Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak to a campaign rally, Sept. 20, 2016, in Kenansville, N.C.
Photo by Evan Vucci/AP

Trump believes his campaign is actually ‘a movement’

Longtime readers may recall my favorite episode of “Cheers,” aired back in 1993, featuring a city councilman who goes to the bar to ask voters for support. “Kevin Fogarty, City Council. I hope I have your vote on election day,” he says. Frasier Crane asks, “And why exactly should I vote for you, Mr. Fogarty?”

The councilman replies, “Well, because I’m a hard worker, and I take a stand.” Crane adds, “On what, exactly?” “The issues of the day,” Fogarty replies. “Which are?” Crane asks. “The things that concern you and your family – the most,” the councilman concludes.

The folks in the bar thought this was a great answer, failing to notice that the candidate clearly had nothing of substance to say and was simply faking his way past the questions, hoping no one would notice.

I thought of the episode watching Donald Trump’s new campaign ad, unveiled yesterday, which is titled, “Movement.” For those who can’t watch clips online, here’s the voiceover script:
“It’s a movement, not a campaign. Its leader: Donald Trump. Builder, businessman, success.

“Doing what others called impossible. Donald Trump’s priority: you. Dreaming big, building bigger. United for family, jobs, country. Defined by freedom. Standing together, pushing ahead. Leaving the past behind. Changing our future. Together, we’ll make America great again.”
As the rhetoric continues, viewers see a series of not-so-subtle, all-caps words on screen: “Success,” “Freedom,” “Future,” “Together,” “Great.”

If the election comes down to hollow, vague platitudes, Donald Trump has nothing to worry about.

But I’m also struck by Trump’s belief that his candidacy constitutes a “movement.” In fact, according to the Republican, this might be the greatest movement in the history of the United States.

It went largely overlooked, but about a month ago, Trump told supporters, “[W]e have a movement. They all say – this is one of the great movements. Maybe the greatest movement they’ve ever seen in the history of our country and many people have said that.”

No, really, that’s what he said. Sure, Americans have seen some amazing and historic movements – civil rights, women’s suffrage, labor unions, gay rights, et al – but as far as the GOP nominee is concerned, they aren’t quite as great as his campaign.

After all, “they all say” it’s true. And really, who’s prepared to disagree with what “they all say”?