The Trump in the Room

According to a Reuter’s poll Donald Trump has experienced a surge in a pool of likely Republican voters.

This recent surge appears in the wake of what looked to me like a weak showing in the recent debates and increasingly erratic comments. The poll was taken before a recent rambling speech in Iowa but it is noticeable that the supposed flash-in-the-pan popularity of Donald Trump among Republican voters has been repeatedly portrayed as a bubble about to burst and yet he remains a front runner.

As such he is a stark reminder of the difficulty in discussing politics when you can’t place yourself in the minds of people who are thinking quite differently you. Ben Carson, despite the absurdity of his biographical claims, is much easier to make sense of in terms of popularity. Carson is a genuinely talented person who has spent his life doing good and at least appears honest. Many of his views are appalling but only in ways that are common place among his target audience.

Trump looks and sounds like a joke. While he is not a career politician he fits the mold of the kind of city elite despised by the small town populism of the US right. He is even a part of the despised ‘lamestream’ media. He isn’t overtly religious and certainly not pious and he has been relentlessly negative towards his opponents. Perhaps peak-Trump has passed or is about to pass but that it has lasted this long requires some explanation.

The only obvious thing is that he really, really doesn’t seem to give a shit. In a world of fake smiles and forced positions it is possible that despite his oddly fake looking appearance that his capacity to just say whatever he feels like saying is what is driving his popularity.