Wearing jeans and passing out ball caps doesn’t make you a common man

The two leading candidates for the Republican nomination like to hob knob with the common folk. To show they are one of them, Senator Ted Cruz is wearing jeans and shirt with no tie. Donald Trump likes to wear his ball cap and hand them out as souvenirs. Yet, there is a big snag in their efforts.

Both Cruz and Trump have put forth tax proposals that have significant tax cuts for the wealthy. And, to make matters worse, both tax plans would materially increase the deficit to the extent there are not enough spending cuts to reduce the deficit, per former Republican Senator Alan Simpson.

While the tax cut for the rich is vintage Republican fare, the fact that both proposals increase the deficit run counter to the Tea Party concerns over reducing the deficit and debt. In Cruz’ case, it is especially hypocritical as he personally shut down the government in October 2013 and we would have defaulted on our debt if it were not for ten female senators who told Cruz to get out of the pool. Cruz said he did not care as he wanted to prove a point about the deficit. Yet, his tax plan would materially increase the deficit.

I have often said any Tom, Dick or Harry can get elected saying they will cut taxes. But, we need better stewardship than that. We need to pay down our debt and spending cuts cannot do it alone. That was the conclusion reached by the Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Plan.

One thing is for sure. Neither Cruz or Trump can claim common status by doing exactly what the Republican establishment tends to do – favor the wealthy. That is not quite the revolution their fans are likely hoping for. Plus, being poor stewards with our debt strikes me as salesmanship and not governance.


22 thoughts on “Wearing jeans and passing out ball caps doesn’t make you a common man

    • Candice,
      To Trump, we are folks to exploit for gain or diamonds as you note. That is his history. For Cruz, he has been a grandstander from the get go, which is why he is so disliked by fellow senators. To pretend to be common folk is quite a stretch for both. Thanks for your comment, Keith

    • May I call you Dan? Using your team concept, they have convinced others they are on their team. So, that is their talent. Yet, there are many salesmen, who once they make the sale, leave it to others to deliver on their promises, which may not be doable.

      I am reminded of a friend who told one of his salespeople “We cannot do that.” The person’s reply was “But, we got the order.” So, he gets paid for the sale while others have to apologize to the client. Thanks for your comment. Please do continue to offer your insights. Keith

  1. They hob-knob with the common folks because those are the only folks who will be taken in by their outrageous claims and proclamations! Trump loves to brag, on the one hand, how bright he is and, on the other hand, how he loves the uneducated. He is not known for his consistency!

  2. Every politician tries to identify with the “common man,” sometimes with funny results. Romney’s “mornin’ y’all, I just had biscuits and cheesy grits” speech was one of my favorites. Most of the time, it’s mostly just offensive and condescending. Like some big, red trucker hats can buy a vote…but looks like it’s working.

    • Amaya, it does seem to be working. I have a friend who told me about a dinner they had with a new leader in the company with a few colleagues. She “ran down” everyone else and noted how she was here to make big changes. My friend said, “She talked badly about everyone, so I was too scared to the leave the table.” My educated guess is Trump runs down his fans at how gullible they are when he is with his advisors. Keith

    • People should be able to see through these folks. Cruz comes off as creepy to me, but maybe I know enough about his history to bias my impressions. To me, Trump is overt in his lack of substance and insincerity, with his history completing the picture.

      So, it does worry me that folks cannot see that. Yet, maybe the candidates just know which buttons to push.

  3. Authenticity is the new ‘Plastic,” and until fans of the GOP play The Graduate from the Laffer Curve of trickle down, why not supply side the shinola of “just folk” simplicity.

    You know, Keith, those who have bought into the bamboozle that managing the largest economy on the planet is the same as Joe and Joan Sixpack sitting around the kitchen table taking stock of, and summing up the family budget.

    The ah shucks and jive of blue jeans and catchphrase trucker hats is the brimful of BS that reeks of that old Reagan myth, and parlayed by the nouveau riche to tamp down any residual complexities that old school noblesse oblige political leaders might point to.

    Trump is the man because Trump is mammon. Cruz is revanchist christian chump bait and switch.

    I can’t believe I’m going to end with this….but we, the people….we’ve lost.


    • My fellow bloggers, Hugh, Barney and I, often speak of the fact democracy requires an informed society. Unfortunately, we fail miserably at that as a country, so we are easily bamboozled by the likes of Trump and Cruz. Yet, it has been going quite awhile, only made easier that we have Fox News and to a lesser extent MSNBC to give spin-doctored news at best. When coupled with the conflicted and shallow evening news and we don’t stand a chance. And, that does not count those who pay no or little attention to news and get it second hand from Uncle Joe who recites the latest BS from Rush or O’Reilly as if it was gospel.

      These folks don’t know they are being played by Trump and that Cruz is actually worse as he believes his BS. On the flip side, they have to win and my hope is once one of them gets in an open election, their warts will be harder to hide.

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