Kellyanne Conway, Trump's newest campaign manager, is indeed the woman behind the man. She is shrewd. She tells him what he needs to do in that soothing manner that women have when attempting to tame their abusive, raging partner. You know, the manner that makes the beast want to change and feel flattered for his cleverness at the same time.
She does it well. Listen to his recent speeches. He is not only reading well-written speeches off the teleprompter, he is reading them flawlessly, more so than W. did in his day. His message is no longer about rage, it is about what he can do for the American people. You know, those folks who have been mistreated by Obama for eight years.
The Trump method of projecting his hate (back in the day, we used to say he's so good at projection you could run a film through him) seems to be working. If Hillary calls him a bigot, he calls her a bigot. I know, it seems simplistic, and it is, but for those who have been fed small doses of anti-Clinton rhetoric for decades, this is just what they are primed to hear. The first few times I heard it, it made my head spin; now it is just more noise. And that is what gives it power.
And here is something that I realized just today, an hour before I heard that the gap between Trump and Clinton continues to narrow. It is the thing we have been missing, as Conway trains Trump to appeal to the more rational of his supporters.
I was scheduling my next appointment at my rheumatologist's office. I don't even know the nice woman's name, but as she scheduled my appointment, we were commiserating about getting on Medicare, and the expense of the drug benefit plan. She said to me, well, we may not have to worry about it depending on who gets into office in the next couple of months.
It took me aback, and not just because we have never had a political conversation of any sort. The best I could respond was that it wasn't likely that Congress would want to spend any money to make drugs more affordable for us. But with that small exchange, a light went on.
I have not been listening to the new Donald Trump, really. And neither has the media. But those long-time republicans out there have been listening carefully. In the beginning it was the absurd message that getting rid of Mexicans would get us all better jobs. But it has lately become a list of all the things Donald Trump will give us if we elect him (his newest theft from the Democrats is the line that he will even help those of us who don't vote for him).
The new Donald Trump isn't claiming he will make us millionaires like him. But he is promising that he will give us good-paying jobs and take care of us in retirement. He is going to protect the cops and the rest of us from criminals. And he will make sure we all have good health care.
It doesn't matter a whit that he is not offering any kind of plan, financial or otherwise, as to how he is going to do that. People are hearing what they want to hear.
So maybe Trump isn't going to build a wall or get rid of Muslims (nudge-nudge, wink-wink, the "deplorables" know he can't say it now, but he'll do it once he gets elected). Maybe he is just going to be a reincarnation of Bernie Sanders, making sure we all have all kinds of security.
And TODAY Trump lays out his plan to give us all affordable childcare! No matter that republicans have fought any kind of assistance for childcare whenever a Democrat has brought it up. No matter that he has no idea how he will fund it.
No matter. All those middle class republicans who have been feeling dealt a bad hand are hearing that help is on the way. And Donald Trump is a businessman, and a millionaire, so he will know how to get it done.
This is what the Democrats need to tune in to, quickly. When he is attacked by Hillary for his gang of deplorables, Kellyanne and her crew will twist it around quite satisfactorily so that it sounds like Hillary is the meanie. And sure enough, Trump's speechwriter will have his candidate stand up to defend all those good Trump supporters.
Trump, the man of the people. He thinks he is, and now he is convincing America.
I imagine that Hitler's speeches had that same ring of, "I will take care of you all." And if you believe strongly enough, you can almost miss the sound of the jackboots.