Trump: The Direct Representative

To state the painfully obvious, the job of president is a tough one. There are countless obligations, pressures, influences, and crises that present themselves daily. Discharging all the wildly disparate responsibilities of the office with any semblance of organizational coherence while also trying to maintain some fealty to an overriding governing philosophy is an incredibly daunting task. Despite the best intentions going into office of achieving ambitious goals on a wide array of critical issues, more often than not, the president gets mired in the quagmire of day-to-day problems and predicaments and never really gets to do what he envisioned doing as president.

Yet some presidents are better at doing what they planned on than others and as a result, they engender more fervent enthusiasm and loyalty among their supporters than other presidents.

Donald Trump is one such president. Rarely has an officeholder galvanized the frenzied passion among his voters that this president has. The attendance at his rallies -- in the tens of thousands -- is tangible proof of the enthusiasm of his followers. In contrast, during the 2016 campaign, Hillary Clinton never came even remotely close to that level of attendance. At Joe Biden’s 2020 candidate events, it seems as if you could identify the attendees by name, there are so few.

The reason for the almost unprecedented level of approval of President Trump by his supporters can be traced to one critically important factor, something that is more true for this president than for virtually any recent past president: Trump supporters feel as if President Trump is working directly on their behalf, for their specific benefit, by executing the very policies he promised to work on during his campaign.

Elected officials seem to operate in one of two ways -- either they try to enact legislation that is a direct reflection of the specific actions favored by their constituents or they view themselves as independent operators, whose supposed experience and good judgment can be relied upon to do what’s in the best interests of their precincts. That last alternative is just a nice way of saying that most politicians do what they want, according to their own personal viewpoints and philosophy, the classic “I know what’s best for you” approach. It’s not cut-and-dried, of course -- politicians fall into both camps -- but there is a general divide.

There are many issues and policies that the majority of the public would like to see changed or eliminated, but they are kept in place by partisan politicians who selfishly adhere to their own beliefs and prejudices, despite the desires of most of the country’s voters. Here are a few:

As a candidate, Trump promised several things that appealed to the day-in/day-out concerns of a large segment of the voting population, such as renegotiating international trade agreements to bolster American employment, appointing conservative Supreme Court justices, reducing income taxes, addressing the illegal immigration problem, reducing unnecessary, burdensome business regulations so companies would have more certainty and confidence and thus increase their hiring, improve the VA by opening up private doctors as a treatment option and holding ineffective VA bureaucrats accountable for their incompetence.

Since he’s been in office, he has accomplished much of this. He has done many other things for the country as well, obviously, but President Trump has put an unusually strong emphasis during his presidency on carrying out several very specific objectives in direct response to his promise to do so.

In contrast, most politicians operate as free agents once they get into office, voting and governing as they please, according to their own beliefs and values and generally ignoring the will of the voters. In fairness, it can be said that in order for those politicians to have gotten elected in the first place, they must share a reasonably significant number of beliefs and stances with their constituency and that it likely true in some instances.  But it is nowhere near true in all instances.

The majority of Americans are against late-term abortion. Most Americans favor the death penalty for the most heinous crimes. Most Americans are against race-based quotas.

Yet the Chuck Schumers, Nancy Pelosis, Adam Schiffs and Sheila Jackson-Lees of the world (among many others) just traipse blithely along, totally and arrogantly oblivious to the concerns of the American public at large. Don’t favor late-term abortion? Too bad... they do. Think race-based quotas unfairly impact too many well-qualified students? You’re out of luck if you’re the average voter who expects these extreme officeholders to represent your positions and values.

In marked contrast to past presidents, Trump’s supporters feel a direct connection between their exact individual interests and needs and the President’s positions and agenda. There is less frustration among Trump voters relative to the intentions and goals of their candidate then there is between the general public and other candidates. Trump’s supporters feel that he is really working for them, taking their interests and needs to heart and discharging their will.

His supporters are not dissuaded or distracted by the superfluous, nonsensical bleating by the liberal media about President Trump “being a racist” or “flouting the Constitution,” both of which are demonstrably, risibly false. His supporters are not swayed by the obvious, transparent attempts by pathetically partisan groups to fabricate vaporous, nonexistent “crimes” against him. His support base is rock-solid. A Trump voter has a depth of loyalty to his man -- affirmed by both his earnest intent and actual accomplishments -- that is unlike anything seen in post-World War II presidential politics.

President Trump is a direct representative and reflection of his support base. All his actions are geared toward carrying out his commitments to his backers. He does not operate based on some ethereal, hypothetical ideology. His proponents will say that makes him refreshingly different and far more effective than any president in the last several decades.

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