One of the reasons Donald Trump has the support he does is because there is a real feeling that he is acting as a representative for people who have been pushed aside and neglected by politicians on both sides of the aisle (despite Republicans paying lip service).
Last night at New York’s Al Smith dinner, a high society event hosted by New York’s archbishop Cardinal Dolan to raise money for Catholic charities, Trump did what many Christians longed to see someone do on a public stage by calling his presidential opponent out for hating Catholics. Mr. Trump was referencing the recent Wikileak revelations in which Clinton’s campaign manager mocked and sought to undermine Church teaching from within with fake ‘front’ groups. Trump said to the glitzy crowd:
“Hillary believes that it’s vital to deceive the people by having one public policy and a totally different policy in private. Here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics.”
Despite the jeers of the crowd, how satisfying it is to see someone actually say that with her present, unable to ignore.
Trump went on to subtly address WikiLeaks again along with praising the Catholic Church’s mission to create a culture of life before ending his speech:
We can also agree on the need to stand up to anti-Catholic bias, to defend religious liberty and to create a culture that celebrates life.
This is within 24 hours of Trump calling Hillary out for her support of late-term and partial-birth abortion too, describing the process in a way that most politicians would never consider in today’s politically correct culture:
I think it’s terrible if you go with what Hillary is saying. In the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby. Now you can say that that’s OK and Hillary can say that that’s OK, but it’s not okay with me.
Can you imagine any other pro-life republicans using those terms in such a direct comment to their opponent? I can’t. The lexicon of politicians is typically one that is carefully curated through study and focus testing. Trump, over and over, seems to say the things everyday Americans are dying for someone to say to the most powerful people in our country. In the same debate he gave a no-nonsense defense of gun rights and spoke of how much he honors and appreciates the endorsement of the NRA. Even the pro-gun republicans (who are likely much more principled than Trump on the issue) seem to have weak knees when it comes to embracing the NRA. People are sick of their representatives and the media not sticking up for the people whose voices tend to be ignored if not ridiculed. This is why, despite his deep flaws, Trump is resonating.☩