Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Do You Know Why Trump is Popular?

  1. Jan 11, 2016 #1

    lisab

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    If so, can you 'splain it all to me? No one expected Trump to last.

    Most thought that he'd be gone faster than a toupee in a hurricane.

    Yet here we are, just weeks from the Iowa caucus -- AND HE'S STILL HERE. Real Clear Politics has Trump and Cruz tied in Iowa (27% each, but it remains to be seen whose supporters will actually turn out to vote). We're all aware that opinion polls and votes are different - but that's OK, because I'm specifically asking about Trump's popularity.

    My question is to people who follow US politics: How do you explain Trump's support? What's going on there? The pundits struggle to explain it, which you probably already know if you follow US politics. No denying it: there are people out there who really LOVE the guy. Why? I'm especially interested in what PF conservatives think.


    Please read this next part before posting!


    All PFers who follow the Current Events forum should know by now how we feel about posting opinions here: you can post your opinion as long as you clearly understand that other people - good, kind, generous, honest, lovely people - may hold the opposite opinion. Adamantly.

    So in this thread I'm asking for your opinion - yes you! you good, kind, generous, honest, lovely person, and I ask that you maintain respect for all of us good, kind, generous, honest, lovely people who are posting alongside you.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2016 #2

    Bystander

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    He tells it like it is; not what you or I would like.
     
  4. Jan 11, 2016 #3

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'd never vote for him, but I do love that he drives liberals in/and the media nuts. Delicious irony.

    Conservatives feel like oppressed minorities. Obama doesn't govern for us, he governs against us. The media doesn't report the news for us, it reports the news against us. Trump lashes out/back at that and for many, that's enough to be attractive.

    That, and Trump is really the only one with name recognition and a serious high profile. The others split the more moderate vote and Trump gets a large majority of the more right wing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  5. Jan 11, 2016 #4

    lisab

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I understand that sentiment, having been on the other side of it when Bush was President.

    But are you worried that Trump's popularity makes the GOP nomination process look like a reality-show circus, and that in turn makes the GOP look bad? (My opinion: I think it really does.)
     
  6. Jan 11, 2016 #5

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    But did Bush ever tell you he wasn't on your side?
    Yes. He can't do long-term damage, but he can cause the GOP to lose the Presidential election. At this point - though I'm still going to say I'd bet against it - there is a real possibility of him winning the nomination. That worries me because I think Hillary is beatable, but not by him.
     
  7. Jan 11, 2016 #6

    fresh_42

    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Is there ANY of the GOP candidates who isn't completely nuts? Haven't seen one.
     
  8. Jan 11, 2016 #7

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    That's not a very rational thing to say.
     
  9. Jan 11, 2016 #8
    He's basically being vocal with the opinions of many people, no matter how outright wrong they may be.
     
  10. Jan 11, 2016 #9

    fresh_42

    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    That is why I don't hear rational statements of them. The saddest thing about it is, that the best candidate means half a century of Bush government for the US. I made one of those tests where you can find out which candidate fits best to you. And I promise I answered the questions considering what I think is best for the USA. The winner wasn't among the GOP candidates.
     
  11. Jan 11, 2016 #10

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm not surprised, but if you can't see anything besides "nuts" from the other side, I submit that you aren't giving the ideas due consideration and perhaps more importantly, respect.
     
  12. Jan 11, 2016 #11

    fresh_42

    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Sorry, did you say respect? Whom? Trump's Mexican wall? Cruz' divine and changing inspirations or Carson's sights that always make you ask how in hell did he become a neurologist. Their fear of gay people? Their position on guns? On planned parenthood? Their trend to start a war? Who's been last that didn't? Nixon? Sorry, again. I'm not drunk enough.
     
  13. Jan 12, 2016 #12

    Dotini

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I'm a sort of conservative - I wear both belt and suspenders, and I've voted libertarian for the last 4 presidential elections. I will be happy to explain why Trump is loved by many.

    IMO, the simplest answer is that he is for peace and prosperity; all the others are for more conflict and war, and for the continued transfer of US jobs to foreigners.

    Slightly more complicated is his charisma. His energy, confidence, size, swagger, wealth, whatever it is, appeals strongly to many men and women.
     
  14. Jan 12, 2016 #13

    Krylov

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Could someone from the US perhaps provide me with a link to an independent vote match test for your upcoming presidential elections that includes all (most?) active Republican, Democrat and, possibly, other candidates? Is https://www.isidewith.com/ a reliable choice? Of course I can't vote, but purely for my own curiosity I would like to see what I get.
     
  15. Jan 12, 2016 #14
    Your link is actually very good. I have done it, and I'm too young to vote,
     
  16. Jan 12, 2016 #15

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    The thread is reopened. To answer false accusations made, Dale thought the thread was fine and would be fine with re-opening it, he was on duty at the time the report came in requesting the thread be closed, so closed it temporarily while the mentors discussed it. That is normal policy. Any member wishing information on a closed thread can ask the mentor.

    I agreed to allow lisab to start a thread about people's opinions on Trump since she was curious why he is so popular. If you state facts, you must provide an approved source, if your opinions include facts that are not widely publicized, you must include approved sources. If you are asked to provide sources to clarify a statement, you must provide them.

    You may not discuss other candidates, this thread is about Trump.
     
  17. Jan 12, 2016 #16

    fresh_42

    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    This is also the one I've made.
     
  18. Jan 12, 2016 #17
    Let's not make generalizations on conservatives. I happen to be a republican, and I am a leader in my school's GSA (gay straight alliance). I couldn't dream of a reason I would (if I were old enough) vote for Trump, Cruz, Carson, Huckabee or Santorum. They do not understand the separation of church and state and the separation of crazy people and government (which does need to be a thing). Look at what conservative leaders say about Trump. Paul Ryan? Dick Chaney? There are few people more conservative than them, and neither likes Trump. IMO, Trump is a fascist, not a conservative.
     
  19. Jan 12, 2016 #18
    And to be clear, I am not trying to be offensive to anyone who likes Trump. I do respect all opinions, so I'm sorry if my post is taken to be offensive, it was not meant that way.
     
  20. Jan 12, 2016 #19

    StatGuy2000

    User Avatar
    Education Advisor

    russ, I find it interesting that you feel that conservatives in the US feel like oppressed minorities, given the following:

    1. Republicans currently have control of both houses of Congress (and had control of the House of Representatives since 2010).

    2. The Republicans had control of the White House under George W. Bush for two terms, with the Republicans having effective control of both houses of Congress for much of the first term.

    3. Obama, in my opinion, isn't really that much of a liberal. For example, the Affordable Care Act (often referred to as "Obamacare", for which Obama is often credited to bringing into law) is largely based on similar legislation instituted within the state of Massachussetts by then-Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican, and the basic concepts of which were proposed by the conservative Heritage Foundation. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act#Background

    4. Fox News reports the news specifically for conservatives.
     
  21. Jan 12, 2016 #20

    StatGuy2000

    User Avatar
    Education Advisor

    lisab, to answer your question as to why Trump is so popular, my own personal opinion is that there is a tremendous degree of anger, frustration and dissatisfaction within the US, due in part to the tremendous toll that the Great Recession of 2008 had taken on the economy, which had taken years to recover from.

    Furthermore, many are incredibly frustrated on the degree to which wealthy donors and special interest groups have influenced American politics through their enormous contributions to the election campaigns of politicians at both the federal and (to a lesser extent) the state level to pay for political advertising, which has further been exacerbated by the Supreme Court Decision on Citizens United which stated that corporations had the same free speech rights as individuals, giving unprecedented ability for such special interests to give more and more money.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._FEC#Majority_opinion

    Due to the above, I suspect that many in the US feel they really can't trust any of the potential candidates (either Democratic or Republican) to really represent the interests of the people, thus giving ammunition for a candidate like Trump (who is wealthy enough not to need to fund his campaign through donations in the same way as other candidates) to make outrageous remarks that channel a lot of that anger and frustration at various scapegoats (e.g. immigrants). This must be refreshing for people out there.
     
  22. Jan 12, 2016 #21

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    Not so. Republicans definitely control the House, and they have a majority in the Senate, but it's not a large enough minority to ward off requirements of 60+ for some bills.
    I find this hard to take seriously. If Obama isn't a liberal, then I guess no one is. A president who announces that he plans to "fundamentally transform America" is pretty radical, in my view.
    I don't doubt for a minute that very many conservative voters decided against voting for Romney in the 2012 election precisely because of this. Regarding the Heritage Foundation, the wiki article says that they, "proposed an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer health care." To the best of my knowledge, not a single Republican suggestion to make Obamacare more market-oriented (such as establishment of health savings accounts, enabling customers to purchase coverage outside of their state, choice of coverage with lower or higher deductibles, etc.) were incorporated into the final bill, which Nancy Pelosi famously described as "we have to vote on it to see what's in it."
    While virtually every other news medium, print or broadcast, puts out their product with a liberal spin. How often does a reporter ask Obama or other liberal figure the kinds of hard questions that they routinely ask leaders on the right?

    I agree completely with what Russ said about conservatives feeling like oppressed minorities.

    Some anecdotal evidence below, taken from "And That's the Way It Isn't", by Brent Bozell and Brent H. Baker, publ. 1990.
    News
    Walter Cronkite - "I think most newspapermen by definition have to be liberal; if they're not liberal, by my definition of it, then they can hardly be good newspapermen." -quoted in "The Establishment vs. The People" by Richard Viguerie.

    Diane Sawyer - "Once I got a card at 60 Minutes that said, 'You are a brazen right-wing hussy,' she recalls, 'I was able to write back and say, I'm not ritght-wing." - Washington Post, Aug 2, 1989

    Mike Wallace - "I read Mother Jones carefully and look forward to every issue. After all, stories that started out in Mother Jones have wound up on 60 Minute." - as quoted in a subscription letter for the far-left magazine Mother Jones.

    Carl Bernstein - "They love their country. The German Democratic Republic, not the Federal Reublic of the West. They believe insocialism. Not the socialism of their disgraced and discredited leaders but the socialism they have been taught as an ideal for 40 years." Time, Jan 22, 1990

    Political afiliation of reporters (from a study commissioned by the AP Managing Editors Association in 1985) from a wide variety of newspapers: Boston Globe, New York Daily News, as well as many small-town newspapers, such as the Milford (CT) Statesman, Oskaloosa (KS) Herald, and others. Compared to the general public, reporters in the study were half as likely to be Republican (15% vs 31%), and more likely to be Democrat (43% vs 37%) or Independent (34% vs. 23%).

    Education
    Politics and Professional Advancement Among College Faculty
    Stanley Rothman, S. Robert Lichter, Neil Nevitte
    http://www.cwu.edu/~manwellerm/academic%20bias.pdf [Broken]
    The North American Academic Study Survey (NAASS) found that of 81 doctoral, 59 comprehensive, and 43 liberal arts institutions, the number of professors self-describing their political identification as Left/Liberal increased from 39% to 72% between 1984 and 1999. Those describing their identification as Right/Conservative decreased from 34% to 15%. The US population overall who identified as Left/Liberal stayed constant at 18% during this time, and those who identified as Right/Conservative decreased from 37% to 33%.

    And then there's Hollywood...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  23. Jan 12, 2016 #22

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    I suspect that's part of it, but I also believe that people want a leader (and not one who "leads from behind") who can make them feel safer. Cases in point:
    • the near collapse of Iraq, which was easily as safe as, say, Chicago, when Obama inherited it
    • the collapse of Syria and the concommitant rise of ISIS/ISIL
    • the dreadful nuclear treaty with Iran
    • Iran's excursions into Yemen and Syria
    • Putin's shenanigans in Ukraine
    • North Korea's recent A-test (which wasn't supposed to happen per the deal that Bill Clinton made with them)
    • the attack on Benghazi
    • etc., etc.
     
  24. Jan 12, 2016 #23

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Mark44's comments were good and I won't repeat where we overlap:
    I said "feel like", which doesn't necessarily mean they *are*. Or to put a finer point on it, yes, I believe that conservatives maintain a (slim) majority of the population, so they aren't minorities at all, but they are for lack of a better word oppressed and marginalized.
    I find that hard to swallow as well, but it isn't really the point anyway. The point was that Obama governs adversarially. Specifically, he portrays negative attitudes/actions toward whites and the rich (and by association anyone who associates with/agrees with/wants to be rich).

    I get that the more passionate on each side tend to believe opposing presidents aren't on their side, but Obama appears unique to me in his willingness to actually come right out and say it. My perception is that this caused blowback which helped the Tea Party emerge.
    Yes, and pretty much all other major news outlets lean left. It is easy to feel marginalized when most of the most successful ("mainstream") news outlets and therefore opinions being reported come from the other direction. And Fox News itself catches heavy flak and derision that while partly due to its popularity, other mirror image outlets (MSNBC) don't. That may be related to their minority status in the media.
     
  25. Jan 12, 2016 #24
    The world and politics has never been more complicated and the president's job is impossible.

    People are attracted to Trump's historical "disconnection" to politics and strong man rhetoric. I agree people are scared and think Trump will stand by them. Unfortunately building a wall, playing cards with Putin and shutting the Internet down isn't going to keep us safe.
     
  26. Jan 12, 2016 #25

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    A phenomena I've seen with Trump is that it appears The Media has locked-on to him in a way that feeds into his popularity. I often see headlines and themes that then get repeated elsewhere (here, facebook), that essentially label every single thing that comes out of his mouth as absurd or crazy, no matter what the actual content. If I read the actual quote and it doesn't look crazy, then it feeds into the us-vs-them climate that Republicans sense from the media. That triggers sympathy for and therefore support of him since he's the target. It's become a Trump oriented version of Goodwin's Law.

    Less passionate politicians make an effort to sound reasonable and not offensive, to the point of often covering-up their actual position. More radical ones (or ones who just don't care) are more likely to say controversial things, but may not necessarily mean them exactly as said. Adding to that, I think there is a tendency with most people to be able to see content through rhetoric at a rate that is inversely proportional to distance on the political spectrum. In other words, if there is something reasonable behind fiery rhetoric, you might be able to see it if you are nearby on the political spectrum, but you won't if you are further away. That's combined with the tendency to want to assume positive things about your side and negative things about the other. To say it another way: a person both wants to more and is more capable of seeing the logic in views near their own.

    I'll see if I can find some specific examples, but if people want, I can try acting as a "Trump Interpreter", to see if I can find any hidden rationality in Trump statements others post. They will just be my opinion/interpretation, but note that when it comes to politicians it isn't really possible to be sure of their exact position until they act on it. So we're all just seeing what we want to see.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook