By Former Assemblymember Steven Sanders
I have been doing much thinking about this Presidential campaign and the phenomenon which is Donald Trump. Like others I underestimated his appeal.
For sure he is a skilled presence in front of cameras and a big crowd. What he lacks in knowledge or even a scintilla of government experience he makes up for with years of media savvy. He is accustomed to reporters and being the center of controversy.
But how is it that much of the Republican Party is enthralled by a person with no real policy ideas about governing, or implementing programs and certainly no interest in political consensus building? How did he become the leader of a great political party?
The answer is that he is not leading from the front, he is leading from behind. In fact he is not leading at all, but rather he is the messenger. He has become the embodiment of the frustration, rage and yes even bigotry, that has been festering amongst millions of our fellow citizens for decades.
Donald Trump did not create the message, but he is delivering it. He is saying and doing what millions of Americans feel. And in him these people see the reflection of themselves. That is why his supporters are so passionately loyal to him no matter what idiotic thing he might say or do. To deny Trump would be to deny themselves and to invalidate their deep seeded dislikes and distrusts. Donald Trump is the agent to vent all that anger.
And Trump understands this dynamic and is exploiting it to great success.