Tripping on Trump?

Donald Trump is considered to be a plain-spoken, say-it-as-it-is, straight-talker, one who shoots from the hip. Media consistently describes him as a non-political candidate for president. Few mention that he is a celebrity who knows thoroughly the media ropes. And most evidence proves that he is anything but non-political, in fact, intelligent and quite media-savvy – always relentlessly on message, whatever he’s asked by reporters, never straying from his ascribed image nor from a pre-designated message.

Though more outspoken than conventional candidates, he is more attuned to the GOP-base, and appears unscripted. In effect, he is a more clever operator than the opponents he regularly mocks, the most frequent, of course, being Jeb Bush.

“I have signed the pledge. I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stands.” Perhaps by design, it reminds us of the pledge of allegiance to the American flag, which we’ve all committed to memory, but for Trump, this pledge, RNC chairman, Reince Priebus, had to deliver to Trump himself.

Even before he signed the pledge to not run as an independent and to ultimately support the Republican nominee for president, his campaign has taken on the programmed semblance of all other fellow Republican candidates, that is, except for Trump’s personal qualities of bluster, bravado, and boastful arrogance.

He loves everyone he’s in contact with: Indonesians, Hispanics, the Tea Party, the flag, children, Iowa, Florida, people in general, people of China, Asians – everyone and everything of relevance — and some not.

Furthermore, he claims to be number one with Hispanics and distributed undocumented polls and surveys, one unclearly showing 34% of Hispanics approve of him, higher than Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. His claim obviously didn’t cover Democrats.

Another trademark of his speeches is that he loves the Bible. Shockingly someone always has his book in the audience, The Art of the Deal, which, he is quick to point out, is his second favorite book, after the Bible. When asked to name his favorite Bible verse, his seemingly cagey response is, “It’s too personal.”

Trump’s elusive answers naturally prompted people to begin writing fake bible verses in “Trump Speak,” and the #TrumpBible hashtag was born on Twitter:

And Jesus said to them, “it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, but I am REALLY, REALLY rich.”

And Moses went to Pharaoh and said to him, “Let my people go!” and Pharaoh did because Moses knew how to negotiate.

Can anything good come out of Nazareth? I mean, I’m sure some of them are good people and all. But mostly we get their worst.

Then for Trump watchers, there are the noted techniques — all without details — which Trump has developed, perhaps making him as political as the rest of the candidates, but in effect a more skillful panderer. Among them are the following:

  1. Entrance with old rock song.
  2. Comment on great crowd size.
  3. Illegals are a threat.
  4. Flag petting and giving thumbs up to the American flag.
  5. In several appearances it is common for Trump to identify his book in the audience, The Art of the Deal, and he announces it is his second favorite book, after the Bible.
  6. Political correctness extends to taking the word Christmas out of the holiday. “I go out of my way to use the word,” Trump says.
  7. Praise and love for his audience and location.
  8. He speaks of Christians who are beheaded by ISIS and brags that he will take care of ISIS in quick order.
  9. His hair is real and has a young female member of the audience confirm.
  10. Will rebuild military to great strength.
  11. He bashes opponents: For example, “Jeb Bush is a low-energy person.”

As Trump leads the latest poll with a 30% support among voters, Pivit, an interactive prediction marketplace combining public opinion, news and data to predict live odds, calculated that Trump’s chances for winning the Republican presidential nomination went up from 1% in early July to 19% in late August.

Establishment candidates like Rubio, Walker and Bush are in single digits in the latest poll with the non-establishment, Ben Carson, at 18%.

If any Republican candidate can be considered moderate, which actually is a comparative term among Republicans, it is Jeb Bush. Apparently, considering who Trump uses as a critical punching bag, the Donald must still believe that Jeb Bush is the one for him to beat.

As Trump’s popularity persists, a few more pundits believe that Donald Trump may get the Republican nomination.

Surprisingly, considering his negativism and his narcissism, Trump still weathers the storm, at least among his Republican base. Perhaps a big part of it involves creating a day-to-day spectacle the for-profit news media loves, giving Trump center stage.

James Hoover is a recently retired systems engineer. He has advanced degrees in Economics and English. Prior to his aerospace career, he taught high school, and he has also taught college courses. He recently published a science fiction novel called Extraordinary Visitors and writes political columns on several websites. Read other articles by James.