One of the most welcome changes to come from the Trump phenomenon is the evaporation of the obsession with the personal qualities of the candidates, long held to be crucial, and focusing instead on where they stand.
The cuck teams have hilariously misread this shift, believing that they ought to copy the Donald's personality in order to catch up with his success with voters. Bush and Kasich began the first debate as the usual well-mannered, happy-go-lucky, sterile, inoffensive, dad-friendly stiffs that we'd come to expect as necessary in order to appeal to the public. After getting creamed by the Trumpinator, they've changed their tune and have been working tirelessly to present a more combative persona.
(Even that effort failed, with the two of them coming off as petty brats constantly interrupting the cool kids' discussion, or as schoolmarms aggressively wagging a finger at the instigator in the classroom who has pointed out that the Emperor is wearing no clothes.)
They believed that personality mattered, only that this time around it was the "no more Mr. Nice Guy" persona that was fashionable. All aboard the wannabe badass bandwagon! ("Yeah Jeb, you're real tough...") But what has actually been revealed is that personality doesn't matter -- positions do. I'm sure most voters would prefer a Trump who behaved a little more friendly than he does, but so what, he's the only one pushing as hard as he is on the most important issues. Nice or not nice, I'm gonna get things turned around, as sure as you're sitting there.
In contrast to the would-be Bush/Kasich ticket who duped themselves into copying the combative persona while doubling down on their elitist positions, the formerly invisible Rand Paul just put himself in line for a cabinet appointment by stressing nativism over globalism, albeit with his distinctive libertarian spin -- we wouldn't be tempted to cast such vast surveillance nets over the American people if they were largely American rather than foreigners with uncertain goals for our society. So, sorry, refugees stay over there, immigrants buh-bye. Liberty for Americans trumps welfare for foreigners.
And he hammered those points home all night without trying to constantly interrupt, puff up his chest, or otherwise pretend to be the alpha dog. I know it sounds funny to suggest he would even try, but just remember how ceaselessly Jebberino has been striving to come off as a tough guy.
Fiorina and Christie also tried to "tap into the popular anger," or however their marketing hack pollsters phrased it, by acknowledging how angry the viewers are -- but without acknowledging the source of that anger and promising to do something about it. Hard as it may be to believe, citizens don't care if you echo their anger back at them. Only if you get it, and are going to solve the underlying problems, can you ride a wave of popular anger. With them it was all style, no substance, and they resonated with nobody.
Fiorina's dead campaign is also an example of the BS about the surge of "outsiders," as though what mattered was the persona of being untainted by Washington vs. corrupted by inside-the-Beltway living. She offers total Establishment positions like wanting to start World War III with Russia over some sandbox in the Middle East, so no one gives a damn if she's a political outsider. See also the failed appeal of John McCain hyping up his cosplay Yosemite Sam persona (he's an East Coaster born and raised, only moved out to Arizona in his 40s).
Trump didn't have to imitate anyone else's personality, and no one else has had to imitate his. It all comes down to what problems the candidates identify, and what they want to do about them.
Everyone in the propaganda machine -- mass media, commentators, wonks, etc. -- has so bought into their own obsession with personal qualities rather than issues, that they just can't get it. Why aren't Bush and Kasich going up, after switching to a combative image? Rand Paul could never go anywhere by only echo-ing one of Trump's positions, if he isn't molding his persona in Trump's image, right?
The public isn't stupid. It's just that we haven't had any good candidates for decades, so the chattering classes couldn't tell that we weren't just mindless consumers in search of tabloid trash politics. "Good" meaning good on the important issues like stewarding our people, culture, and society, rather than selling it off to the highest bidder and mortgaging our demographic future just to score cheap scab labor and authentic Aztec taco trucks here and now.
If a self-promoting reality TV star, of all people, can deflate the media's obsession with personalities and restore the focus to the substantive issues, he can do anything.
I actually wouldn't put it beyond his cunning to have staged this from the outset -- create such a publicity cycle over his brash, no-apologies persona in order to fake out the initial favorite, Jeb. Make him think that the secret sauce must be the spectacle of his persona, and goad him ("looow energy") into spending most of his time and effort trying to throw together a tough guy persona, rather than simply trying to co-opt and neuter Trump's populist positions.
With a failure of a tough guy persona, and no change to his anti-populist positions, he wouldn't have a leg to stand on. All the endorsements, campaign funds, brand recognition, and bla bla bla couldn't save the poor sap.
Trump's caricature of Trump has been one of the greatest red herrings on the battlefield of politics, and the Establishment still isn't wise to it. In fact the Republican leaders just put out a memo urging the cucks to behave and talk more like Trump without actually changing their positions. They'll beat him at his own game! They saw Trump run off a cliff, so they're going to leap headlong off the cliff too! ...Only they didn't notice that he had a populist policy parachute to save himself, while the cucks will plummet flailing before their skulls crack apart.