Trump and Muhammed Ali

Well, the Donald has stirred things up, hasn’t he? He has soared in several polls. He has sucked the oxygen from the room. He has captured the attention of a lot of people. And a lot of media types. For good or for bad.

What is his appeal? He is a Muhammad Ali type character.

When Cassius Clay (Ali’s original name) arrived on the scene few people could name more than one or two heavyweight boxers. Few would recognize any on the street. Few could identify the voice of one.

In a short while we all knew who Cassius was. What he looked like. What he sounded like.

Of course, we all know the Donald. And most of us would walk past a Kasinich or Walker or Santorum without noticing.

Cassius caught people’s attention with his mouth. Donald Trump, take a bow. People wanted to watch him interviewed because he did not look like other boxers. He was slim and handsome. And said more than, duhh, his duhh opponents. He boasted he was the greatest. He ranted things outrageous. He spouted poetry.



People watch Trump for similar reasons. He surely does not look like other politicians. His hair is memorable in capital letters. He body-slams opponents and media and world leaders with his remarks. His opponents speak, duhh, paragraphs about issues. With, duhh, convoluted sentences. And, duhh, five-dollar words. He spits out straight, crisp opinions. This guy’s a dope. That guy’s an idiot. That idea is idiocy.

Like Ali, he draws lightning. So many boxers brought out the yawns in people. So many politicians do the same. Ali said “Hey! Wake up. You’re gonna love me or hate me.” And people did.

Trump does the same. He has already got people saying “I love the guy.” Or “Can’t stand him!” What do the same people say about Huckabee? Or Santorum? Or Pataki? Even Jeb?

You can start an argument in a heartbeat by lobbing Trump’s name into a conversation. Try that with the names of other Republican candidates. Yawn.

Like Ali, Trump hits the nerve of issues. He strips away the fat and muscle and Zing! He gets your dander up. With one remark.

As with Ali, a lot of opponents don’t want to step into the ring with Trump. They know that if they punch him he’ll lash back with vicious thumps to the ribs. Columnist Peggy Noonan calls him a squid. “Poke him and you get ink all over you.”

Will he go the distance? Hard to say. These are early, early rounds.

His critics predict he is headed for a fall. They certainly have history on their side. The story of elections in America is littered with renegade candidates who snared voters’ attention then faded. Shooting stars.

Meanwhile, he refreshes. He provides a huge target. That is refreshing to those who hate him or love him. He speaks in plain terms. He sounds like a guy down the bar from you. Yes, that can be bad or good. But it is refreshing to many to hear a politician speak this way.

Wait! He is not a politician. That is part of his appeal. Millions hate politicians. When pollsters ask us about politicians we retch.

Maybe his enemies will catch him in lies. For the moment I suspect most people feel he tells the truth. Even if they don’t like that truth. Meanwhile, over half of folks polled feel Hillary lies. And she is a favorite. A favorite over a slew of other politicians who voters say lie.

From Tom...as in Morgan.

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