Few would argue that Donald Trump came out on top of the first GOP presidential debate last week or in interviews afterward, but post-debate polls show his popularity continues to rise. Why are people favoring a candidate who comes across so disagreeably?
Mashable.com searched Reddit for posts that offer some glimmer of an explanation or, more accurately, a picture of why. Trump's brash, politically incorrect comments about his opponents, war heroes, women and news people constitute a one-finger salute to the status quo.
Some people expressing support for Trump on Reddit say they like him because he is honest. He says what he thinks, without much of a filter. "He's an asshole, but at least he's honest," wrote one Trump sympathizer. This accounts for the correlation between Trump insults and his rising poll numbers.
Another contingent of Trump supporters appreciates that he "can't be bought." One especially colorful comment suggested that Trump's ruthlessness and financial independence is what is needed to shape up Washington where money buys influence and corrupts. This perhaps explains why Trump mentions his personal wealth so often.
A third group likes Trump because he pencils out as a bad President, which America "deserves." As one person put it:
"I'm seriously thinking about voting for Trump, and here is why. I firmly believe that our system of government is deeply flawed, if not completely broken. Yet we still keep voting for the same type of people. If Trump wins, there's a good chance the whole thing will collapse from his absurdity. Then maybe we could start over and build something better that works. A vote for Trump is a vote for full system breakdown, which I believe is exactly what we need."
Or: "He's not the President we need, he's the President we deserve. I'm older than most of you. I remember when politicians worked together sometimes for the greater good. Now, with MSDMC and Faux News controlling the conversation, this country is so divided, nothing gets done. The whole system is what it wasn't supposed to become. The only way to fix it is if the entire system emplodes so we can start over. That's what Trump would do."
There may be more than madness to Trump's often apocalyptic analyses. He has messianic intentions to become the country's Great Destroyer.
Taken together, these reasons to vote for Trump begin to take shape as something other than the rants of raving lunatics or disgruntled political trolls. They form a sort of deformed logic – our government has become so inept that we need and deserve a champion who will blow it to smithereens.
When combined with surging crowds at rallies for Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders who calls income inequality the nation's number one issue, the pro-Trump movement shouts that many Americans of all political stripes are fed up and want a different brand of change.
Of course, the heat of summer gives way to cooler times when voters begin to pay closer attention and actually make up their minds. For now, the presidential candidates not named Trump or Sanders might do well to revise their campaign talking points to touch me of those frayed voter nerves.