I haven't been shy about bashing Donald Trump for the seemingly endless things for which he's done that are poor in taste, mean or downright stupid. Would I ever vote for him? I would like to say no, but as the saying goes, "Never say never."
Because I do get the appeal. Try as I might, I can't discount him. Often to my utter disappointment, it's the very things that make Donald Trump, Donald Trump where I find myself in agreement.
First, there's his belief that America is losing across the globe. Whether or not he has any feasible solution to fixing that problem does nothing to change the fact that a lot of people feel the exact same way. Some days it feels like America is getting the raw end of the deal with Mexico, China, Russia, ISIS, Iran and you name it. You don't have to be a crazy conservative to feel like America isn't winning. Donald Trump addresses that feeling more clearly than anyone, and he's pledging to make America great again. I don't want to be someone who falls for nationalism, but I don't want America losing.
His most appealing quality seems to be his ability and desire to completely disregard the traditional rules of politics that Washington culture seems to think should be in place. It's an attitude that people are craving right now because they are fed up with politics in general. The traditional rules have led to a Republican congress that can't function with a Democratic president because both parties seem more concerned with working for their party than for the American people. There's a feeling that the system needs to be disrupted and that everyone in Washington needs to have the fear of God put into them.
Thus enter Trump. His disruption isn't always pretty. He'll tell what he perceives to be unfriendly media to their face he doesn't like them. He'll not just go after Hillary Clinton, but go after her aides. He'll question the unquestionable belief that John McCain is a war hero. He'll tell the Republican party that if he doesn't like how he's treated in the Republican primary or it's outcome, he just might run as a third party candidate.
Yet, he sends a clear message that nothing in national politics will be sacred in either his campaign or potential presidency. He won't be afraid to challenge anything or anyone.
It's such an interesting paradox in that the very things that make him so disgusting at times are the things that help him do the necessary task of disrupting Washington very well. The polls show that people are putting up with it. It's as if people know that to truly change the system more than one sacred cow is going to have to go and things might get ugly and be unpleasant to look at in the process.
Not everyone can do that job; it takes a special kind of ego for that. Again, never say never.