump used to broadcast his entry into the race.

It has had the effect of putting the candidates in a position where they have to take a stand. Where they have to be clear on what their policies and goals are. This is not a bad thing, in and of itself. It is a pleasant change to actually hear solutions to some of these problems, not just more of the same “we are looking into it” statements.

It also has clearly shown the difference between Trump and the other candidates. It is difficult to prove that Trump isn’t a conservative when he stakes out positions far to the right of other candidates. Whether he is using his position as an opening gambit that can be compromised later (like this was a business deal), or as the position he actually believes isn’t all that clear- yet.

That lack of clarity is the problem, though. If Trump were to win the nomination, if he were to win the presidency, he would be in a position where the people who voted for him would force him to follow through with his statements. Bombastic and unrealistic statements are part of his appeal, but putting these policies in place would alienate huge parts of our population, our friends and allies overseas and cause massive problems in the future.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

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Matt Towns

Matt is a former military journalist who spent 10 years in the US Navy. He served in various posts during his career, including a couple of deployments on the USS Valley Forge (CG-50). After leaving the Navy, he worked in management for a number of years before opening his own businesses. He ran those businesses until 2012 when he chose to leave the retail industry and return to writing. Matt currently works as a freelance writer, contributing to the US Patriot blog and other websites about political affairs, military activities and sailing.
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1 thought on “A Dangerous Popularity: How Donald Trump is Changing the Dynamics of Presidential Politics

  1. Interesting piece Matt. Trump’s ‘ban Moslem immigration’ is kind of a “we’re looking into it” statement in disguise. “Where does all this hatred come from? We’re not sure, but while we’re looking into it, let’s put immigration on hold.”. Trump may have gone further than others, but he still doesn’t know the solutions to the real problems.

    What about all the Moslems already living in America – the home-grown jihadis and the moderate majority? Banning Moslem immigration is an answer in search of a question and the question seems to be, “What outrageous thing can I say next?”

    It is almost as if Trump started off in the race expecting not to last very long, but rather to be eventually overtaken by Jeb Bush or one of the other more mainstream candidates. After he had sprinted ahead, he expected to be caught – but it really hasn’t happened. None of the other candidates has captured the imagination of the American public. So Trump appears to be stuck in the lead of a race he may well have thought he would be out of by now.

    But Trump is unelectable as a mainstream candidate. Many who tune in of his latest pronouncements/rants would probably be rubber-necking at train wrecks and car crashes if he wasn’t around. Trump has a kind of entertainment value, but who would want him as POTUS? Can you imagine him with access to ‘the football’? Heaven forbid! Where is this generation’s Ronald Reagan or Ike?

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