In an election cycle where it seems that the main gripe of American voters is they are tired of the same old politicians saying and doing the same old things, one thing is certain. Love him or hate him Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is definitely the anti-status quo. His own comments, actions, and the way he has run his campaign has turned conventional wisdom and those who worship it upside down. And why not, all we have to do is take a look at the traditional campaigns of past GOP nominees. How well did tradition work for John McCain and Mitt Romney?
Traditionally, during the week of Party Conventions, the opposing Party usually takes a break. This year, during the Democratic Convention, because Trump is the Republican nominee, that did not happen. On Wednesday of that week, Trump held a lively press conference where he not only attacked Hillary Clinton, but also gave the business to the DNC, and the media, and their obvious support of the Clinton campaign. Since that press conference, America has also been introduced by the Democrats to the Khan family, an American Muslim family whose son was killed in Iraq in 2004.
While there may be many a differing opinion on Trump’s comments about the Khans, that press conference and more specifically Trump’s handling of Clinton, Democrats, and the media is exactly what his supporters want to see more of. Not being nice is why Donald Trump is where he is. But will it get him elected president?
Republicans have a long sugary history of being nice. Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney didn’t stand a chance against the pit bull attack machine of the Democratic Party, and in McCain and Romney’s case it was imperative that they smile, bend over, and say thank you sir may I have another when both were up against the then potentially first black president in Barack Obama. At the time of the third presidential debate in 2012, the terror attacks in Benghazi were still fresh on the minds of Americans. It was served up to Romney on a silver platter, he could have hit Obama with a series of questions and comments, hitting an intellectual home run. Republicans kept waiting for it, and it never came. In 2008, John McCain it seemed never even considered not being nice, even going so far as to temporarily suspend his campaign for a time at the start of the 2008 financial crisis.
Much has been said and written about Donald Trump’s demeanor. He is rude, crass, says whatever comes into his head. Yet there are also thousands of supporters who line up to attend his events, with still more who never get in. Is the “not nice“ factor a problem for them? Many a Trump supporter will say not only is it not a problem, it is refreshing to hear a politician say what he thinks, regardless of whether it is pretty or not. How many more Trump supporters are out there who are still, to borrow a phrase, “in the closet”?
Donald Trump is often his own worst enemy, but the mainstream media will continue to manufacture stories in order to take him out. Polls will continue to be designed to show sizeable leads for Hillary Clinton. The question may be though, how many voters have realized that the Democrats have no intention of being nice, and that if he wants to be elected, Donald Trump may just be on to something if he throws being nice out the window?