by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Pundits cite Trump’s verbal sloppiness and ridiculousness as proof that he must soon implode. But Trump sees his daily bombast as an injection of outrage for a constituency now hooked on someone who finally voices their pent-up anger. The more reckless Trump’s doses of scattergun outrageousness, the better the fix for his supporters.
Trump’s vague “make America great again” was the natural bookend to Barack Obama’s even more vacuous “hope and change.” The popularity of such empty slogans reflects a culture in which no one any longer trusts institutions, the media, government, or politicians.
The public no longer respects U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the IRS, the VA, or the GSA. Even the once-hallowed Secret Service has become a near laughingstock of incompetency, corruption, and politicization. Is the purpose of NASA really Muslim outreach, as NASA chief Charles Bolden suggested in 2010?
The world that we are told about by our government bears no resemblance to what we see and hear every day.
President Obama has exacerbated this current disconnect between the public and its officials. In unserious fashion, he shares his selfies, parades his annual Final Four picks, and jets off to Los Angeles to appear on late-night talk shows, even as he hectors Americans in sermons about their Islamophobia, their carbon footprints, their immigration xenophobia, and their gun obsessions.
Did the public earn such presidential rebukes because it believes that jihadism at home and the Islamic State abroad are more dangerous than global warming? Or because disarming law-abiding citizens will not prevent law-breaking criminals and terrorists from obtaining illegal weapons? Or because it is unwise to open the borders to anyone who can make it into the United States, few questions asked?