Political pundits are struggling to place Donald Trump… in historical perspective. This blog exposed the ludicrous comparisons of Trump to American Presidents Andrew Jackson and Dwight Eisenhower. Such exercises are built on the tremendous leap-of-faith that Trump will indeed win the Presidency. They are also insults against two giants of American history- men of action who served their country in times of war and peace… Trump has been on TV.
More rational efforts are being made to make sense of Trump’s candidacy… rather than comparing him to proven Presidents. More than one commentator has drawn comparisons to the 1896 campaign of William Jennings Bryan. A Midwestern upstart with only a few years in Congress to his name, Bryan capitalized on a fractured Democratic coalition to maneuver his way to the nomination. Along the way, he used demagoguery, half-truths, and a single destructive issue to rally the support of frustrated voters west of the Mississippi. Bryan had nothing close to a majority of Democratic voters, but enough momentum and anger to secure the nomination. Sound familiar?
Trump is no Jackson, nor can he compare to Eisenhower… but a populist upstart willing to enter a general election in front of a divided party? Trump has his wall, the way Bryan had his silver standard- two candidates with issues built upon fear, resentment, and division. America rejected Bryan’s misguided populism- Trump should meet a similar fate.