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Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Sept. 26, 2023

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Press Talk: Who made Donald Trump?

By , Columbian Editor

Welcome, class. I’m Professor Brancaccio, and this is “The Making of Trump: 101.”

The premise of this class is to study how someone like Donald Trump can get this close to becoming president.

Jimmy, thoughts?

“Well he has a lot of money, he’s a guy who has lived the American Dream, and we love to talk about his hair.”

Noodles, your view?

“I think Jimmy has rung the bell one too many times, professor. Look, let’s be honest here. There is a large, large segment of our population who believe they have been left out of the conversation.”

What exactly do you mean by “left out,” Noodles?

“I mean for the most part, the political conversation deals with the rich and the poor. No one appears to care about the middle class. Trump at least pretends to care.”

Why is that important? Danni?

“I think what Noodles is saying is too many in the middle class feel like no one is paying any attention to them. They are not represented or thought about.”

OK, Steven? Ideas?

“Exactly. The perception is the middle class is only important to politicians when someone has to pay the bills.”

Well, let’s talk about that a bit. Government plays many roles in our society, but what’s one of them? Jake?

“You’re right, professor, it does play a number of roles, but one of those roles is to help those who need help. So when people complain about the government helping out those in need, I get confused by that. That’s what it does.”

But do the rich need help as well as the poor? What is that about? Noodles?

“Agree or disagree, the argument for helping the rich goes like this: They’re the ones who build the businesses that build the jobs, so government — often in the form of tax breaks — helps them out.”

OK, but I’m still confused as to why Trump is getting so much middle-class support. Trump certainly is not middle class. This guy has led a privileged life. Albert?

“Well, I’m not sure the middle class cares that Trump is rich. What they care about is, he appears to be saying he hears them, the middle class is tired of being ignored, and they are literally spent when it comes to supporting all the government programs … programs they get virtually nothing from.”

But does anyone really believe Trump cares about the middle class? Jimmy?

“Professor, please. This is Politics 101. During elections, voters end up in this sort of suspended animation. They want to believe so much they lose track of logic. They snap out of it right after the election and figure out it’s an abomination.”

So what Trump — and frankly most other politicians — are saying is mostly stupid stuff? Anthony?

“Of course. Everyone gets Trump’s buffoonery. He’s worse than most outsiders. But the middle class is so fed up with professional politicians, they’re desperate. The middle class knows this. Still, they want to send a message: Don’t ignore us.”

But is electing an outsider a good thing? Remi?

“Well, I’m still pretty young, but didn’t county Councilor David Madore use the ‘outsider’ approach to get elected? Like Trump, he was a rich guy who portrayed a new vision and said he was going to clean up the mess that government was largely responsible for.”

How did that work out? Danni?

“Would ‘disaster’ be too strong a word? His short four years in office resulted in voters creating a new form of government to weaken him, countless county policies he had passed being overturned and a re-election bid that ended in embarrassment.”

Well, that might be a little much, but we’re running out of time. What might be a good wrap-up? Jimmy?

“It’s important to appreciate and understand how Trump has gotten this far. But a Trump victory would make Hurricane Matthew look like a summer breeze. Oftentimes, we’re better off dealing with the devil we know than the devil we don’t know.”

Jimmy, ring the bell! Class dismissed.

Columbian Editor