Opinion: Trump's S.C. Win: A Theory

The [America] will rise again
Instagram/Donald Trump
Donald Trump campaigns in South Carolina last week.

Since June, when he formally announced, pundits of every medium have twisted themselves into crazy straws trying to explain Why Trump. To me, they’ve failed to drill down to the heart of it. Yes, he appeals to people who feel they’ve been “left behind,” whatever they think that means. He appeals to nativist, xenophobic strains that had lain dormant in the culture, etc. But why him, why now, especially since his win in the South Carolina Republican primary yesterday all but guarantees him the nomination?

This, from the British newspaper The Guardian, does the best job of getting to the real reason. It’s not a matter of digging deeper but digging in the right place. Trump’s just the effluent from the churn of global capitalism, and he has partners.

As incisive as this analysis is, I do think there’s something else about the Trump phenomenon that’s uniquely American, and especially Southern: a loud, pig-ignorant, buffoonish pulpit bully whose brand is pure belligerence, which his followers mistake for strength.

From Frank Bruni’s New York Times column this morning:

Another woman told me that she craves a president who is fearless, really fearless, and that of all the candidates in the race, Trump seems the least bowed, the least cowed. She trusts him to fight. All he does is fight. And a fight is what’s in order.

There’s something else we shouldn't ignore. Why wouldn’t a campaign slogan based on the idea of restoring the greatness of an unjustly disgraced nation play like magic in Fort Sumter’s state?

Categories: The Buzz