Feehery: Trump: Sticking it to The Man

Feehery: Trump: Sticking it to The Man

“It’s my little way of sticking it to The Man.” 

That was the killer quote from a 2006 Sprint commercial, where an older white male told his younger underling that his purchase of a new phone was an audacious act of rebellion against a power structure that he was presumably part of. 


Donald Trump’s presidency has been one long exercise in sticking it to The Man. 

In the usual sense, Trump is an unlikely rebel. 

He is rich and successful. He went to the finest schools, inherited millions of dollars, was a regular on the New York social scene, has a beautiful family and has a beautiful wife. And he is a compulsive golfer. 

It is good to be The Man in golf, (as in “You da Man, Tiger”). 

It is not good to be The Man in politics, though, and hasn’t been good in quite a while.

Out of our last 14 presidents, only the Bush family and Franklin Delano Roosevelt could be seen as being true scions of the establishment, and Roosevelt did his best to distance himself from the Wall Street tycoons who had plunged America into the Great Depression. 

The establishment usually does a pretty good job of making presidential outsiders Washington insiders, usually just in time for their second term. They invite them to their parties, help them smooth off their rough edges, teach them the way things are done in polite society.

Not so with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE

Just days before the election in 1936, Franklin Roosevelt gave a speech at Madison Garden, condemning those malevolent forces of capitalism that were hostile to his New Deal.  “They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred.”

It is safe to say that the establishment remains united in their hatred for President Trump, and it is fair to say that the president welcomes their hatred, precisely because it is so good for him politically.

We live in a society that collectively enjoys having a big chip on our shoulders.


We like blaming somebody else for our troubles, and usually we blame The Man. 

Who is The Man? 

Well, if you are a progressive, The Man is probably a white male capitalist who looks a lot like Donald Trump or the guy in the Sprint commercial. 

But if you are a conservative, The Man is the mainstream media, the C-Suite CEO, the academic who pontificates from the Ivory Tower and just about anybody who appears on “Morning Joe.”

In fly-over country, that triangular space between California and New York City and Washington, D.C., where most presidential elections are decided, it is clear who The Man is. 

It’s the coastal elites who look down their noses at the deplorables masses, who push for open borders and free trade, who lecture everyday Americans about values as they cheat to get their kids into schools like Georgetown and USC. 

It is hard to see why the Democrats would nominate somebody like Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats warn GOP will regret Barrett confirmation Trump campaign eyes election night party at his sold-out DC hotel Harris blasts GOP for confirming Amy Coney Barrett: 'We won't forget this' MORE who, as a white, straight male, checks no boxes for the box-conscious progressive movement.

But should he get the nomination, he will have a big challenge. 

How can Joe Biden stick it to The Man if he is The Man? 

President Trump has already perfected that move. 

There is no doubt that Trump is the outsider’s outsider. He will say anything to get a rise out of the media establishment, he will do anything to dismantle the political establishment, he will take any step to circumvent the national security establishment if he thinks it is the right thing to do. 

Every day, Donald Trump is sticking it to The Man. That’s why his voters continue to support him and why he is the odds-on favorite to win a second term. 

Feehery is a partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at www.thefeeherytheory.com. He served as spokesman to former Speaker Dennis HastertJohn (Dennis) Dennis HastertFeehery: The fog of the election Feehery: Trumpism will survive, no matter what happens on Election Day Feehery: Don't believe the polls — this election is far from over MORE (R-Ill.), as communications director to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) when he was majority whip and as a speechwriter to former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).