Continetti is guest-blogging for The Post.
Last night on the “Hannity” show, Sarah Palin defended Donald Trump from media criticism. Here’s the video:
Palin said there’s a lot more behind the Trump surge than his silly campaign to locate Obama’s true birthplace (why doesn’t he identify the shooter on the grassy knoll while he’s at it?). This wasn’t the first time Palin has defended Trump. Nor will it be the last time, either.
Trump is a middle class phenomena. Middle aged, middle income, middle class voters are Trump’s core. Hispanic voters give him high favorable ratings as do African Americans and poor whites. The higher your level of education the more likely you are to loath Trump. If you are self-made you are 70% more likely to like Trump than if you have inherited money. Small businessmen like Trump, Wall Street Gekkos do not. The Apprentice has enhanced his standing because his short segments show him being cool, tough and decisive, things voters are looking for after the vacillation of Barack Obama.
Trump appeals to the strivers. Trump lives as they would live if they were rich. Trump’s over the top lifestyle of the biggest and the best appeals to these voters. The Ivy League educated? Not so much. Old Money? Forget it. Trump appeals to the Perot and Buchanan voter suspicious of both parties. The Tea Party is a natural launching pad for Trump.
David Brooks made a similar argument in his column yesterday. For some, Trump is an aspirational figure. His life is the life they’d like to have. He is — I’m not making this up — a role model. In his own way, Trump is the embodiment of a particular version of the American dream. He didn’t come from money, but used his guile and ego to build a fortune, marry three attractive women, write bestselling books, and headline a popular television show.
As hard as it may be for liberals to believe, Sarah Palin is a role model, too. She came from nothing and is now one of the most famous and controversial women in the world. She stands for a brand of feminism that’s unfashionable among elites. She’s a rarity: a vocal, prominent, pro-life woman. Many people see parts of themselves in Palin, whether it’s as the mother of a soldier, the mother of a child with special needs, someone who’s challenged the establishment or someone who faces constant criticism but still gets up each morning to continue the fight.
The likelihood that either Trump or Palin will be president is remote. But they each represent and appeal to populations that are too often ignored in the national debate. Which is why they are about to become fast friends. And why neither is about to go away.