AFRICA, ASIA, AND EUROPE DID NOT PRODUCE THE RACES. UN-COLORING RACE, A BLOG BY JEFF MORTON
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
The Rise Of The Feel-Bad Candidate by Elie Pieprz
I met Elie while in Washington DC a few years ago. I think Elie makes several good points here so I asked him if I could re-post his article.
My Two Cents:
Their are far too many people in our country who don't know history, who don't know our constitution and who don't know what day of the week it is. This segment of our society votes too! I think for them it connects them to at least something and so for this reason they vote. I have been to rallies whereby I have had the good pleasure to ask a few questions to a few detractors.......
I began calling these folks, "The Jerry Springer Audience" after hearing some of their answers. I started wondering why these people come to rallies...Hence my very speculative rational is this-They have no idea?
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to onlookers and reporters as he departs through a back door after meetings at Republican National Committee (RNC) headquarters in Washington March 31, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst∧
In trying to explain away the popularity of Donald Trump, conventional wisdom suggests that Americans are angry, appreciate someone “saying it like it is,” want simple answers, want someone to fight for them, and more. While those explanations do seem to make some sense, why is this the year of The Donald? Is this just a Republican phenomenon? Why are so many Democrats feeling the Bern? Are Americans angrier this year than other years? Why does the electorate eschew policy details in favor of the detail-free elucidations and juvenile solutions that Donald is offering? What is so unique about Americans wanting leaders who will fight for them? Isn’t that the case in every election?
Presidential politics often comes down to the swing of the pendulum. The electorate is normally fed up with certain characteristics of their current commander in chief and seek his foil in the following election cycle. While voters are affected by the key issues that are advocated by each of the candidates, a significant percentage of the electorate is even more strongly impacted by style rather than policies.
Leaving policies aside, after eight years of President George W. Bush, both the Left and the Right were sick of having a President who could not enunciate a clean sentence in front of a camera. He continued to struggle with the world nuclear. When he would make a prime time address, his detractors would smirk, and his supporters would cringe. Both were yearning for a change in style, if not substance, in 2012.
Welcome candidate, and later President, Obama. Whether you agreed with his politics or not, most Americans were taken by his style, the smoothness of his delivery and how he appeared in front of the camera. In this regard, the red & blue fault lines were drawn between whether you were incensed by the fact that he regularly used a teleprompter, or could care less.
Yet after eight years of Obama, liberals and conservatives were once again ready for some change. Both have a sense of disillusionment (to different degrees) in terms of the policies that have emerged from the Obama years. Both (to different degrees) were taken in by the Obama mystique, and want to be absolutely sure that they are not sucked in again by another ‘Feel Good Candidate’.
So what is the corrective to the cool and smooth Obama years? Candidates who are ornery and amateurish. Voters are attracted to the candidate who actually makes them feel a bit uncomfortable.
Because voters across the political spectrum are resolute in their fear of falling for a slick and well groomed candidate who makes us feel good about ourselves – and merely disappoints after Election Day.
Now, voters are so focused on identifying that fighter, who speaks in a manner that conveys the sense of urgency that voters’ frustrations demand. It requires communicating in a direct – even abrupt manner – that suggests that this time the candidate really gets it. Not only are voters accepting the candidates’ direct and impetuous rantings, but voters are actually preferring candidates who make them feel a bit uncomfortable in the manner, and even the choice of words, used to present and argue their positions. Voters want to be absolutely confident that they are not being seduced by a candidate’s picture perfect resume, family or hair. When they are supporting their candidate, they know that it is for only one reason. And that is they expect him to win – not the election — but to win at governing. The electorate has no more patience for political correctness or even the political process. They are resisting the allure of the well-presented candidate particularly one that seems packaged for the media and created by the political donor class.
So whether the electorate is completely or only partially in agreement with the candidate’s views, it is precisely their discourteous or even awkward presentation and raw, unpolished staging that makes them appear more genuine and is earning them votes. The more adverse the presentation of the candidate is, the more confident the electorate will be that his fate won’t be like the previous White House residents. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice…
And therefore, similar percentages in both parties (through March 31, 37 percent of Republicans have voted for Donald Trump and 42 percent of Democrats have voted for Bernie Sanders) help demonstrate that the distrust for the political system is consistent throughout the American body politic, and their supporters are voting based on the same criteria despite being on different sides of the political spectrum. These millions of voters are specifically voting for the candidate who makes them feel just a little bit uncomfortable.
And so it is the feel-bad candidate that is making the voters feel good.
Elie Pieprz is an American political consultant based in Israel and can be followed at @ePieprz