The Faith Based Campaign of Trump

As a non-Republican, I have to love the delicious irony of this year’s Presidential primaries on that side, it really is a wonder to behold.  On the one hand, it really is not as crazy as it seems.  The mainstream media is just loving the Trump “phenomenon” so they keep reporting his “big wins” uncritically.  But, as usual, it is only the splitting of the more “mainstream” vote between Cruz and Rubio (Cruzio) that is keeping the Trumpster front and center.  If you look at Cruzio, they are actually winning the nomination.

In terms of delegates, Trump seems to be leading with 319, but Cruzio is actually ahead with 336.  If we adjust the Super Tuesday results to reflect Trump vs Cruzio, it looks like this:

Ala.

AK

Ark.

Ga.

Mass.

MN

OK

Tenn.

TX

VT

VA

Trump

43%

34%

33%

39%

49%

21%

28%

39%

27%

33%

35%

Cruzio

40%

51%

56%

48%

28%

66%

60%

46%

62%

29%

49%

Kasich

4%

4%

4%

6%

18%

6%

4%

5%

4%

30%

9%

Carson

10%

11%

6%

6%

3%

7%

6%

8%

4%

4%

6%

Suddenly our electoral standings look very different.  Instead of “sweeping” Super Tuesday, Trump would be scurrying back home with his tail between his legs.  Yes, he would have squeaked out a win in Alabama, and also won the irrelevant (for Republicans in the general election) states of Vermont and Massachusetts.   Not very impressive.  Now, it is not completely clear that Cruz and Rubio voters would automatically go to the other or would go over to Trump, but that is a fair assumption.

It really looks like the Trump “phenomenon” is really just the remaining rump of the Tea Party looking for one last pillage.  I mean, seriously, how far would a Trump/Christie ticket get in the general election?  It would be a wipe out.

What I find most interesting about Trump is his faith based campaign.  Trump is pretty clearly the least religious of any of the candidates.  And yet the way he talks is totally like a preacher, and his followers seem to eat it up.

Just watch any speech by the Trumpster and make a drinking game of it.  Take a shot every time he says “believe me” or “honestly.”  You’ll be in a coma if you manage to make it through the whole speech.  Most people will be on the floor in five minutes.  If you want to add to the pain, just add in the phrase, “I love you people.”

And this is where it all sounds faith based to me.  All you have to do is believe and good things will come your way.  The guy at the top “really loves you.”  This kind of rhetoric could only be effective among those who are used to leaving their critical thinking at the door and just believing what they hear.  That is the mark of Trumps campaign even more than the racism and xenophobia.  Believe me!  I am your savior!  Who needs evidence when you have faith!

Now, to some extent all political campaigns are faith based.  We want to believe politicians are really out to help us, which turns out rarely to be true.  Followers of Bernie Sanders are also imbued with belief.   But at least he has a long consistent career to base those beliefs on.

For example of a faith based  statement, here is the first political endorsement Trump received, from New York Congressman Chris Collins: “Donald Trump has clearly demonstrated that he has both the guts and the fortitude to return our nation’s jobs stolen by China, take on our enemies like ISIS, Iran, North Korea and Russia, and most importantly, reestablish the opportunity for our children and grandchildren to attain the American Dream.”

Really?  Trumps builds hotels and golf courses:  how does that “clearly demonstrate” that he is ready to take on ISIS?  Would you really trust some guy in your community to fix the roads and balance the school budget just because he puts out a good buffet at his restaurant?  Collins clearly believes in something, but it is not the real Donald Trump.

In reality, Trump is just another mediocre business man who lets his ego run rampant.  Yes, he has apparently piled up some money, but so could you if you started with $300 million like he did.  Other than filing bankruptcy, Trump is best known for being a reality TV star where he played a parody of a real business person.

Wikipedia has this to say about the “success” of the show:  “Although the series was one of the most-watched programs on NBC in the advertiser-friendly 18–49 age demographic, the franchise’s total audience gradually dissolved, starting in late 2004, when it aired its second season that culminated in, what most Apprentice fans deem, an “overextended”[19] 3-hour season finale on December 16, 2004.”

I am not sure how growling “You’re fired” to people who were deemed lacking in setting up a celebrity car wash gave Trump the “guts and fortitude” to do anything really.  Somehow Collins and others shape the Trump smokescreen into something solid and real.

It certainly takes a lot of faith to do that.

Update March 8:

Over the last seven days, Cruzio has picked up momentum, they have picked up 110 delegates to Trump’s 54.  Cruzio now has 451 delegates to Trump’s 384.  Now, I don’t know how many of the remaining primaries are winner take all, but the only way Trump gets the nomination is to get 1189 delegates in the primaries.  If he falls short of that number Cruz and Rubio make a deal and we probably get a Cruz/Rubio ticket, which maybe the Tea Party types would not fully support and maybe Trump makes good on his threat to run third party.  Either way, good for the Democrats.

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