The Trump Phenomenon: A Republican Perspective

Donald Trump has tripled his support among Republicans since launching his campaign in June. According to a recent CNN poll, Trump had 32 percent of Republican support prior to last week’s debate. Ben Carson polled at a distant second at 19 percent. 

His positions on immigration and border security have contributed to his popularity among Republicans. “The Great Wall of Trump,” which Trump would apparently force Mexico to fund, isn’t even the most concerning part of his proposed immigration overhaul.

Trump said he would deport all 12 million illegals living in the U.S. When questioned about the potential for separating families, he responded that “they have to go” and “we will work with them.”

Mass deportation of millions of people is not a conservative position. Research conducted by the American Action Institute, a conservative think tank, indicated that mass deportation could cost the American taxpayer $300 billion and take decades. Real Republicans do not advocate for absurd, impractical policies that hinder economic growth at the expense of the American taxpayer.

Outside of his consistent hate of foreigners, Trump’s positions are all over the place. In the past, Trump has described himself as “very pro-choice,” and supported a single-payer health care system. In 2000, Trump advocated for “a one-time 14.25 percent tax on individuals and trusts with a net worth over $10 million” in order to sustain Social Security. Perhaps Bernie Sanders should consider him as a running mate.

When questioned about tax reform on a recent broadcast of Fox and Friends, Trump stated that he would support a flat tax. Shortly after, he said, “The one problem I have with the flat tax is that rich people are paying the same as people that are making very little money. And I think there should be a graduation of some kind.” In less than one minute, he flip-flopped from supporting a flat tax to a progressive tax. As the campaign season progresses, it’s quite clear that Trump is unprincipled, and makes up policy positions as he needs them.

Trump knows that he needs a substantial portion of the evangelical vote to win the primary. He says he’s a devout Christian and that his favorite book is the Bible. But when asked to recite a favorite verse from the Bible, he was unable to do so. When questioned about whether or not he’s asked God for forgiveness, Trump responded: “I am not sure I have, I just go on and try to do a better job from there.”

Donald Trump is not a conservative. He is also neither a Christian nor a champion of the common man. He’s a boorish, narcissistic reality TV star interested in self-aggrandizement and garnering public attention at the expense of the dignity of the office of the presidency. 

The majority of Trump supporters are generally low-information voters dissatisfied with the status quo. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released over the summer found that only 8 percent of Trump supports had a college degree. They’re not interested in policy positions, they’re interested in a candidate who talks loudly and impresses simple people.