Behind the Phenomenon of ‘Trumping Clinton’
A joke I heard when I was a teenager – growing up in a New York City neighborhood with a large population of Latino immigrants – serves as a good explanation for the (thus far) political success of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
It goes something like this:
Two friends from the Dominican Republic run into each other on a Manhattan street and one begins to boast that he is bettering himself by attending night school.
The other shrugs, unimpressed. “I don’t go to night school,” he says. “But I know a lot.”
“Oh, yeah?” the first one challenges. “Do you know who George Washington was?”
“Never heard of him,” the second replies. “But I know many things.”
“Really?” the first questions. “So who was Abraham Lincoln?”
“I don’t know who Abraham Lincoln was,” the second answers. “But I know plenty more than you do.”
“Hmmm,” the first says. “Like what?”
The second says, “I know who Juan Rodriguez is.”
“Who’s he?” the first one asks.
The second responds, “He’s the guy who’s sleeping with your wife while you’re at night school.”
The distinction between education and street smarts has always been a topic of humor. But the current election campaign has turned it into a very serious issue.
There is no question in anybody’s mind that Hillary Clinton’s long political history, spousal affiliation to the White House and experience in the State Department and Senate make her a more “educated” candidate. But huge swaths of America are fed up with the kind of “knowledge” Clinton possesses, which has brought the country to its knees.
Voters realize that she knows what she’s talking about. Only those who agree with her ideology think this is a good thing. The rest of the electorate – left, right and center – consider her to be a dangerous option. Not only has her career been paved with personal and political corruption that is the stuff TV shows like “House of Cards” are made of; and not only have her dubious dealings wreaked havoc on US foreign policy; but her insatiable greed and astounding hypocrisy make her a frightening option.
Enter Trump – the most unlikely person to beat 16 Republicans in the primary races. For one thing, he is a former Democrat. For another, he lacks finesse, gravitas and the ability to listen to advice from people more knowledgeable than he on a range of subjects.
“I listen to myself,” he once said.
Yet, no amount of ridicule and horror at what even many Trump supporters consider to be his “foot-in-mouth” disease was putting a dent in his numbers – at least, not until old allegations of ostensible sexual harassment surfaced.
That this, of all reasons, might be responsible for his electoral downfall is more shocking than any of his past behavior with women. After all, the Clintons have said and done far worse things to and about females. Nor are the polls necessarily correct.
Whatever the final outcome of this election, however, Trump’s meteoric rise cannot be dismissed. Having trounced all the better educated Republican contenders in the primaries, and still constituting a threat to Clinton, he is worthy of genuine study – and even respect — as his voice clearly is expressing a strong, undeniable sentiment among the public.
Let’s face it, more Americans than the New York Times cares to admit are sick to death of the way that healthy common sense and basic truths about human nature have been undermined by so-called “progressives.”
Hillary Clinton may be aware of who George Washington was. She certainly has heard of Abraham Lincoln, whose portrayal in the Steven Spielberg movie she disgustingly invoked, during her second debate against Trump, to excuse her two-faced positions.
But Trump knows exactly who was sleeping with her husband – and the dictators in whose proverbial beds she has lain – while she was purposefully, in an “educated” way, making the United State a less affluent and more globally insecure player on the world stage.
Immigrant jokes aside, this is no laughing matter.
Ruthie Blum is the managing editor of The Algemeiner.