Why doesn't anyone like the guy who says that everyone likes him and why do some people still like him despite the fact that no one does?
The Authorized Version of Why Donald Trump Is Still Popular Despite The Fact That He Shouldn't Be is that he is really not a politician running for the presidency, but an entertainment impresario putting on a show: He's a reality TV star beating the media at its own game.
There is some truth to this. We now have a significant portion of the citizenry that has a hard time distinguishing between reality and Hollywood-induced fantasy. Which is one reason why the criticism by the mainstream media rings so hollow: They are themselves the very ones who created the conditions under which Donald Trump thrives.
In fact, the mainstream media is part of the very circus they purport to criticize. Americans turn on their television sets expecting a show, and Donald Trump is giving them one—with the unwitting cooperation of all the people who keep saying he should just go away.
Donald Trump is playing the evil puppet master Stromboli and his media critics are all Pinocchios who dream of being real journalists some day.
This is why people can both love and hate Trump at the same time: Just like they loved and hated J. R. Ewing, The Master, and Simon Cowell.
Now that I think about it, it is kind of fun to watch.
But the more fundamental reason Trump remains popular with Republican primary voters is that the part he has written for himself is a guy who is willing to say what he thinks without caring how many people don't like him for it.
And a lot of people like him for it.
Conservatives have spent the past five years or so watching their leaders turn tail and run on some of their core principles—particularly values issues like same-sex marriage.
If Donald Trump has the courage to face down the media on indefensible positions, why can't other candidates muster up the courage to stand up more firmly on issues—like traditional marriage—that are perfectly defensible?
It's a commentary on how starved Republican voters are for a candidate that has the courage of his convictions that they will settle for one who will at least play the part, however unreal he is.