The snarky characters are often some of the favorites on TV. But why? They play directly to us. David Wong wrote not so long ago about how media makes you a worse person, and specifically cited the way Chandler and Joey interact. Chandler says things that never would make sense in normal discourse. He doles out wicked burns, but for the sake of whom? Us, as an audience. So we laugh and go, "Ooh, zinger!" because he just treated his best friend like a piece of shit.
In real life, you wouldn't be friends with Archie Bunker, yet he's one of the most beloved characters in TV history. The guy was a piece of shit. You'd tell Chandler to fuck his mom if he talked to you the way he talks to Joey, who's supposedly his best friend in the world. But on TV we laugh, because man, wouldn't it be great just to lay into someone like that? Wouldn't it be great to tell all the idiots they really are idiots, right to their idiot faces? That's Trump appeal.
This Trump appeal is doubly enticing to racists. Trump isn't afraid to say all Mexicans are criminals and that he wants to kick every Muslim out of America. He's a few minorities short of promising a lily white America, and man does that seem to appeal to racists. There's a reason he's been publicly backed by more than one white supremacy group. According to one site, 58 percent of the top 50 white nationalist accounts follow Trump on Twitter, and a substantial number of people who use the hashtag #whitegenocide have "Trump" in their bios. He's the voice they've always wanted.
Racists are bold in small groups in small places. Get a bar full of Klan members in Backwater, Kentucky, and they'll all proudly call Obama "Hussein" and talk about American values, no doubt. But they're not going to stand on a street corner in L.A. and do it. They can't make a public scene of themselves. And the closet racists of the world, the people who "aren't racist but" definitely love a guy like Trump who expresses the things they're scared to say.
The thing about even the racist Trump is he's still not telling it like it is. And he's not saying what everyone wishes they could say. The closet racist is a closet racist for a reason. They know what they believe is ignorant bullshit and they don't want to risk becoming a pariah for exposing their bullshit. But if there's someone out there who has millions of dollars and gets on TV all the time and could be president, and he hates the same people they hate, well isn't that swell? It is for them.