What is making Donald Trump so popular? Why are so many people voting for this obnoxious character in the primaries? Does he have a chance of being President? I would like to explore these questions with you today.
Why So Popular?
In the Paul Newman movie “Cool Hand Luke” the head prison guard said this throughout the movie: “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” What we have in the United States today is a failure to govern. We have a Congress and President that aren’t working on behalf of the people, but on behalf of their party, their donors (special interests), and themselves. Moreover, Obama has shown himself to be a weak leader. Meanwhile the country is facing serious problems, including a multi-trillion dollar debt, increased threats from Islamic terrorist organizations (ISIS), jobs being shipped overseas, and a host of other challenges too numerous to mention.
Why are people voting for Trump?
The people are crying out for Congress and the President to get back to work and stop playing politics. They must learn to compromise, because that’s the only way anything will get done. The people aren’t stupid – they see the mess we’re in and cry out for action. The votes for Trump are a clear message to The Establishment: get to work and begin to deal with the multiple problems and challenges we’re facing as a nation and a world.
Trump appeals to people because he tells it like it is, and then some. He’s saying he’ll get things done, that he’ll tackle the problems facing us. Talk is cheap – how’s he going to be effective if he still has a do-nothing Congress?
There’s no question that Trump gets thing done – in the world of business. He has employees who jump when he tells them to do something. He can seriously influence the people he deals with, such as vendors and suppliers. He’s got clout and can get things done. He’s often dealing with motivated people who also want to get things done: a signed contract, a finalized union agreement, etc.
But as President he’ll be working in a totally different milieu. He’ll have to deal with a Congress which has been pretty much useless for the past 30 years or so. Congress seems to have little motivation or incentive to accomplish anything. How will he handle them?
Can He Win over Hillary?
Hillary has a lot of baggage: she’s part of The Establishment, she’s tied closely with Obama, and she’s viewed by some voters as untrustworthy. Trump could beat her, but it’s hard to tell. If he became president, I have some fears about the possibility of significant failures: he might alienate foreign leaders; he might not be able to work with Congress effectively; he might become somewhat of a dictator, refusing to work with Congress and compromise. How would he deal with Putin or North Korea, for example? Can he think strategically?
While Trump is addressing the right issues, he’s been short on policy. How specifically would he solve these problems? Is he all talk but little action? It’s hard to tell. But the people might just vote for him with the attitude that things couldn’t get much worse, and – who knows – he might actually turn out to be a good president (like Ronald Reagan). So I believe he could very well be elected, and may actually do a good job. I would suggest that if you vote for Trump, vote for a Republican senator and a Republican representative. If he has a clear Republican majority in both houses, he might just be able to work with a more cooperative Congress and get something accomplished. If he doesn’t have those majorities then I think you can forget about anything being accomplished and we’ll just have more of the same gridlock, just with more bluster.
Pray for this country, pray for the election, pray that this country will once again look to God and not politicians for their salvation. Pray the following verse when you pray:
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” NRSV