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Donald Trump Is Winning Because He's Selling Glamour - Not Policy

T.J. Raphael - PRI's The World
go to original
March 22, 2016

Author says that Trump’s business background perpetuates the allure of prestige in the minds of America’s working-class. (DonkeyHotey/Flickr)

Despite all the negativity and mudslinging, Donald Trump's campaign message is ultimately one of vague optimism.

"We are going to start winning again, and we’re going to win so much — you are gonna be so happy," he said after securing victory in the New Hampshire primary in February. "We are going to make America so great again, maybe greater than ever before.”

It almost sounds like a commercial, doesn’t it? If you vote for Trump, you’ll be rewarded with a life of prosperity and happiness. No need to worry about the details.

It's clear that the Trump campaign is all about glamour, not experience, at least according to Virginia Postrel, author of "The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion."

“Political glamour is relatively rare because usually our politicians are very well known,” says Postrel. “But in 2008, we had a campaign that was based on political glamour, hope and change, and people projecting their greatest desires on to a candidate. Trump is very different from Barack Obama in 2008, but it’s a similar type of phenomenon where people see in the candidate a vision of America that they identify with.”

One such example that Postrel points to is Donald Trump’s proclamation that he will build a wall along America’s southern border, and have Mexico pay for it.

“It isn’t just about literally getting a wall built, it’s about being a doer — being someone that can achieve things, and a vision of America as this nation of doing,” she says.

Throughout his career, Postrel says that Trump has tried carve out an identity built on glamour and lavish wealth.

Read the rest at PRI's The World

Related: Arizona's Anti-Immigrant Experiment Failed Long Before Donald Trump's Ascent (MSNBC)

Related: Donald Trump Has the Vocabulary of a 7th Grader, Study Finds (AskMen)

Related: Bernie Sanders Won Democrats Abroad ... But Who Are They? (NPR)

Related: House Speaker Paul Ryan: Trump Is Not an Authoritarian (Reuters)

Related: New Survey Shows G-20 Voters Favor Hillary Clinton to be Next U.S. President (PRNewswire)

Related: Trump Says Nuclear Weapons Are the Riskiest Kind of Climate Change (Grist)

  Check out Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF)

  Check out Republicans Abroad

  Check out Democrats Abroad Mexico

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