Ego Trumps Trump

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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.

10 thoughts on “Ego Trumps Trump

  1. I think Donald Trump could be easily neutralized as an influential factor in the Republican primaries if all of the other candidates would say out loud what they are thinking: “He is an ego-tripping clown and doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously by me or anyone else including the media.”

    Sadly, too many of them will not come right out and say that. They might say that they disagree with him on this or that outrageous claim, or that he’s wrong about his “solution” to a problem. But they are allowing him to get away with defining the problem and forcing them to make a statement about that issue. They are trying too hard not to offend his “fans” in order not to alienate them as potential Republican voters. They are trying too hard to follow R.R.’s advice about not criticizing another Republican candidate.

    For instance, check out Ted Cruz’s and Ben Carson’s response to Trump’s latest outrageous faux pas (and probably his biggest) saying that John McCain wasn’t a war hero! Pretty pathetic if you ask me.

    And why don’t any of them step up to the plate and point out how Trump has changed his positions on many issues that Republicans hold dear? He supported the Clintons and their foundation. Gun control in NYC. Pro Choice on women’s right to an abortion. Single payer health insurance. He was for all of these before he was against them. In other words, point out his obvious hypocrisy. As I said, they won’t because they are following R.R.’s advice.

    Since Trump is now officially leading or tied for first place in the polls, it should be open season on him as the other Republican candidates did in 2012 when they were busy chipping away at Mitt Romney and targeting him. Either take aim at him or dismiss him as a joke and say so. And don’t say things like, “Trump is a good friend of mine…” Or “I respect him but I just disagree with him on his position on immigration….” Those statements only legitimize his candidacy IMO.

    • That could work, but it would be risky – nobody is better at using media as a weapon than Donald Trump. He could use the gangbang to fire up his supporters and really turn the primaries into a sewer.

      You’re right about his setting of the agenda, and the other candidates would just ignore his rhetoric, but the media won’t let it go (see my comment, above).

      Yes, his diatribe against John McCain is the first (in my recollection) truly damaging unforced error for him, so far. It could prove fatal to his campaign – depends on skillfully he can move on to some other outrage.

      All of the things you mention are correct, and, most interestingly to me, he was a Democrat before he was a Republican – and, as I say, if he can’t get his way with them, he’ll be an Independent. Actually, in interesting aside, RNC came out yesterday and pretty much said that Trump doesn’t speak for the Republican Party. There’s the other candidates’ opening – if the RNC doesn’t consider Trump to be a Republican, why should they?

      And you’re exactly right about the weasel-language in addressing his outrageous statements and positions. I would advise my candidate to dismiss him as a sideshow and move on to the next question.

  2. I truly don’t think Trump will jump ship and run as an independent. He is smart enough to know that if he did so his only support would come from the disaffected Republicans who agree with him on this one issue: Immigration. He has nothing else to offer. The RNC is unnecessarily worrying about him becoming the incarnation of Ross Perot IMO. If he should jump ship he will not only become the focus of the media–as he is now. He will also open himself up to real (and serious) attacks from other Republican candidates and the Democratic candidates. It would only serve him if he is intent on trying to harm the Republican party. I don’t believe that.

    If you recall Ross Perot made a real dent in the 1992 elections and no doubt helped George H.W. Bush lose to Bill Clinton. When he entered the race in ’96 he utterly failed and lost all support and credibility when he started to rant about being spied on by the government, etc. Trump is starting off his 2016 bid acting like Perot did in ’96.

    I’m betting that after the August 6th debate his popularity with the voters will quickly sink and by the second or third debate if he’s still around for them he will be viewed by everyone as a laughingstock and a joke. Right now he’s just the flavor of the month and he got there by making outrageous claims and statements.

    • Obviously, I hope you’re right, but Trump’s almost insurmountable ego may cloud his vision – he’s not loyal to the Republican Party – he was a Democrat once – his loyalty is, and always has been, to himself.

  3. Yeah. You’re right about his ego. Anyway, I just think he’s taking advantage of it being “silly season” in the political arena right now. The people who are enamored with him are mainly just those who are furious at government and politicians in general. They love it when he criticizes every politician and every candidate. He’s just venting their frustrations. His “I’m not a politician I’m a very successful businessman and I know how to get things done! I’ll run the government as a businessman and a successful CEO!” It’s just what this crowd wants to hear. And they want it told to them in the most blunt, simple language. No nuance. No pragmatism. Reminds me of Herman Cain in 2012. Remember “I’m not worried about Uzbecki-Becki-Beckistan!”?

    • Well, yeah … at this early stage of a national election, it’s mostly name-recognition, and he’s got the most of that. His appeal isn’t that surprising (again, being this early in the process) because he’s an opportunistic populist – he’ll tell you what you want to hear, no matter how “honest” he says he’s being. If he continues his scorched-Earth policy, by the time he gets to DC (assuming he can ride low-information voters all the way), he won’t have anyone in Congress who will work with him. Nobody can run the federal government like a company, because you can’t fire anybody. He’s a national embarrassment.

  4. Question: Why is Donald Trump running on the Republican ticket? Do you have a clue? Why isn’t he running on the Democratic ticket? He’d only have to spew his outrageous claims and venom against one front runner: Hillary.. Perhaps I’m wrong and he really does have a vendetta against the Republican Party? I guess because his “cause du celeb” is illegal immigration. Which would gain him no traction in the Democratic Party….

    His latest antic is to point out that “a few months ago” Lindsey Graham–the guy who is now calling him (the Trump) a “Jackass”–came begging him for a campaign contribution. Seems like he’s trying to attack and take down every other Republican candidate that is running… Is this man’s ego so big that he is actually fantasizing that he could become the Republican candidate? It seems like running against all the others by attacking and destroying every other Republican who’s running is his newest strategy.. Is this all a “Media” firestorm and why is he “the Trump” still gaining in the latest polls? Interesting…But only from the liberal–progressives who are looking to focus on any or all of the Republican weaknesses…Hummmmm…

    • I still haven’t made up my mind as to whether he’s not a Democrat mole-candidate. Not really, but he couldn’t do a better job if he was. This is what a candidate does who doesn’t understand politics – win the election you’re in, even if it costs you the next one. And yes, he does actually believe he can be the Republican candidate. The polls this early are essentially meaningless (Rick Santorum was polling at around 2% a week before he won the Iowa Caucus). At this stage in the cycle, the only people paying attention are political junkies and low-information voters who get their “knowledge” from TV sound bites.

      I understand that liberals are salivating at a GOP food-fight, but they shouldn’t forget about the vulnerabilities of their anointed one – there is apparently still some juicy stuff out there about Hillary that is being held until after the nominations are complete.

  5. I as a liberal am definitely not getting my hopes up. As I have mentioned before, in my opinion Hillary is a deeply flawed candidate and although I’m sure she will be the Democratic nominee I am almost certain that she will lose the general election to whichever Republican candidate gets the nomination. I sense great frustration and restlessness in the American people and I think they will vote to change parties when it comes to the next President. I’d be shocked if the country gives the office back to another Democrat.

    • As I have said many times, if the Republicans nominate a clown, all bets are off. As of right now, we’ve got a clown leading the polls, but, as I’ve also said, it’s early. Your thinking is historically correct – in times other than economic booms, we tend to change parties, especially after the second term of a president. This time should be no different, particularly when most voters do not buy the “recovery” we keep hearing about. I will return to optimism when the polls fire Donald Trump.

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