Conventional wisdom has it that Donald Trump is defying conventional wisdom when it comes to politics and how the game is played. How is it, pundits ask themselves, that a man with no political experience who's said too many offensive things to count can still be on top of the polls this late in the game?
You can't say certain things and get elected, we're told. Republicans always flirt with insurgent candidates and then go for the establishment types, they say. Thus, the conclusion is that he's defying political wisdom.
There's something either naive or lazy - I can't say which it is - in such a conclusion. The truth is that Donald Trump is simply mastering other areas that the very same pundits who tell you he's defying wisdom will tell you are important.
Being authentic is supposed to be a political virtue, and there's nobody better at it. Donald Trump hasn't tried to change who Donald Trump is to win. Instead he's doubled-down on being Donald Trump. You don't have to like him - in fact, you may hate him - but you know exactly what you'll get if you elect him.
Being out front on the issues is supposed to be a political virtue, and he's always out front. While the other candidates test the waters on how best to respond, if they respond, to issues as they come up, Trump has already responded. It only helps to reinforce his authenticity.
Being bold and memorable are supposed to be political virtues, and he's better than anyone. Trump delivers the lines that get people talking. At the end of the day, it's the one who got others talking that gets remembered a whole lot more than the one who did the reacting.
A clear narrative to the voters on why you're running is supposed to be a political virtue. Why is Trump running? Your eyes may roll as you say it, but you say it word for word just like he wants you to: Trump wants to "Make America great again." If you were to say why any other candidate was running, you would likely be making stuff up.
Look, I'm not defending or endorsing the guy. He's a flawed candidate. But hell, who isn't in this field that's running?
President Obama said recently that he plans on leaving it all on the field as he finishes his term. Good for him; I hope he does. If he wants an example of somebody doing it right now, maybe he should take a look at Trump.
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