He Is Special

Love him or hate him you have to admit that Donald Trump is one of those rare special politicians. JFK and Barack Obama were special in that they defied my pet theory of the American voter: they vote against, not for, candidates. Kennedy and Obama were rare exceptions to that rule. Trump is the most unique exception in that people both vote for him and against him regardless of the opponent(s).

I’m getting another night off from politics on Wednesday courtesy of Trump. He is skipping the second GOP primary debate and so am I. It’s really an irrelevant event not worthy of my attention, live anyway.

The debate is being televised on Fox Business and Univision.  I think it would have been more fitting for NBC to cover it.  After all they have the The Biggest Loser franchise.

Instead, Trump is going to Detroit in symbolic sympathy of and support for the striking UAW workers. Not to be outmaneuvered President Biden announced that he would be on the picket lines the day before. Regardless of the dueling appearances who do you think is more credible? We have Scranton Joe versus Cadet Bone Spurs. Biden – pretty accurately in my opinion – labels himself as the most pro-union president ever. Trump has a record of being anti-labor. Biden will be greeted by old friends in Michigan; Trump will be looking for his advance man.

The latest polling shows Trump with around 60% support in the Republican primary. It’s still a bit early but I can’t see any of the stiffs running against him overtaking him. His popularity among the GOP primary electorate has only increased as the felony indictments have piled up. That defies conventional political wisdom but Trump is special. (In this case that is not a compliment.) Is it denialism? Is it the news silo? What other politician could raise seven figures in less than a week off his mug shot?

I’ll regress for a bit and compare Trump to Kennedy and then Obama. Kennedy offered a generational change which resonated with much of the electorate especially World War II vets who were busy working and raising families. Obama offered hope and change – two things a Bush’s war fatigued nation wanted badly. (Full disclosure: Obama was my last boss.) Trump offered change to a large segment of underemployed or unemployed who felt the system had screwed them. Perhaps considering the shortness of his presidency it is not fair to label Kennedy largely a failure (however he certainly brought with him generational change). Obama certainly brought change and with it hope to millions of Americans. Trump brought change but not in a positive sense unless you were a fellow member of the Lucky Sperm Cell Club.

At any rate, I’m not certain what my wife will have me doing Wednesday night but I know I won’t be glued to the tube watching the debate. On that count, I guess I owe Trump thanks. (Full disclosure: I’m not among the Trump lovers regardless of a “night off”.)

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