Trump supporters come clean

January 20, 2016

Barbara Tomasino shows her support for U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump before a campaign rally at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, January 20, 2016. REUTERS/Nick Oxford

 

What exactly do Donald Trump supporters like most about him? In the four months’ worth of Donald Trump rallies I’ve attended, I’ve heard one explanation for support from his happy fans most often: They tell me Trump is saying what other politicians are afraid to say.

When I first started hearing this, I reached my own conclusions about what they meant. Trump’s style is brash and casual. He addresses the crowd with phrases like “you people” rather than something stiffer and more remote like “my fellow Americans.” He rambles, jokes and jabs. He makes himself seem familiar. He makes his audience feel as though they are familiar to him. That’s not how other politicians talk.

But the more I heard that key phrase – that Trump says what others are scared to say – the less sure I was I knew what that thing was. So I decided to ask.

Here’s the result on Reuters TV: Trump supporters said it wasn’t just style, it was substance. “He says what we’re all thinking,” said one. His comments on immigration, the Syrian refugee crisis and terrorism spoke to them specifically. Now that Trump has done things like propose a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country, his fans say they feel more comfortable to say and think similar things. They’ve got Trump’s public speeches to back them up.

The exercise was a lesson for me as a reporter: I can’t assume I understand what is only implied, not explicitly stated.

3 comments

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His supporters are just tired of the double speak that comes out of the beltway. It has been leading up to this for years and the politicians begin to look less trustworthy the more they guard or obfuscate their speech.

Here is a prime example: “The Pentagon said Thursday that U.S. troops were in a combat “situation” — but not a combat role — in Afghanistan, despite a team of Green Berets getting pinned down in a firefight this week that resulted in one being killed and two injured.” http://thehill.com/policy/defense/265108 -pentagon-us-troops-in-combat-situation- in-afghanistan

Posted by Bdy2010 | Report as abusive

His supporters are clueless.

Posted by Whipsplash | Report as abusive

So the almighty trump won’t debate because Megyn Kelly upset him in the last fox skews debate. So like a spoiled child he calls her names again and won’t show up. Megyn Kelly – 2 donny trump – 0

Posted by Whipsplash | Report as abusive