For the last few months, many conservatives have struggled to understand and explain the appeal and popularity of Donald Trump among Republicans. While many theories have been thrown out there, I think this analysis by Leon H. Wolf might be the best I’ve come across yet. Glenn Beck is Right:
Let me draw an analogy that will be familiar to people who are even casual fans of hockey. Every hockey team at pretty much every level of play has a guy who is commonly referred to as an “enforcer.” I can recall that for many years, my favorite team (the Nashville Predators) had a guy on the team named Jordin Tootoo. Year after year, Tootoo was voted the most hated player in hockey. He was dirty, he started fights, he drew penalties, he got under the other team’s skin on purpose, and he had few appreciable hockey skills.
All these things made Tootoo a natural target for every opposing team in the league and their fans. But in Nashville, Tootoo was far and away one of the most popular guys on the ice because he played for us. We loved the way he got to the other teams. But every other team had a guy that we loved to hate, and when you asked any of us why we hated that person, it would read like a list of things that we loved about Tootoo – e.g., he doesn’t do anything but start fights, he’s a goon, he’s just out there to try to draw penalties against more skilled players or goad them into a fight.
Wolf goes on to explain that Trump is serving the goon role for many on the right. It doesn’t matter what his positions are, it just matters that he’s wearing the right jersey (with a big R on the front) and he’s willing to take cheap shots at the other side. So when they say they like him because “he fights” what they really mean is he fights the way they want to with no punches pulled and no holds barred.
To be fair, I think there is some logic in this. After seven years of President Obama insulting his opponents at every turn and using every available lever of power to advance his agenda (some ultimately determined to be extra Constitutional) it’s understandable that conservatives would be clamoring for a candidate willing to win at any cost. But if that’s the case, they should make no pretense otherwise. They want a goon. They want Trump.