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O’Brien: Understanding The “Trump Phenomenon” Taking Over America




By Teri O'Brien - 

I address this column to two audiences: (1) the pathetic Establishment Republicans, so out of touch with reality that they view “severe conservative” loser Mitt Romney as their savior from the will of primary voters, fat stooges for the Chamber of Commerce who appear on cable tv with their whiteboards, and similar gutless weasels of every stripe, and (2) to my fellow conservatives, especially some principled Constitutional conservatives, those in that group who are horrified at the prospect of Donald J. Trump as the GOP nominee, not to mention the President of the United States. I have seen many in this latter group go from calm, polite grown ups to rude, social media potty mouths, declaring that their fellow Americans are “idiots,” and demanding that they “STFU!” 

Both groups seem absolutely flummoxed by the success of the business man and reality tv show host with the bad combover, and the worse faux tan. “How could this happen?” many of them wail as they wring their hands. The actual answer is simple. Like most things, it just requires connecting some dots. Here are some headlines that perfectly explain the “Trump phenomenon,” reminders of what life is like for some in Barack Obama’s America. I present them without comment because they speak for themselves:

Tragic: Veteran kills himself after call to VA suicide hotline goes to voicemail

Record 61 million immigrants in U.S., 15.7 million illegally | Washington Examiner

Mexican national accused of abusing toddler is freed despite request from immigration officials | The Tribune

PC Hysteria Claims Another Professor – The Daily Beast

More Undereducated, Middle-Aged Whites are Dying – Fortune

Navy SEALs tell congressman there is a combat rifle shortage

Now, I know what many of you are saying. “Teri, the RINO’s doing the bidding of their donor masters don’t care about these stories, and we already know how bad things are.” Ah yes, but remember, we are connecting some dots here, explaining the reason that so many people are supporting Donald Trump, arguably a bombastic blowhard, who uses gutter language, and who has a history of not only praising democrats, but making campaign contributions to them, and a guy who is—let’s all say it together, shall we?—NO CONSERVATIVE. And I’m here to tell you, especially conservatives, that that fact makes absolutely no difference to many of his supporters. 

You plaintively implore “How can anyone who cares about this country support this loudmouth over the articulate, principled conservative Sen. Ted Cruz, a man who not only understands the Constitution as well as anyone in this country, but who has devoted his career to defending it?”

As I said, the answer is simple. Unlike many of you, the vast majority of voters in the United States are not ideological. For many of you, when Sen. Cruz gives a passionate speech, filled with eloquent expositions of Constitutional principles, it is like listening to a favorite song sung by a talented vocalist. You savor every note, and even though you know it by heart, you never tire of hearing it. You could sing it, too, although perhaps not as well. Still, you know and understand the words. You feel them in your bones. You are a true believer, a Constitutional conservative.

Unfortunately, the average voter is not. The average voter says “You see this? (The state of the country embodied by the headlines cited above.) I am voting for not this. I want the opposite of this.”

When Ted Cruz vows to repeal every illegal Obama executive order and executive action, I suspect that they hear “Whatever. Yes, what he’s done is a disaster. Undo it!” without thinking of the finer legal and Constitutional nuances.

It’s not a coincidence that in the 2004 election, one million Illinois voters cast their ballots both for Barack Hussein Obama for U.S. Senate and George W. Bush as president. That would not be possible if these voters understood ideological differences, and I don’t think that they are atypical.

Often at election time, we get stories from the media about surveys that report that there is one candidate who would win in every jurisdiction in a landslide. This candidate has been a consensus favorite for decades. His name is “none of the above.” For many, Donald Trump is “none of the above.” 

You say, “But wait. There is no one more at odds with what he likes to call ‘the Washington cartel’ than Sen. Ted Cruz.” You could make a fine case for that view, but the average voter sees in the Texas senator another creature of Washington, a man who has worked in government most of his life, married to a woman who works for Goldman Sachs. Some may also find some irony in Sen. Cruz’ claim to be “Mr. Constitution” when arguably he is not an Article II “natural born citizen.” They learned in 8th grade civics that to be president, a person has to be born on American soil, or they thought they did. What was all that argument about Obama being born in Kenya about if it didn’t make any difference, they wonder. (I am on the record as having the view that neither Sen. Cruz nor Sen. Rubio qualify under Article II, but that’s just me.) They have other issues with Sen. Cruz. They never trusted the smartest kid in the front row, after all, especially when he didn’t have the sunny personality of a Ronald Reagan. 

The bottom line is that many voters are so sick and tired of what has gone on the last seven years, or even the last 20, that they are prepared to roll the dice. Negative ads, or even truthful reports of Trump’s previous statements, donations or moral failings will have no effect. Those things only work when the voters don’t know a candidate, and these voters believe that they know Trump very well. More important, they know the alternative, and they have had their fill of it.

Do you agree? Please let us know in the comments below.


Politics, Pop Culture, the Hottest Issues of the Day, the flagship show of the Informed America Radio network,  The Teri O'Brien Show, featuring Americas Original Conservative Warrior Princess, Live and in vivid red, white and blue, Sundays 5-7 pm Eastern time (4-6 pm Central) at teriobrien.com and http://www.spreaker.com/show/the-teri-obrien-show, and anytime on demand on iHeart Radio, Stitcher Radio, and iTunes.

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  1. Ms O’Brien your comments sum up the situation quite nicely, I believe.
    And in my simple manner, might I add the words “we Conservatives have had it !” to your essay.
    I have considered myself a republican, donated to republicans, and voted republican, since the 80’s.
    But I am a Conservative first, and there is nothing “Conservative” about Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Mark Kirk, etc etc.
    Establishment republicans have turned traitor on its Conservative base, and it’s time for a correction.
    Honestly, between:
    1) outright refusal to enforce our existing immigration laws,
    2) authorization of the TPP deal,
    3) and then authorizing the TPA which gives Obama the authorization to fast-track the TPP – without bringing to Congress for a vote
    what the hell more reason does a “Conservative” need to vote for change?
    I’m voting for Donald Trump.

  2. Thanks for this excellent comment. Yes, it seems very clear to me that the Trump “movement” is all about “I’ve had it!” And who can blame us? The media and the geniuses on tv, who are in the fact the least informed people on the planet, refuse to acknowledge the actual reason for Donald Trump’s success, which is of course, that the vast majority of the people in this country did not want to see it “transformed” into the socialist paradise that Obama has been dreaming of since he was learning at the knee of Frank Marshall Davis, a card carrying communist. Many of them voted for this marxist jackass in 2008 because the media concealed who and what he was and is. So, once they realized what had happened, they elected people to go to Washington and stop it. What did those pinheads do to stop it? NOTHING. So that’s the reason for people turning to Donald Trump, IMO, pure and simple. Thanks again, or and BTW, please check out The Teri O’Brien Show. I think you’ll find it informative and entertaining and you can listen on demand whenever you want. If you want to listen live, it airs 4-6 pm Central Sundays.

  3. I am in complete agreement with the previous comments. I am going ot vote for Trump because I no longer trust people in Washington. I voted for Obama in 2008 and did not get the change I was expecting. Disillusioned, I voted for congressmen who promised change. Again I was disappointed. Nothing will be done in Washington when the establishment controls the candidates. I see Trump as the only solution so therefore he has my vote.

  4. I admire you, Terri, and your writing. You speak very well for me. In that Phyllis Schlafly, Ben Carson, and Jeff Sessions endorsed Trump, along with other respected individuals, might Trump haters hate Trump because they have allowed the media, even Fox News and especially Megan Kelly, to paint such a terrible work picture of Trump as ordered from the top down of Fox News. Cruz is the establishment’s quisling, spawned by the Bushes and controlled by Wall Street, who became a strident “outsider” only four years ago.

  5. Ms. O’Brien describes the symptoms well, but the disease is older than Trump or Obama. Hard-headed, fallen man never seems to learn:
    In his old age Samuel appointed his sons judges over Israel…His sons did not follow his example, but looked to their own gain, accepting bribes and perverting justice.Therefore all the elders of Israel assembled and went to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “Now that you are old, and your sons do not follow your example, appoint a king over us, like all the nations, to rule us.”
    Samuel was displeased when they said, “Give us a king to rule us.” But he prayed to the LORD. The LORD said: Listen to whatever the people say. You are not the one they are rejecting. They are rejecting me as their king. They are acting toward you just as they have acted from the day I brought them up from Egypt to this very day, deserting me to serve other gods. Now listen to them; but at the same time, give them a solemn warning and inform them of the rights of the king who will rule them.
    Samuel delivered the message of the LORD in full to those who were asking him for a king. He told them: “The governance of the king who will rule you will be as follows: He will take your sons and assign them to his chariots and horses, and they will run before his chariot. He will appoint from among them his commanders of thousands and of hundreds. He will make them do his plowing and harvesting and produce his weapons of war and chariotry. He will use your daughters as perfumers, cooks, and bakers. He will take your best fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will tithe your crops and grape harvests to give to his officials* and his servants. He will take your male and female slaves, as well as your best oxen and donkeys, and use them to do his work. He will also tithe your flocks. As for you, you will become his slaves. On that day you will cry out because of the king whom you have chosen, but the LORD will not answer you on that day.”
    The people, however, refused to listen to Samuel’s warning and said, “No! There must be a king over us. We too must be like all the nations, with a king to rule us, lead us in warfare, and fight our battles.”
    Samuel listened to all the concerns of the people and then repeated them to the LORD. The LORD said: Listen to them! Appoint a king to rule over them. Then Samuel said to the people of Israel, “Return, each one of you, to your own city.” ___1 Samuel Chapter 8

  6. People who were deceived by Obama’s big change promise are also deceived by Trump’s make America great promise. A man who doesn’t believe he needs forgiveness is respected by those who desire a god who is expected to give them everything they want. This is the reason America will fall. But I am glad that very few of the people I have met have fallen for the lies. I still have hope because of this and believe in the God who forgives and saves.
    I am voting for Ted Cruz because I believe he agrees.

  7. I am by all rights a constitutional conservative. at 18 I cast my first vote for Reagan though my parents were stanch Demos, but because the finest man ( carter )ever to be president wasn’t getting anything done I voted for Reagan. because in the end, results matter, not just showing up. and my post Reagan years of voting conservative has brought me naught. they no longer listen to us, the handlers have an agenda that trumps our vote. so I don’t want a nice guy to play with that crowd anymore, I want a pit bull. I don’t care if he’s polished and pretty. he knows where the snakes and rats are and I am hoping for some blood (figuratively). maybe then the RINOs will pay attention or they may pass as the Whigs did. time will tell.

  8. Personally, I am not in the least bit expecting ANYTHING out of a Trump presidency other than a purge of as many as possible sitting Republicans.
    That is all that this particular Conservative wants.
    Nothing more.
    Anything else is icing on the cake.

  9. LakeCoConserv is right. Every election we conservatives are told, “Just vote (R)! You can trust us! We can’t get anything done unless we get the Senate/House/White House.” Excuse after excuse. How many times have we voted for someone who was a self-identified “conservative,” only to have that individual show his true colors once he stepped into the DC cesspool. It’s farcical for the GOPe to get vapors and try to scare people into not voting for DT by reminding us “But he’s not CONSERVATIVE!” (cue horror/evil villain music) when they themselves don’t give a flying fig about conservative principles and betray us EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. they get elected into office. We’re sick of them promising to do one thing (repeal/replace Obamacare, defund PP, use parliamentary procedures to slay Obamacare, fix immigration/build the wall/no amnesty, etc. etc.) and then comply meekly every time Zero tells the Repubs to bend over. The fact that they don’t get why DT is hugely popular shows how out of touch they are.
    I like Cruz, but IMHO he made a huge mistake by not issuing an unequivocal condemnation of the Leftist tactics employed this weekend. What he probably doesn’t realize is that it really isn’t Trump’s “tone” that sets the leftists off, it’s the fact that they are against everything we stand for as Americans, and hence WHOEVER winds up being the Republican nominee is virtually guaranteed that “protest” nonsense and more as we get closer to the election. Blaming Trump’s “tone” as the proximate cause for the “protests” and disruptions is not unlike blaming a woman for getting raped because she dressed “that way.” These goons are not interested in sitting down for a nice philosophical chat about the best way to run society – they are bent on shutting up and shouting down EVERYONE with whom they disagree. I think a lot of people realize this – they don’t like a bully, and they will view a vote for Trump as a vote for someone who will have the guts to stand up to the leftist bullies.
    Trump may not be a conservative, but he’s no leftist. I’d rather vote for someone like that than someone who claims to be conservative and says all the right things, yet has no problem going along with the leftist agenda and not lifting a finger to stop them.

  10. I see Trump supporters falling into three main groups. There are the Democrat crossovers like a friend that said he would vote for Trump in the primary and then Clinton in the general. There are many that truly believe in him and then there are those that Just want to see the Republican Party destroyed. Destroying the party will not bring reform. The RINOs will survive and the conservatives will be purged. The conservatives will go to new parties and be ineffective to making change. It is idiotic to turn our government over to the radical Democrats just to get revenge.

  11. Most times in the past one of the major parties merges with the reform movement and destroys the up and coming third party (like the Dems and the Populists) and the GOP and the Goldwater faction. But sometimes the major party falls apart or gets destroyed like the Whigs in the 1850s led to the creation of the GOP. So things can certainly change if a party falls apart.

  12. Thanks, Nancy, for your kind words about me and my scribbling. I do agree that it appears that many people are accepting the very negative view of Donald Trump presented by the media without taking into account that they say very little about similar conduct by other candidates. I just saw video of a protestor strong armed at a Rubio rally, and it happened several days ago. The Rubio security guy really grabbed this guy forcefully. If that had been at a Trump rally, it would be playing on an endless loop on cable tv with “tsk tsk” ing from all the genius commentators like Megyn Kelly. I have really had it with her, BTW, especially since she started going to Rachel Maddow’s hairdresser. Just kidding about the hair, but as for what she says, forget it! It is hilarious to hear people declare unequivocally that Trump is “no conservative,” as if they are the arbiters of what that means. Erick Erickson, some fat stooge who used to work on some Congressional staff knows more about who is conservative than Phyllis Schlafly or Jeff Sessions? Are you kidding me? Anyway, as I point out in this piece, whether he is “conservative” or not is beside the point.
    I also have a tough time trusting Ted Cruz, even though I concede that he is an articulate, bright guy.
    Thanks so much for your comment.