This is why I think Donald Trump’s Support is Softer Than it Appears

T

Yesterday, Fox’s Bret Baier asked Donald Trump about eminent domain. Trump’s response was

I think eminent domain is wonderful, if you’re building a highway, and you need to build, as an example, a highway, and you’re going to be blocked by a holdout, or, in some cases, it’s a holdout—just so you understand, nobody knows this better than I do, because I built a lot of buildings in Manhattan, and you’ll have 12 sites and you’ll get 11 and you’ll have the one holdout and you end up building around them and everything else, okay? So, I know it better than anybody. I think eminent domain for massive projects, for instance, you’re going to create thousands of jobs, and you have somebody that’s in the way, and you pay that person far more—don’t forget, eminent domain, they get a lot of money, and you need a house in a certain location, because you’re going to build this massive development that’s going to employ thousands of people, or you’re going to build a factory, that without this little house, you can’t build the factory—I think eminent domain is fine.

Trump went on the defend the use of eminent domain taking people’s houses for use by private developers.

This was Donald Trump defending the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision from 2005 — a decision that vexed conservatives and saw a legal revolution in the country with a number of states passing laws or amending their constitutions to prohibit the public taking of land for private use.

Amazingly, vocal supporters of Trump are today on the internet claiming that if Donald Trump said Kelo was a good decision, then by God it must be an awesomely YUGE decision.

I call bull.

And I think this is another indication of how soft Donald Trump’s support really is. He rallied a lot of conservatives who wanted to fight a Washington they felt was out to get them. Trump siding with a decision that allows government and big business to collude against the little guy is not a conservative position.

While there are certainly some shallow souls who will now love the decision because they’ve bought into Trump’s cult of personality, I think those people are in the minority. Further, I also do not think a lot of those people are really conservative. Lastly, from personal experience dealing with the vocal Trump support on twitter, more and more of the online yelling appears manufactured. That’s not to say all of it is, but a great deal still comes from fresh Twitter accounts of a limited follower/following ratio and a lot of the hate emails come from the same IP address.

It is very easy, psychologically, to get people on a bandwagon when they think everybody else is on the bandwagon. But when it appears over time that the band is not worth following, people break away. The more those breaking away get suspicious, the more they realize they’ve been played.

Donald Trump defending government taking people’s homes to give to other private citizens for redevelopment is not conservative. Actual conservatives know this. People who liked Donald Trump because he stood up for the little guy will not like hearing that he’s a fan of the government and private deep pockets taking people’s homes.

Those defending Trump on this are shallow and/or not conservative and/or manufactured. More and more people will realize this and fewer and fewer conservatives will want to keep on that sort of band wagon.

The polling for Trump has been a lagging indicator showing the vast amount of media coverage toward Trump. The polling for Carson and Fiorina have also reflected media coverage. Those three candidates have gotten the most coverage and are consequently doing well. Their polling rose after the explosive media coverage, not before it.

And Trump’s decline comes more and more as people are exposed to him, not the hagiographic media coverage he had been getting.

The campaign ads on this one, likewise, write themselves. “Donald Trump thinks he can use the government to take your house. And we thought Obama abused his position.”

Donald Trump’s support is softer than it appears because of the bandwagon effect. But the polling averages do show that people are starting to tire of the bandwagon the more they hear the siren song of the band.

About the author

Erick Erickson
By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

Get in touch

You can check me out across the series of tubes known as the internet.