Essay: When immigrants came to the US in pursuit of the “American Dream,” who would they imagine as the better embodiment of that dream?
A) The small, spiteful, neckless old lady with the cruel face and the mysterious coats that appear to be hiding large urine bags (or a colostomy bag), someone with the kindness of a prison warden and a grating cackle that is a searing assault on every image of Cinderella and Snow White? Or,
B) The gleaming skyscraper, the golden luxury suite housing the square-faced, golden-haired mountain of Grade A Beef in a $10,000 suit standing under a chandelier that looks like glinting diamonds in sparkling champagne, who is otherwise soaring through the skies in his own massive jet?
If you are answering (a), then you do not understand the United States.
Put differently, when it comes to providing a contrast between hardship, loss, and suffering for the majority, and long-cherished images of American success, Trump stands to remind voters of the first part, and stands as an embodiment of the second part. When it comes to “making America great again,” Trump looks the part–and I think this is the only way he can continue to boast of his wealth and success in the face of sometimes rather desperate, very underprivileged voters.
4. Republican voters?
Trump is not simply leading “Republican voters”—that was not his strength, to begin with. You will hear or read many commentators saying that what Trump could achieve in a Republican primary contest is not the same thing as what he can do in a general election. Maybe—if this were just another of the preceding elections where the status quo was safe. The fact is that Trump won by bringing in voters who were neither identifying as Republican (many if not most of them being Independents), nor prepared to vote Republican, nor were some even considering voting (ever) until Trump. The fact therefore is that Trump has already been campaigning in a general election. The Republican contests have been the sites of the greatest voter turnouts thus far, and in some critical electoral states more have already turned out to vote for Trump than for Clinton. All of the excitement this time is on the Republican side, the side on which Trump needed to win in order to win the general election.