What Donald J. Trump has injected into a usually dull political process is unprecedented.
He has turned three-hour debates, usually reserved for policy wonks, into appointment television, producing soundbite after soundbite.
He’s carried himself like a high school bully and has continually shut down conventional candidates. This includes his personal punching bag Jeb Bush, as seen when he cited his poll numbers—“Well Jeb I’m at 43 and you’re at 4”—in reference to Trump’s once-enormous lead in Iowa.
Trump wants to “Make America Great Again” by being a straight-talker and speaking what’s on his mind. But he has set the record for the most statements rated “pants on fire” by fact-checking site Politifact. So how much of a straight talker can he really be?
For all his mindless theatrics, Trump has occasionally, and surprisingly, struck the nail right on the head.
Before he started calling every single Mexican illegally coming across the border a rapist, he made an interesting assertion about political correctness: That people need to not be so easily offended, and that political correctness was something he doesn’t have time for. Political correctness is a result of the outrage culture we live in. Not having the tough conversations that the U.S. surely needs because someone is offended is dangerous.
Depending on one’s foreign policy views, Trump’s notion of “bombing the s**t out of [ISIS]” is appealing. This has been a popular talking point in the GOP camp, but the absolute destruction of ISIS should be a unanimous goal regardless of political party. But when Trump dips into Islamophobia and demagoguery, he ruins these ideas — a common theme for him.
During the Republican debate in South Carolina, Trump again reaffirmed his stance that, “If we went into Iraq we would destabilize the Middle East.”
Although Trump’s stance on the war wasn’t confirmed until a year after the conflict began, he reiterates he was against the invasion from the beginning, even calling the entire operation a “disaster.”
His important point comes when he goes to the liberal talking point well: George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and the neocons in Congress mislead the public, saying there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
I wouldn’t go as far as Trump did in calling the war a failure, but the government did mislead the public about the situation in Iraq. Blind allegiance to our former president when it comes to foreign policy kills the GOP.
But undeniably, what Trump has done to our political system is absolutely remarkable. He’s essentially Ross Perot with a Queens accent that talks in everyday English. He doesn’t use political jargon and bore you to death like Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.
The scary thing is, he’s in first place in most national polls of likely GOP primary voters without exposing a single policy or position in detail.
But two things are true: he does spout some…sensible ideas, and he’s absolutely turning 2016 into the most memorable election in recent memory.