USA | ”Speak softly and carry a big stick” är ett uttryck som brukar tillskrivas Theodore Roosevelt.
Donald Trumps strategi verkar vara den diametralt motsatta. Han talar tufft men har en pragmatisk inställning i många frågor enligt Michael Scherer i Time.
Strategin verkar fungera. Trump leder över sina republikanska rivaler i många opinionsmätningar.
“I don’t think the people running for office are real,” säger Trump. “They have to throw a lot of consultants away and be themselves. I think it is one of the things that has helped me.”
Scherer har studerat Trumps kampanjstil.
If you want to understand what is happening in the country right now, to get at its shifting id, its calcifying frustrations, its guttural demand for change, you need only listen to that message of disgust, for the political system, its falsehoods and failures, which has taken Trump to the top of the Republican polls.
“It’s a belief that the country is fundamentally broken and nobody is fixing it,” explains Republican pollster Frank Luntz. “It’s a sense that all the elites are in it for themselves and everybody else is suffering.” It is also a reminder that performance matters. On the two dimensions of your television screen, in the 20-second sound bite of an often bankrupt process, what H.L. Mencken termed “a carnival of buncombe,” a true showman can beat out rank even on his worst days.
When he says he will beat China, steal Iraq’s oil and stick it to Iran, he is selling an unlikely dream. But that, after all, is what campaigns are about. “I’m just as disappointed with the Republicans as I am the Democrats,” Trump says. “It’s just so false and so phony and they can’t move—it’s moribund. They become weak and ineffective, except with one thing, getting themselves re-elected. That’s the one thing they’re good at.” Preach.
“There are two things going on,” explains Roger Stone, Trump’s on-again, off-again political consultant, who left his campaign orbit most recently on Aug. 8. “One is the total revulsion of American voters with politicians and the entire political system. And secondarily, just the belief that he can’t be bought.
Less than 32% of the country has a favorable view of the Republican Party, including just 68% of people who call themselves Republicans. And the numbers are falling. “Every time somebody says I made a mistake, they do the polls and my numbers go up,” Trump says. “So I guess I haven’t made a mistake.”
Most of his rivals have been cowed by the onslaughts, unable to beat the more popular bully at his game. “At this point we just have to ride it out, wherever he takes us,” says a strategist for another GOP contender. “What else can we do?”
The bigger question is whether Trump can paste some broader credibility to his winning posture before his rivals gang up on him to push him from the field. It means a lot to have 25% of the vote when 17 candidates are running, but there are signs in the polls that many of those who don’t support him now will never vote for him. A recent CNN poll found that 58% of Republican-primary voters thought Trump on the ticket would decrease the odds that the party wins the White House. More than half the country still finds him unqualified for the presidency.
His response has been a focus on policy, releasing a written plan for immigration that is both bold and indecipherable. He would build the wall, confiscate the earnings of undocumented immigrants if Mexico did not pay for it, seek an end to birthright citizenship and rejigger the way immigrants who enter the country legally get visas. As for the estimated 11 million now in the country without papers, including about 10% of California’s workforce, “they have to go,” though he won’t say how he plans to make them leave, and he promises to return the “good ones” quickly. Whether those lucky winners will get an eventual path to citizenship—he won’t say just yet.
Most of his rivals can’t even find a clear answer to the question of whether they agree with Trump’s threadbare immigration white paper, while Clinton has become a master of boldly committing to policies that poll well for her coalition while attempting to dodge any pressing question that might complicate her coronation. Yet it would be a mistake to think Trump is incapable of moderation or nuance. At heart he is a pragmatist, not an ideologue. He would not rip up Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, because contracts matter, but he would “enforce that deal like they never saw.” He boldly defends Planned Parenthood for the women’s health care it provides, not the abortions. And while his rivals quietly plot deep cuts in costly senior entitlement programs, he promises to treat Social Security and Medicare as sacrosanct.
Tidskriftsomslag: Time den 31 augusti 2015