You know that guy in your hometown who’s a complete schmuck? Maybe he’s a bigwig in local politics, or the church, or the business community. But whatever he does, he’s a notorious loudmouth and self-promoter. You’d like to just avoid him, but he makes a point of insinuating himself into the middle of every event, and if he’s not there, he does something to make sure people are talking about him. Every town has one. You probably know exactly the kind of guy I’m talking about and are thinking about your own local schmuck right now. (Note: this person may sometimes be a woman.)
Imagine how you would feel if this guy rose to national prominence. If, in fact, he achieved a position where people had to treat him like exactly as big a big shot as he always thought he was. It would be kind of galling, wouldn’t it? Even if he was moderately successful in his position, it would be hard to see him as anything other than that schmuck you knew from your hometown.
Donald Trump’s been famous for a long time, but to me and I daresay to most of the people who live outside of New York City, he just lived on the periphery of fame. I knew he was a rich guy, he built buildings, he owned a team in the USFL, and he was on TV sometimes. That’s about it.
But to people from New York, Trump was that hometown schmuck. He was in the local paper all the time. He was on local TV all the time. He was hanging his name in thirty-foot-high letters on buildings all over town.
So people from New York developed very strong opinions about Trump. A lot of those people went on to careers in broadcasting and journalism and other forms of political moving and shaking. And now they’re forced to watch their hometown schmuck walking around as President of the United States.
You can’t help but wonder if this has an influence on the analysis of analysts who are from New York or who have spent a goodly portion of the last forty years in the greater New York area. Trump is doing a lot of things that should make conservative pundits happy, and yet there are so many conservative pundits who can’t bring themselves to mention that. And if they do, it’s usually presented as a side note in a long exposition on Trump’s buffoonery and prevarication.
I’m sure the people who are familiar with Trump have plenty of reasons to dislike him. I’m not disputing anything said about his character. He made his fortune in New York real estate, for crying out loud. I’m sure he’s got more skeletons in his closet than a kleptomaniac paleontology enthusiast.
But I’m just a schmuck from Alabama, and I can look around and see that all the prophecies of doom (DOOM!) under the reign of Trump have not come to fruition. In fact, things seem to be going pretty good. The fact that conservative pundits can’t bear to acknowledge it more vociferously makes me think that their perspective is clouded by something more personal than political.