Outsider candidates for U.S. president are a long tradition in the United States. Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader attracted attention and passionate followers.
The difference between Donald Trump and those past challengers is that they had substantial merit, their positions were well thought out, underpinned with solid reasoning.
Perot had thoroughly researched economic theories. Buchanan, while intemperate in his speeches, had enough background in policy to be credible. Nader spent years as an environmentalist and business critic. Eugene McCarthy shined the light on social justice issues.
They were reasonable choices. Trump has no such attributes. He is much more akin to George Wallace, who played on the fears of the “other,” the foreign, that disrupts the secure familiar in our lives.
While there was one successful model in the past, Teddy Roosevelt, let’s hope Trump fades away like the failures.