Most commentators trying to figure out the appeal of Donald Trump are looking in the wrong place. They try to intuit some kind of ideological appeal, when the candidate's hook is purely visceral. Trump hits GOP voters in the gut when he says: "We don't have any wins any more."
People cheer Trump because he promises to get "wins" for America and for his voters -- who believe they have been betrayed and forgotten by professional politicos. People tune in to see this brash, defiant, loudmouth denouncing power-brokers that are normally unassailable.
It recalls the slow motion mass-media implosion of Charlie Sheen, whose trademark phrase "WINNING!" became a pop culture meme.
TRUMP: "We are killing it!"
TRUMP: "We are going to have so many victories. They're going to be coming out of your ears."
SHEEN: "The only thing I'm addicted to right now is winning... Just winning every second... Winning, anyone?... Duh, winning!"
TRUMP: "We're going to have so many great victories and we're going to have then all the time."
SHEEN: "Every day is just filled with just wins. All we do is put wins in the record books. We win so radically in our underwear before our first cup of coffee, it's scary."
TRUMP: "Sorry losers and haters, but my IQ is one of the highest -- and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure, it's not your fault."
SHEEN: "I'm tired of pretending like I'm not bitching, a total, rock star from Mars, and people can't figure me out; they can't process me. I don't expect them to. You can't process me with a normal brain. That's how I roll. And if it's too gnarly for people, then buh-bye."
TRUMP: "My twitter has become so powerful that I can actually make my enemies tell the truth."
SHEEN: "I have defeated this earthworm with my words. Imagine what I would have done with my fire breathing fists."
TRUMP: "How come every time I show anger, disgust or impatience, enemies say I had a tantrum or meltdown -- stupid or dishonest people?"
SHEEN: "I think my passion is misinterpreted as anger sometimes. And I don't think people are ready for the message that I'm delivering, and delivering with a sense of violent love... I don't have time for these clowns. I don't have time for their judgment and their stupidity."
TRUMP: "All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me -- consciously or unconsciously. That's to be expected."
SHEEN: "[The Goddesses] are the best at what they do and I'm the best at what I do. And together it's like, it's on. Sorry, Middle America. Yeah, I said it."
TRUMP: "What a stiff... Idiot." [on Lindsey Graham]; "Total loser." [on Erick Erikson]; "Total loser... an embarrassment." [on Karl Rove]; "Total loser." [on Charles Krauthhammer]; "Zero" [on Bobby Jindal]; "Lightweight. Moron." [on Rand Paul]; "Not very good. Highly overrated. She's zippo. Lightweight. Bimbo." [on Megan Kelly]; "Third-rate." [on Hugh Hewitt]
SHEEN: "Look what I'm dealing with, man -- I'm dealing with fools and trolls. I'm dealing with soft targets."
TRUMP: "As you very well know, this tremendous increase in viewer interest and advertising is due 100 percent to 'Donald J. Trump." ... "They call me the ratings machine." ... "When I go on, the meter jumps. He should pay me a fortune, right? They should all pay me for this."
SHEEN: "I spent close to the last decade effortlessly and magically converting your tin cans into pure gold."
It's fascinating to watch Trump "winning", but then again, look how well that worked out for Charlie Sheen.