Do You Hear the People Sing? Why Donald Trump Has Gained So Much Support

One of the most common accusations that I’ve heard against Trump is that he is nothing more than a demagogue, an egotistical populist tapping into the fears and frustrations of Americans for the sake of his own selfish ambitions. Initially, that’s where I assumed he drew his immense support. People are tired of Obama, tired of politicians not doing what they say, tired of losing their jobs, tired of Obamacare killing their livelihoods and businesses, tired of social justice warriors worrying about stupid little things and eroding their values all at the same time, tired of crime, tired of terrorism, tired of division, tired of being the laughing stock of the world, and they’re tired of not having a voice. Michael Moore of all people said it best here:

While I unexpectedly found myself cheering at the end of this video, in the back of my mind I thought it did Trump supporters a slight disservice because I don’t think it shows the whole picture. Perhaps at first this may have been our primary motivation, but today that could not be further from the truth. We may be frustrated, but we’re not angry. We’re not full of so much hate that we’d ever seek to lose sight of what’s truly important. But before moving on, let’s break down the differences between anger and frustration with a little analogy.

Say your mom walks in and finds a puddle near the fridge. Looks like water. An angry mother would shout to her kids or husband, “Who did this?” thus placing the blame on someone else. She might even accuse her family of lying or revoke various privileges to punish those accused of lying and/or causing the spill. All in the hopes of catching the culprit and ensuring the spill doesn’t happen again. 

Meanwhile the spill is still there. 

A frustrated mother would be tempted to blame others (no one likes messes, it’s not fun), but first she would consider other possibilities — while she cleans up the mess. Upon closer inspection, the liquid seems to be emanating from the bottom of the fridge. Aha! Perhaps the fridge had a leak? Perhaps it’s just a simple malfunction? Perhaps it’s just a really old fridge way past its warranty? All valid possibilities. So the mother tells the husband about it, they call a mechanic, and it turned out that the leak was a simple fix. The fridge didn’t leak anymore, and everyone in the family went on with their happy lives. The mother saw no need to blame her family for the mess. There was no punishment, no animosity, and no division. A simple frustration bloomed into a long term solution that benefited everyone and hurt no one. Meanwhile, pure anger not only diverted the problem and left it unsolved, but it also created more problems than existed to begin with. 

This is the difference between my initial caricature of Trump supporters and the actual sentiments of Trump supporters. They’re frustrated, but they’re not angry. Anger is irrational. Frustration isn’t. They want to give a middle finger to Washington, but not in a way that hurts this country. They want solutions that will help themselves and their children for generations to come, not quick-fixes or scapegoating that will only satisfy the present anger temporarily. These are the conservatives I know. I thought I had lost touch with them, but I could not have been more wrong. 

Take a look at this clip from the Hunger Games: 

“Why do we have a winner?…Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear.” 

Above all else, Trump supporters are patriots. We are not motivated by fear, anger, hatred, or anything the media labels us as. We’re frustrated, but it’s a productive frustration. And that frustration isn’t even the primary drive for our support. Trump would not have gotten this far if he motivated people by fear alone. It’s hope. After attending one of his rallies, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the patriotism and optimism emanating from that room was something very special. I had never seen or felt anything like it before. This truly is a movement. We love our country and want it to be the greatest it can possibly be for the sake of our families and our children. We want to be proud of this country again, and Donald Trump is the man to do it. That’s why we support him.

“…that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” – Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, 1863. 

Categories: Politics