The media have jumped on the idea of a Donald Trump-Sarah Palin ticket, mainly as a “joke,” or at least as something to taunt establishment Republicans with.
A lot of voters aren’t seeing themselves and their concerns as a joke, however. What they’re seeing is that an out-of-the-box curmudgeon like Trump is the only candidate saying what they would say about their concerns for America, and for their children, their jobs, and their own futures.
Sarah Palin, for her part, understands where those voters are coming from, and why Trump resonates with them. The moment we are in reminds me of a period during the Bush 43 administration, when the GOP crafted illegal-immigration questionnaires for Republicans that were worded so that the only sane answer was agreeing to “comprehensive immigration reform.” Most voters didn’t want “comprehensive immigration reform,” because it was understood to be a euphemism for a mass amnesty. But the other options on the questionnaires were so ridiculous that no one would choose them.
Trump — and Palin — are giving the voters a do-over on that biased framing of illegal immigration, as well as on other hot-button issues. Instead of trying to channel voters’ responses into policy slots pre-selected by the old-consensus party leadership, Trump is putting the issues in terms that the voters find honest and accurate. Voters haven’t seen that for literally decades now.
Of course he resonates. Palin has written about it today for Breitbart. Enjoy.
Here is an excerpt from Palin’s commentary for Breitbart on the Trump phenomenon:
The elites are shocked by Trump’s dominance, but everyday Americans aren’t. Everywhere I’ve gone this summer, including motorsport events in Detroit full of fed up Joe Six-Pack Americans, the folks I meet commiserate about wussified slates of politicians, but then unsolicited, they whisper their appreciation for Trump because he has the guts to say it like it is.
Trump’s unconventional candidacy is a shot in the arm for ordinary Americans fed up with the predictable poll tested blather of squishy milquetoast career politicians who campaign one way and govern another. But it’s not just how Trump says it, it’s what he’s saying.
Trump has tapped into America’s great populist tradition by speaking to concerns of working class voters. He talks about fighting to bring back our factories. When was the last time a candidate talked passionately about reclaiming our manufacturing base (and knew what he was talking about)? What other candidate chooses American workers over the multinational corporations donating to their campaigns? Who other than Trump is talking about the dangerous trade deficits deindustrializing America and stealing our jobs? The old Arsenal of Democracy that allowed us to win World War II is now such a distant memory that we can’t even build the parts for our own military equipment – we need China to manufacture them for us. How can a great nation maintain its greatness without a manufacturing base? Or without secure borders for that matter?
Trump focused in on two major populist grievances: the loss of working class jobs due to awful trade agreements, and the unfair competition for those jobs – along with security threats – due to the flood of illegal immigrants pouring across unsecured borders.
Now throw in Trump’s candor about “winning” and you understand why his message catches fire. As General Patton said, “Americans play to win all the time.”
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