Lion of the Blogosphere

Political science professor weighs in on the appeal of Trump

Good article written by a political science professor about why voters like Trump. And no, it’s not your standard Trump-hating article about the voters being racist.

He says that the voters actually think he’s more competent than the politicians in Washington.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 17, 2016 at 8:27 am

Posted in Politics

35 Responses

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  1. I’ve been thinking about the “Establishment” and what exactly it is.

    The establishment is essentially composed of 3 groups: donors, elected officials and the consultants/lobbyists/intellectuals/media figures/party hacks (CLIMPs).

    When we talk about “the establishment” fighting Trump, it is really only the latter group. The donors and elected officials seem to largely be at peace with Trump. They’d prefer a guy like Rubio or Jeb but they are practical people who want to win first and foremost.

    The CLIMPs function as both an outer-party as well as a sort of “deep state” within the party itself.

    Would the donors and elected Republicans be suicidal enough to steal the nomination from Trump? No way. Would the CLIMPs? I really don’t know. Some are undoubtably #NeverTrump’ers who will fight to the bitter end but I suspect most can be coerced and cajoled into going along with Trump.

    If they can’t? Well, it’s their funeral.

    Otis the Sweaty

    March 17, 2016 at 9:13 am

    • Otis: what sorts of groups/people comprise the anti-CLIMP forces? Who comprise the alternate pole of power?


      March 17, 2016 at 11:05 am

      • what sorts of groups/people comprise the anti-CLIMP forces? Who comprise the alternate pole of power?

        The grassroots, or rather the non establishment grass roots. It is easy to forget that there is a very large constituency amongst GOP primary voters for open borders and crony capitalism. 35% of GOP primary voters.

        The other 65% is divided between the Trumpians, the TruCons and the Stupid Christians.

        Until Trump and Cruz there really was no alternative to the CLIMPs because while there were anti CLIMP voters, only the Stupid Christian subset had anybody to vote for. The others either didn’t vote, voted for joke candidates or scattered their votes amongst a variety of GOPe candidates.

        Trump is special because he can rally the large plurality of Trumpians amongst R primary voters and Cruz is unique in that he can simultaneously get TruCons and Stupid Christians, which is only worth 25% nationally but is an exceptionally potent combination in 10-15 states.

        Otis the Sweaty

        March 17, 2016 at 11:49 am

      • To press Otis further, I would ask who are the leaders of “the Trumpians, the TruCons and the Stupid Christians” in media, politics, and other organizations?


        March 17, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      • Ann Coulter and Matt Drudge are leaders of the Trumpians.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 17, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      • Until this election cycle, Ann Coulter was a very standard True-Con pundit. Maybe even something less than that, since she was quite critical of the Tea Party.

        It seems Trump’s supporting “institutions,” such as they are, are mostly just a handful of conventional conservative things that have been won over for one reason or another, rather than voices previously on the fringes of the political conversation.

        J.J. McCullough

        March 17, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      • Ann Coulter and Matt Drudge are leaders of the Trumpians.

        Where would we be without those two, Trump himself and Jeff Sessions?

        And that’s in a nation of 300+ million.

        Trump’s guy Miller out of Duke is also excellent, came from the Sessions team.

        So 5 people are spearheading this movement. Amazing!


        March 17, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      • I think that Drudge, and Coulter through her influence with Drudge, were extremely key to helping Trump gain steam.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 17, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    • “Would the donors and elected Republicans be suicidal enough to steal the nomination from Trump? No way. Would the CLIMPs? I really don’t know. Some are undoubtably #NeverTrump’ers who will fight to the bitter end but I suspect most can be coerced and cajoled into going along with Trump.”

      If Hillary wins, they know the next 4-8 years will be business as usual. If Trump wins, their place at the trough is threatened and their influence is diminished, and they know this too. Which would you choose were you them?


      March 17, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      • I would choose Trump several reasons:

        1. Trump is 0 threat to their economic and political interests if he wins. He will give them everything they want in terms of crony capitalism, deregulation and judge nominees. He will have to secure the border as a sop to the base but the money guys and politicians can live with that, it’s the CLIMPs who cannot.

        2. Hillary is an incompetent woman. A Hillary presidency would be a nightmare of constant foreign crisis abroad and BLM inspired crime spikes at home. Bad for business and even the stability of the Republic.

        3. The donors and politicians hate Democrats and Hillary. They hate the media and hate PC. They don’t like Trump either, but they’ll side with him against eternal leftist enemies.

        4. Robbing Trump would devastate the GOP amongst the white working class, who even the GOPe knows that they absolutely need to win elections. And make no mistake, they want to win elections because they want to be in power. That is why they got in this business in the first place. The donors and politicians would never willingly destroy the party because without a viable GOP, they have no reason to even exist.

        If you read the NRO article I posted, it is the CLIMPs who are saying that they are willing to get voted out of office if that is the price of stopping Trump, not the donors and politicians. And at the end of the day, the CLIMPs work for the donors and politicians, not the other way around.

        Remember, Hitler and Mussolini came to power by allying with the conservative elites despite having economic agendas that were much less appealing to them than are Trump’s to the Republican elites.

        Don’t know if they had CLIMP’s in Weimar Germany though. I kinda doubt it.

        Otis the Sweaty

        March 17, 2016 at 2:30 pm

  2. National Review article about the divide between Republican Congressmen and the CLIMPs:

    Otis the Sweaty

    March 17, 2016 at 9:34 am

  3. It’s wild to me that what no one ever, EVER mentions in their serious, in-depth Trump analysis is the role his TV show played in his political success.

    “The Apprentice” was a popular show that ran for 11 years. It’s how most Americans got to know the man and judge his character. Yet even this column, which is supposedly about Trump’s reputation as a competent businessman, has no interest in exploring the reality TV origins of that reputation.

    I get the impression there is a lot of “I-am-the-world” bias happening with political commentators, be they on the right, left, alt-right, far-left, you name it. Because most people who take politics seriously enough to analyze elections in-depth do not watch silly reality shows, there is an underlying assumption that Trump’s silly reality show they never watched is somehow an irrelevant variable.

    I would really like to see a poll documenting how many Trump voters are former “Apprentice” fans.


    March 17, 2016 at 10:16 am

    • Omarosa for VP !!


      March 17, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      • This is actually incorrect. By this reasoning, Jennifer Lawrence should be running for President.

        Trumps’ popularity is based on two factors: 1) His stance on immigration and trade; 2) the hysterical establishment overreaction to Trump’s stance on trade and immigration.


        March 17, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      • map: Trump is the first celebrity to run for president. I suspect Jennifer Lawrence would probably be a strong candidate too, if she decided to run.

        It’s frankly weird to me that more celebrities have not run prior to this, given they are super-rich, have very high name recognition/favorability, and tend to assume they have answers to all the world’s problems.

        J.J. McCullough

        March 17, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      • Reagan was a well known actor before he was a politician.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 17, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      • Reagan’s days as an actor were long past by the time he ran for president. His last movie was in 1964. He served two terms as governor of California and was a well-known conservative activist.

        He had nothing comparable to the star power of The Donald.


        March 17, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    • People who lived in the NY/NJ/CT area in the 80s and 90s were familiar with Trump long before “The Apprentice.”


      March 17, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      • Indeed, I was familiar with Donald Trump in the 1980s.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 17, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      • I remember the “short-fingered vulgarian” controversies of the early 90s, when I was in elementary school. Trump’s fingers haven’t gotten any longer (I’m assuming Rubio’s comments were intended as a dog-whistle to Spy Magazine fans) and his style hasn’t gotten any classier since then.

        Greg Pandatshang

        March 17, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      • Yeah, assuming they were conscious of the world around them in those days. Two-thirds of this country is under the age of 40.

        And 95% of Americas live outside greater New York.


        March 17, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    • I actually watched a random season of The Apprentice (season 2) to see what Trump was like in the show.

      He is actually far less loudmouthed and rambunctious in The Apprentice than he is elsewhere. All of the drama usually comes from the contestants on the show. Trump usually comes off as a tough, plain-spoken judge, rather than a carnival barker like so many people expect. (Omorosa is remembered for being a drama queen, not Trump.)

      Trump is given a large amount of social proof on the show. He gives business tips and strategies, all of the contestants suck up to him, and he’s given plenty of opportunities to show off his wealth and contacts with other elite celebrities, businessmen, etc.

      Of course, I only watched one season because the film crew was more intent on capturing the disputes and the drama, and skipped out on much of the business. So to me, it’s just another reality TV show that showed Trump in a fairly glowing light.


      March 17, 2016 at 4:04 pm

  4. The design layout of his website is prole, to say the least!

    I rank real world focused, Political Science as a bottom tier major, in an intellectual environment, together with anything strictly vocational based. Ironically, PolySci degrees have no immediate pragmatic value. It’s only a stepping stone to the legal field.


    March 17, 2016 at 10:48 am

  5. Blobbyy

    March 17, 2016 at 10:53 am

  6. OT but have you seen “The Big Short”? I watched it last night and was really disappointed. The writer seems to have a very low estimate of the intelligence of the typical viewer. It would have been nice to see a more serious treatment of the subject.


    March 17, 2016 at 11:16 am

    • It is on my to-watch list, but I haven’t seen it yet.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 17, 2016 at 11:23 am

      • SKIP IT. Awful as political/economic analysis. Awful as a movie. Embarrassingly bad.
        Again, see the Coen’s “The Man Who Wasn’t There.”


        March 17, 2016 at 6:56 pm

  7. Why wouldn’t voters think Trump was more competent than the career politicians? What have they ever accomplished other than get elected?


    March 17, 2016 at 11:27 am

  8. While I was in law school I took this guy’s undergrad intro to international relations class. Seemed like a neo-con, but a patriotic one nonetheless. On the first day of class, he said something like “I use ‘we’ when referring to the United States. Too bad if you find that offensive.” He mentioned once that his ancestors were Jewish, and how bad it was that Obama wasn’t doing anything about Syria while Assad was killing his people.


    March 17, 2016 at 12:50 pm

  9. voters actually think he’s more competent than the politicians in Washington.

    Who was the last President who was NOT a lawyer / politician?


    Most of the Presidents since then have sucked.

    Time to give a non-politician a try — and his “lack of experience in governance” is actually a plus.


    March 17, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    • I think “Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces During WWII” is a long way from “reality TV star.”


      March 17, 2016 at 2:51 pm

      • That may be, but having billions and spearheading the building of skyscrapers aint nothin’ to sneeze at.


        March 17, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      • Um, vastly successful businessman.


        March 17, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      • “Vastly successful” is very debatable, as we have seen.


        March 17, 2016 at 9:46 pm

  10. the best pro-trump article i have read in the MSM is this one:

    “Trump spent a good part of his time talking about an entirely legitimate issue, one that could even be called leftwing. Yes, Donald Trump talked about trade. It seems to obsess him: the destructive free-trade deals our leaders have made, the many companies that have moved their production facilities to other lands.”

    “Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America – one of our two monopoly parties – chose long ago to turn its back on these people’s concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class. The working people that the party used to care about, Democrats figured, had nowhere else to go, in the famous Clinton-era expression. The party just didn’t need to listen to them any longer.”


    March 18, 2016 at 4:41 am

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