I am back, though I cannot honestly tell you for how long I am back for, nor will I take this opportunity to tell you why I was gone in the first place. That story is perhaps for another time. What I will say is that I am back for one reason and one reason alone:
As of this writing, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has endorsed Donald Trump while Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, at the behest of their campaign advisors have stooped to tag teaming against him at a debate. Trump, Rubio and Cruz are the GOP frontrunners, Dr. Ben Carson and someone someone Kasich are woefully in the dust and on the Democrat side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders vie for their party’s nomination. To date, this is a race which has defied all expectations and all speculation from experts. This is a White House race which has the political establishment reeling, staggering haphazardly to regain footing while trying to understand why people are rallying behind nontraditional candidates. I think I have the answer.
People have speculated that Americans are sick to death of the political status quo. While I can’t speak for America, I can speak for me: I’ve been sick of politics for years. Posturing, promises, the right phrases and statements meant to sway coming from people who are and have been “public servants” for years. I look at the chaos in the Congress, most recently displayed by the controversy surrounding an unwillingness to entertain nomination hearings to replace Supreme Court Justice Scalia, and I can only think that these public servant candidates are only more of the same thing we’ve endured year after year.
The political campaigns are also a subject of ire for me. Despite the money they’ve gathered, if you go any of the websites of the campaigner, you too can contribute with the click of a nifty donate button. I have the fortune of living in a state the candidates don’t need, so we are spared the constant barrage of political commercials that campaign money pays for. As this very moment, my state is cutting the budget to our school districts and university system while the campaigns continue to amass tons and tons of money in order to fly to and from and cram the message down the throat of the people. That doesn’t sit right with me and again, I don’t think I am the only one who feels this way.
There are two people who have resonated with me and if you look at the state of the campaign trail today, my two have really come down to one choice.
First, when Dr. Ben Carson came on the scene as a possible political candidate a couple of years ago, I thought it a fantastic idea. He spoke out against Obamacare in a time when no one really knew for sure what the law would do, but more importantly, he was a doctor in the field with some actual knowledge about getting medical care in America. A doctor speaking out against the status quo of medical insurance spoke volumes to me. I hoped he would have done better during the campaign but alas, he’s all but dead in my opinion.
And then, there is Donald Trump. He’s a businessman, an entrepreneur and a television personality. He’s hit American politics like a hurricane. He’s left analysts and opponents both stammering in his wake.
What can I say about him that hasn’t been said already?
How about this: he’s not a politician. The man is not a career politician, nor is Dr. Carson. They’ve not been seated in the chambers of the House of Representatives or guests of the Senate. They’re not cozy with the judiciary or with anyone in the Executive branch. Trump is definitely not a Democrat and the Republican Party establishment hates him. To the establishment, Donald Trump is an insurgent, an outsider, a usurper. He reminds me of me.
While he and I do not share much in common (white, rich and old I am not), he is something I’ve not seen yet in my adult life. Donald Trump is the last candidate to resemble a real person than anyone else running for office. The politician candidates aka the rest of the contenders don’t make mistakes or misspeak: they make gaffes or faux pas. They have their prompts and catch phrases. They have their campaigns telling them what they should say or do next. They speak in “politically correct” fashion, a term and behavior which has trickled down so pervasively down into our lives, you can’t read a book or take a class without the chance of encountering a trigger warning. Trump is a walking, talking trigger warning, he’s not politically correct and I like that. Detractors will tell you he’s not always been successful, but to me, that only adds to his appeal. He’s had bankruptcies and failures, has been divorced and has been sued. Sort of like the rest of us outside of the political class. He says what’s on his mind and it’s raw. Unscripted. He makes mistakes, just like the rest of us. Ben Carson is just as real to me. It’s a pity he’s been practically done in by his own campaign.
Who am I? I’m a father, a student, a husband and a veteran. I’m a not a democrat, or republican, I’m not a donor, or a lobbyist, or a Wall Streeter. I could care less about the Oscars, the Grammys, the Hugo, the Super Bowl or all the other nonsense American Media tells me I should care about. I don’t line the streets holding campaign signs for anyone: I don’t have the time nor the inclination. I work to put food on the table, gas in the tank and a roof over our heads: my wife works for the same goal as well. I’m a nobody, an outsider, an insurgent to American politics. Much like Donald Trump.
This political race has woken me out of an 8 year slumber because it is decidedly not status quo. It’s been perplexing and confounding everyone who has versed themselves in the machinations of a broken political system. It’s been taken over from within and without, and I like that very much.
Something tells me I’m not the only one.