First Roosevelt, then Reagan, and now Trump

First Roosevelt, then Reagan, and now Trump

For the dazed and confused out there voicing concern about the continued success of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, I may have an explanation, if not an excuse. It is possible that Trump’s perch atop the Republican field is simply a sign that a large portion of the electorate, when viewed as an audience, has altered the way it receives political speech.

What Trump represents is a technological change among consumers. And while it cannot be argued that he has elevated the national discourse, such change has happened before: when Americans went from print to radio and then to television during the past 100 years.

Looking at it this way helps explain the gravity-defying trajectory of the Trump campaign since its launch in mid-June. Despite myriad predictions of his quick implosion, he has remained almost consistently in first place for the Republican nomination since July 20 (135 of 138 days through Dec. 5 to be exact, according to RCP’s polling average).

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