Donald Trump: A Different Shade of Green

August 5, 2015 at 10:33 AM
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Donald Trump is leading the Republican primary polls by a wide margin. Many commentators have explained this development as an indication that Trump represents something new, that he speaks to the Republican base honestly, and in a language that resonates. They say that Trump is simply “different.”

But what is often missed in such analysis is exactly how Trump is different from the field, and from the Republican Party establishment. Certainly Trump’s bombastic style of speaking, and apparent willingness to give voice to the more reactionary social consciousness deeply embedded in the Republican grassroots, is not the usual fare, even for the often ridiculous caricatures in the Republican field (think Jindal, Cruz and Perry). Indeed, it is Trump’s brashness and disregard for “political correctness” and “acceptability” that is one of his great allures for millions of Americans on the right.

But this is merely style; it is not the substance of what makes Trump different. For that, one must examine critically the money interests that Trump and his competitors represent.

Follow the money

A serious analysis of Trump’s candidacy requires an understanding of the forces which are, at least in appearance, arrayed against him. It has recently come out that the immensely powerful Koch Brothers network is “freezing out” Trump from its vast array of electioneering tools, including voter data, high profile “grassroots summits” and more. Although Trump is personal friends with David Koch, it seems that the Republican kingmaker is not exactly enamored with the prospect of The Donald as standard-bearer for the Republican Party in 2016. But, personal friendship and electability aside, the real reason for this move is that Koch and Trump represent very different moneyed interests.

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