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Trump, Smarter Than You

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Say what you will about Donald Trump but the man is exciting. Within minutes of bringing his comb over, in your face style and strong name ID to the main stage of the Republican primary field, people started freaking out as his popularity rose. This excitement is not owing to some grand policy insight, his pledge to build a great wall or his excoriation of China and Mexico. What excites people about him is his authenticity.


Whether you love Trump or want to dump Trump, there is one consistent philosophy about the man: he feels authentic. Even for those who believe he is a jackass, he is inarguably authentic. Trump is supported by several million “McCrazies” and climbing in the polls because Americans want our politicians to be real.

In this respect, he is an anomaly amongst modern politicians. Trump stands out in high relief on the Republican stage and in stark contrast to any contender on the Left save, perhaps, for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Inauthentic as many Republicans may be, Democrats have raised inauthenticity to a level approaching naked fear.

Consider former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is a good example of what politicians on the Left are afraid of and how authenticity is anathema to their political success. During the Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix last week, O’Malley dared to tell conference crashers and attendees that, “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.” In a moment, O’Malley became real. But even though his support for the notion that human life matters may be as politically courageous as supporting, say, oxygen, that same moment cast this white Democrat who supports liberal black causes as persona non grata.

What O’Malley said in essence was, ‘Hold-up, I get your cause but my life matters too. Everybody’s life matters.’ He wasn't saying black lives don’t matter; he wasn't denying the issues surrounding criminal justice and those of darker skin. He was simply offering up from his heart that he gets us, he hears us, and that every life matters.


His authentic, albeit simplistic, position was so controversial that he was forced to recant and hide his real self. His fellow liberals forced him to be fake, inauthentic and to ultimately apologize for the sin of being himself and valuing all lives. That is the story of the Left and most politicians in general; they don't dare reveal their realness.

Hillary Clinton certainly won’t reveal anything about herself, real or otherwise. She hides herself from the media under the guise of ‘listening’ to voters. What is a better symbol for hiding than the placement of a government email server in your own home? As for Bernie Sanders, he is actually more aligned with Trump than any of his Democrat rivals. At least he’s authentic enough to tell people up front that he’s a socialist (Academically, he is a redistributionist not a socialist but what the heck?).

No one on the Democratic political stage today is more inauthentic than President Obama. While running for president in 2008, he had to disavow the ravings of his pastor who preached to him for 20 years. Candidate Obama told America that marriage is a union of one man and one woman. Now that he occupies the White House, it is bathed in a gay pride rainbow of floodlights. Obama said that he couldn’t unilaterally suspend deportation and then alters immigration law through executive fiat.

I was plenty upset during the big government years of George W. Bush but at least when he opened his mouth, you knew what you were getting. By the same token, you may not like Trump’s gasbaggery but his authenticity is no superficial patina; it is the real deal.


Even Trump’s hypocrisy is authentic. Regarding his donations to Democrats he told Sean Hannity that as a businessman he wasn’t stupid, “So, what am I going to do, contribute to Republicans… for my whole life when…against some Democrat. And the most they can get is one percent of the vote.” Trump’s move from pro-choice to pro-life was a gradual shift not an overnight flip based on some pollster’s advice. His trajectory on these matters has been anything but linear.

Humans are always inconsistent, contradictory and have a fleeting mind. F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” So, just maybe, Trump is a whole lot smarter than you.

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