Salon has a good read titled “The shocking truth about Donald Trump: He’s actually the least terrifying GOP candidate“. Not only that, but this loud obnoxious buffoon actually has a chance of winning the GOP nomination for president, because in reality, his beliefs aren’t that different (and in fact are often more reasonable) than the rest of the rest of the pack of GOP candidates. The main difference between Trump and the other candidates is that he doesn’t speak in code words – he just says out loud what the other candidates are thinking, which is somehow appealing to the average Republican voter. He may say things that are intolerant and racist, but none of the rest of those jokers is willing to publicly disagree with his racist and xenophobic remarks.
Salon’s point is that Trump may be loud and obnoxious, but his opinions are actually more moderate than most Republicans. For example, when all the other GOP candidates were calling for Planned Parenthood to be defunded, Trump (correctly) pointed out that abortion services are a very small part of what they do. Jeb Bush, who is supposed to be the moderate candidate, claimed that Planned Parenthood is “not actually doing women’s health issues. They’re involved in something way different than that.” Which earned him a “Pants on Fire” from PolitiFact.
He is also the only GOP candidate who has talked about raising taxes on the rich. He also has opposed cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, previously supported universal healthcare, and opposed the war in Iraq.
And yet the Republican base loves him. Crazy, isn’t it? But has been shown over and over again, GOP voters don’t care about policy and governance. They care about bravado and bluster, something Trump has in spades.