I’ve been ruminating on writing about the phenomenon known as Donald Trump for a couple of months now. I write about marketing, consumer attitudes and behavior, and technology and its impact on our lives – at least for the most part. For me, Donald Trump has become too compelling a story to not write about, especially as it pertains to attitudes and behaviors of my fellow Americans.
I will plainly state that when it comes to Mr. Trump I am decidedly not a fan. OK, now that those people who will read no further have left, I will offer some reasons I think people are attracted to the current poll leader for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.
Because Mr. Trump is a multi-billionaire he does not have to adhere to traditional campaigning approaches such as civility and discussion. Add to that the notion that as a billionaire he is not beholden to anyone and can truly call things as he sees them with all honesty. He can speak his mind and say the things that (supposedly) many Americans are thinking but never say. Speaking without a self-imposed filter can appear to be intoxicating since, well, nobody else can really do it and expect to function in society. So right on Mr. Trump – keep telling them the way you think it really is, and the way you think it should be!
Earlier in the summer I considered Mr. Trump to be akin to that page-turning trashy summer novel that you feel guilty about reading but for some reason cannot put down. With the second Republican Presidential candidate debate last night we were able to finally see a few layers peel off of the Trump-onion. It’s up to you to determine if anything really happened that revealed something we did not know about Mr. Trump during the debate. Mr. Trump continues to offer little in the way of specifics other than ‘We’ll make America great again’ and things like ‘I’ll make good deals for America’.
It’s difficult for me to accept that Americans really want Mr. Trump to run the United States in the same manner as he presided over The Apprentice show on the NBC television network. It’s safe to say that up until this point diplomacy, as far as Mr. Trump is concerned, begins with “You’re fired” and goes downhill from there. That’s entertaining on a television program, however I have a hard time picturing Mr. Trump interacting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and saying, “You know what China? You’re fired!”
I won’t begin to explore Mr. Trump’s history as it pertains to deals he’s made except to offer that I really don’t relish the thought of having as President someone who readily uses bankruptcy as a business tactic. U.S. Presidents and world leaders don’t get do-overs nor do I think citizens want them to have to try.
There are elements of Mr. Trump’s campaign that are positive and that starts with challenging the traditional political hyperbole and trying to replace it with plain- spoken honest discussions of real issues and concerns. This is the reason Mr. Trump has resonated with so many Americans for far longer than I would have thought was possible. His campaign has disrupted the Republican establishment, which can only be a good thing for the party and also the county in the long run.
Summer’s just about over now and so ends the trashy novel reading season. However the final chapters in Mr. Trump’s 2015 summer novel have yet to be written.
How do you think this story will end?