A lot of Americans do not like President Trump’s vulgarities, the name-calling, petty Twitter feuds and previous adulteries. But they love the flag-hugging, make-America-great-again, straight-talking President Trump that is presiding over an awful lot of good in the country and clearly puts American interests first.
He’s not a global community kind of guy. He’s America first.
And it points to a powerful but underestimated strength of President Trump: His genuineness. He doesn’t poll test and run focus groups to figure out which policies are popular and which phrases to use like so many politicians do.
He doesn’t (very much) kowtow to what is popular in his Republican Party to win points. If he did, he would not be waging tariff wars to get more fair trade agreements or going to the mat to secure our southern border — both of which are intrinsically part of MAGA and that genuine love for America, but make a lot of Republicans quiver.
He’s most definitely his own man. His unpopular personality traits and his authenticity all flow together to create a public man who is the same as the private man. People can actually relate to that.
Americans like straight-talkers and not two-faced political hacks who will say anything to get support.
Which brings us to the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential race.
Joe Biden is the epitome of what Trump voters despise about politics, politicians and Washington, D.C. in general. In a word, he’s a phony. (In this sense, Biden acts as a sort of stand-in for everyone running in the Democratic Party right now, with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders. And let’s be honest, a lot of Republicans do the same.)
Biden morphs into whatever his wet finger in the wind tells him voters want him to be.
It’s his sole superpower: He’s Chameleon Man!
Biden stuck with the Hyde Amendment that blocked direct federal funding of abortion for decades. It was not popular with the NARAL crowd, but many in the Democratic Party and certainly most of Americans agreed with the principle.
For 46 years he supported the very “principle,” or so he said, that taxpayers morally opposed to abortion should not be forced to pay for them. But the Democratic Party has been reactionarily radicalized in the age of Trump and now heavily supports dumping the Hyde Amendment. NBC News did a story on Biden’s long support of Hyde and reported staffers saying he still did. The base represented by Alyssa Milano erupted in horror and slammed him, as did his Democratic opponents.
Cue Chameleon Man! Within 24 hours of the non-issue becoming an issue, Biden flipped on his 46-year “principles” and abandoned Hyde.
The Hill reported:
“By the time he was preparing his remarks for a Democratic Party fundraising event that night, even Biden realized there was no plausible way forward beside switching his previous position.”
Poof! No principles, just the wet finger. This is of course totally expected of politicians. But it’s actually not something Trump does. In such a situation, he punches back and punches back. It can look ugly and petty, but he rarely flips, and certainly not on any of his big issues.
Biden had already donned his Chameleon Man outfit over the crime bill he helped champion during the Clinton administration. The bill, with its mandatory minimum sentences and other points was in response to crime spiralling out of control and Americans’ frustration with judges continually letting bad guys go with a slap on the wrists. It undoubtedly was a major contributor to the decline in the crime rate. More bad guys were locked up for longer, less crime was committed. Math. Biden used to be proud of it.
But to the current left and Democratic Party, it caused a “mass incarceration crisis” because a higher percentage of the more bad guys locked up were minority, specifically black. And blacks vote Democratic at 90 percent. So the crime bill that lowered crime is now seen as a bad thing.
Shazaam! Chameleon Man leaps to the mic and flip flops on his long support of his own crime bill. He now considers it well-intentioned, does not really want to admit the mass incarceration language, but says they should have done differently and he would not do it again. He’s like a fish on the boat floor, flipping and flopping everywhere.
And then there is the really slimy thing he did with Vice President Mike Pence. Biden called him a “decent guy” but then went on to criticize him on a number of issues. Well, the “decent guy” part got him hammered on social media because Pence is a Bible-believing Christian and actually believes that marriage should be between one man and one woman — like all of history until five minutes ago.
But to the heavily influential LGBTQ+ segment in the Democratic Party, Pence is Satan — if they believed in Satan. Chameleon Man to the rescue! Biden came out the next day and “clarified” that there is no room for bigotry regarding LGBTQ+ rights. No more talk of Pence being decent.
Reuters writes of Biden and his new climate change proposal, and flip on the Hyde Amendment, in the normal language of simply accepting this is reality among politicians: “(Biden) was courting the groups he needs to consolidate his grip on the nomination: the activists, progressives and millennials who right now have the louder voices in the party.”
No principles. No authenticity. Just a big, sloppy wet finger in the wind.
Biden has been an empty vessel for a long time. He was caught lying in the 1980s when he claimed he marched with Civil Rights protesters in the south. When he was caught in the lie, he said he meant marched in spirit with them. He also was caught heavily plagiarising a paper in law school, and also on stump speeches in his 1987 presidential campaign, while additionally actually lifting experiences from other people’s lives and using them as his own.
Far left Slate magazine wrote of Biden’s troubling problems with both the truth and flip-flopping:
“What remains concerning about that history is Biden’s tendency to enthusiastically claim life experiences that aren’t his own, whether because it’s politically advantageous or rhetorically exciting to do so. He didn’t just use hefty chunks from a published law review for a 15-page paper in law school. He didn’t just lift some phrases from Bobby Kennedy. In 1987, Biden started borrowing not just language but biographical details from U.K. Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, citing nonexistent coal-mining ancestors and wondering aloud why he was the first in his family to go to college (he wasn’t). Biden also lied—repeatedly, and despite being repeatedly corrected—about marching for civil rights.”
This is just who Biden is, and always has been. He is a principle-free empty vessel into which Washington politics has been poured. In this sense, Biden acts as a sort of stand-in for possibly everyone running in the Democratic Party right now, with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders.
Trump is a totally different animal. You may not like what Trump says or his policies. But he won’t cave to various special interest groups or flip on issues because it will help him pick up a few votes.
When Trump walked on stage to give a speech at CPAC in March and spontaneously hugged the American flag with that big old grin on his face, everyone knew that was genuine. And they liked him for it — not just the core conservative crowd, but a lot of non-Democratic Party Americans. It wasn’t just that he obviously loves the flag and the country, which is a sharp departure from his predecessor, but that everyone knew he really meant it. This was no poll-tested flag hug.
There is a lot of “code” attributed to Trump. But that is obvious nonsense. Donald Trump is constitutionally incapable of being subtle, at least in the public arena. To the chagrin of some, he usually says exactly what he thinks. But that separates him from pretty much all of the political world.
And many middle Americans may well be placing greater value on authenticity than they used to.
Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.
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