Finally, a populist candidate speaking truth to power. His campaign has only started to take off, so there will be plenty of interesting developments ahead. Here are a few observations so far.
There's always a worry with populist candidates that they'll back down or water things down once they're in office. Not with Trump, who is not a career politician. Being a winner to a politician means getting elected to the highest possible office for the longest possible time. Whether you do a terrible job or not doesn't matter.
Trump has little room left to climb on the status pyramid — why not shoot for leader of the free world? Well, what kind of status boost would it be to rule over an increasingly third-world shithole of a country? It would be an embarrassment. Trump's ego works in our favor, since he couldn't stand being known as the leader of a loser country, which is what we're going to wind up as if current trends continue. His megalomania wouldn't be satisfied until he made the nation something worth bragging about again.
Even if he ends up not winning the Presidency, his assault on PC bullshit of all types will have tremendous immediate results. It's like those classic experiments on conformity that Solomon Asch ran. You're asked which of two lines is longer, and one is very obviously longer than the other. However, before you get to answer, about a dozen other people give the wrong answer. Faced with the pressure of sticking out, a good portion of people (by no means all) will quietly go along with the wrong answer.
But when there's just one other person who speaks the truth before it's your turn, it completely shatters the conformity effect. You are guaranteed to give the right answer, ignoring all the other wrong answers and latching onto the single right answer. "Phew, so I'm not the only one who thinks everyone else here is nuts!"
Sure, there are a handful of people who will straight-talk like Trump in real life, but they don't have much of a megaphone and are not very numerous. They can shatter the conformity effect for a good deal of folks who they come into contact with, but not the entire society. And in case you haven't been paying attention, it's been a good 20 years (the culture wars of the '90s) since any major public figure made a point of declaring that the Emperor wasn't wearing any clothes.
The media and political establishment have no clue how to react, since Trump is pointing out a very clear and very public error that they've all made — all said that the shorter line was longer, and based policies off of that. They're used to everyone having drunk the kool-aid, and only arguing about, say, how much longer the actually-short line is.
Trump is not nitpicking within the range of the received error, he's pointing out that at the basic level, they've all got it backwards — that's the shorter line, dummy, not the longer one! What kinda moron can't see that? The establishment is either stupid, incompetent, blind, deceitful, lying, or something — how else can they explain failing such an easy question like illegal immigration or free trade deals?
What the whining classes take to be mudslinging and name-calling is just the opposite: it's revealing that the Emperor is wearing no clothes. They're used to a charge of "incompetent" meaning that the person bungled the job of flooding more immigrants into the country, or bungled the job of securing more power for corporations than for nations. The elites all have the same goals, and only name-call one another for not living up to their shared ideal.
Trump is interrupting the conversation to ask, point-blank, what the hell kinda ideal is that? — Mexican criminals pouring over the border, and manufacturing sent to China so we can buy a bunch of cheap junk? He isn't targeting a particular individual for failing to live up to an ideal that he shares with them. He's targeting the whole lot of them for sharing such a warped and twisted ideal in the first place!
Shifting the direction that society is headed in — what ideals it will pursue — is far more worrisome to the establishment than mere character assassination. Of course, they don't want to open up a whole debate about whether their ideals are worth holding or not, since hardly any ordinary citizens would take their side. They are left only with mud-slinging (something they do out of habit anyway), which only helps Trump out.
"Do you see? They know I'm right on the issues about where the country is headed, so they ignore that and try to attack my character instead. Cowards!"
Lastly, one common view is that the WASP-y founding stock here has grown too timid, bored, or brainwashed into liberalism that it will take someone on the periphery of white America to deliver us from the plague, a la Giuliani in New York during the '90s. No self-respecting Italian is gonna let some buncha darkie bums get in his way of cleaning up The City.
And yet ethnic / peripheral whites vote liberal. The Celto-Germanic mass of the population may be in a slumber, but they have a keen sense of how much has been lost from recent demographic changes. Italians, Poles, etc., may (or may not) be outraged at the influx of corrosive Mexicans, but that's more of a turf war over who makes a better group of immigrants. They aren't from the founding stock.
Trump is Scottish on his mother's side and Bavarian on his father's. His personality is certainly more on the Celtic side, and he's Presbyterian rather than Catholic. Hard to find a more mainline American candidate than that.
He's also born and raised in New York, where he has stayed into adulthood. That's way more than you can say for the rootedness of the likes of George W. Bush, a New England preppy who LARPs as a Texan, or John McCain, a DC-area native who took up his Wild West cosplay act in middle age. Yosemite Sam also chose his running-mate for cosplay points ("Alaska: The Final Frontier"), and all it did was prove to voters how flakey and shallow people are out West. Romney was born and raised in Michigan, but his heritage is Mormon — more weird Westerners.
I haven't voted since Nader in 2000 (volunteered during the campaign on campus, too), but now there's a far more likely populist candidate to get behind. I honestly never thought I'd be voting again until old age. Voting Trump in 2016 could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to kick the Establishment right in the balls, and end their chances of reproducing.