The best self-promoter since Barnum, Donald Trump has risen to an art form the axiom that crazy people with money are “eccentric”. Mr Trump suffers from some of the illusions that dogged another “eccentric” gadfly, Ross Perot. Both rose to success by being absolute dictators of their business empires. Well, government doesn’t work that way. Trump, like Perot, would be mired in senseless protocols, traditions, and partisan sniping that bogs everything down to an insufferable crawl. Perot would have suffered the additional albatross of being an Independent, meaning he had no constituency in Congress – both parties would be out to scuttle “this outsider [of the two-party old boys club].” Power is never willingly shared.
Mr Trump suffers an additional handicap: an ego the approximate size of Venus. And it is this that will be his most potent opponent in the 2016 race. Assuming we believe him about meaning what he says, then the last thing he wants to see is a second consecutive Democratic administration. Yet, the moment he realizes that he’s not going to get the GOP nomination, his overwhelming urge will to be to file as an Independent, handing the election to Hillary Clinton. He has to know these things – he won’t get the GOP nomination, and that filing as an Independent will elect Hillary. The question is, can he stop himself from doing it anyway.
His campaign is the Xanadu of vanity publishing. This whole thing is an exercise in brand-building. Trump has figured out a way that he can be on television every night! He can’t say anything too outrageous – the news media will cover it as news! In a rare break from their fantasy land, the Huffington Post is the only organization that has it right – they announced yesterday they would move Trump coverage from the news/politics section to the entertainment section.
The problem in the interim, of course, is the damage he will do the Republican Party, specifically, and to the process of seeking the presidency, in general. None of this bothers Liberals, of course, as they see Trump as the archetypal Republican, the rest of the field being dupes put up by the Party to convince the public that Republicans are human. The primaries will devolve into the Democrats and Donald Trump trying to outdo each other in demonizing Republicans.
“Hey!” I hear Trump supporters yell. “He’s the only one willing to stand up to Washington.” Not true. There’s Ayatollah Khamenei, Vladimir Putin, Raul Castro, Edward Snowden, Bowe Bergdahl, ISIS … all kinds of people. We know what he’s against. What we’d like to know is what he’s for – other than a Brownsville-to-San Ysidro fence, paid for by Mexico (yeah, that’s going to happen).
There is no possibility that Donald Trump, after winning an election he turned into a reality show, wouldn’t turn the presidency into a reality show – with same results as Barack Obama’s passion play presidency: the utter contempt of the rest of the world. To say that Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders, or Ted Cruz, etc) would make a better president than a performing elephant is captioning the obvious.