I am no fan of Donald Trump. He is the supreme egotist and blowhard—a man who bulldozes his way through virtually everything. He has created vast wealth for himself, but he has also bankrupted four companies he controlled, walking away from loans and large invoices, hurting hundreds of small businesses along the way. Now, as a presidential candidate, he has hit a chord among some within the GOP and outside it, but his comments are all bluster with little concrete detail (then again, that's true of most, but not all, presidential candidates). He is a bull in a China shop, but maybe the fact that this country is now so fragile, so weak, and so dysfunctional that it could be called a "china shop" is part of the reason he has risen in the polls.
Peggy Noonan comments with her typical insightful analysis:
His [Trump's] rise is not due to his supporters’ anger at government. It is a gesture of contempt for government, for the men and women in Congress, the White House, the agencies. It is precisely because people have lost their awe for the presidency that they imagine Mr. Trump as a viable president. American political establishment, take note: In the past 20 years you have turned America into a nation a third of whose people would make Donald Trump their president. Look on your wonders and despair.The "impression" I get is that Trump is a reaction to weak governance, to ineffective and incompetent leadership, to petty political bickering, to disastrous and feckless foreign policy, to a general arrogance among White House insiders and government officials that allows them to blatantly lie to Congress, to the media, to the public and smile as they do it (fearing no retribution and receiving none). Trump is a reaction to rudderless national navigation, to red lines that aren't, to appeasement that is so obvious it's uncomfortable, to a Team of 2s that are so clueless they don't even realize they're 2s.
Mr. Trump’s supporters like that he doesn’t in the least fear the press, doesn’t get the dart-eyed, anxious look candidates get. He treats reporters with courtesy until he feels they’re out of line, at which point he calls them stupid. They think he’ll do that with Putin. His insult of John McCain didn’t hurt him, and not because his supporters have any animus for Mr. McCain. They just saw it as more proof Mr. Trump will take the bark off anyone.
They’re not nihilists, they’re patriots, and don’t experience themselves as off on a toot but pragmatic in a way the establishment is not. The country is in crisis, we can’t keep doing more of the same. “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” We have to do something different. He’s different. If it doesn’t work we’ll fire him.
Trump’s power is not name ID. He didn’t make his name in this cycle or the last, he’s been around 35 years. He’s made an impression.
I understand all of that. But he's the wrong reaction and the wrong man to correct the very real attributes his supporters reaction to him. I hope that other qualified GOP candidates will recognize what's happening and offer a compelling alternative. I think they will.