By all accounts, the 2016 campaign is unusual, unprecedented (at least in the last century or so), and unpredictable, by standard measurements at least.
We have a billionaire GOP candidate who’s had to take out very few (if any) advertisements. Why should he when all he has to do is call a press conference, at very little expense to himself, and the Media comes flocking.
Trump has found a fair weather friend, despite the kerfuffle with the slit-eyed Megyn Kelly in the first debate, in Fox News. He appears their most frequent guest. When he isn’t, they’re participating in attacks he’s arranged on Ted Cruz, siding with the seemingly woebegone, put-upon Dr. “Gentle Ben” Carson without taking the trouble to really investigate the matter of Cruz’ campaign e-mails (his only mistake was in not firing the idiot who issued the e-mail).
Even if Fox News and CNN weren’t giving Trump free coverage as a media celebrity, he’d still be on the inside track with voters because they view him as an outsider. The Insiders are Out and the Outsiders, chiefly Trump, are In.
No matter how many times Trump contradicts himself, bullies other candidates or opponents (and then accuses them of ‘nastiness’), and even blows up on national television in a fire engine-red temper tantrum, his numbers just keep rising.
He’s viewed as the outsider candidate who can’t be bought and won’t make deals. This, even though he himself has promised that as president, he will make deals with Congress. Otherwise, he’d be a tyrant and even Trump recognizes that danger.
His supporters do not, though, and he depends greatly upon that willful ignorance. If Cruz is not “The Messiah” returned to Earth, neither is Trump “Superman.” That’s who his supporters want, though. They want Superman to fly in, rip the dome off the Capitol building in Washington and wing the corrupt politicians off to the penitentiary, single-handedly construct a wall across southern Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California and with a mighty breath, cave in the illegal tunnels, and nuke Iran and ISIS with one mighty flash of his laser-like eyes.
Why not? After all, Obama promised to personally lower the ocean levels of the planet.
These supporters are the silent Conservatives who mocked the Tea Party for thinking it could do anything about the politicians. For my part, I never said that. I said we needed to change the way voters thought and acted. They countered that there was no one to vote for and there was no guarantee that even a “Tea Party” candidate could be trusted once in office.
Only a demonstration of force – violent force – they felt would create a change in the political spectrum. A small group of Ted Cruzes could do nothing against the might of donor and lobbyist corruption. Only someone with lots and lots of money could battle the moneyed interests in Congress, they claimed.
That’s why they refused to identify with the Tea Party. Not because they weren’t Conservative but because they believed they were powerless against such wealthy factions, that money ruled, and that only a Super Candidate with a golden dollar sign upon his costumed chest could win.
Enter Donald J. Trump. He exudes power, wealth, and charisma, something the other candidates lacked. He was a political “Outsider” in that he’d never held public office (never mind that he was a well-known, sought-after donor in both parties). Never mind that he was, or had been, the owner of numerous casinos. The Evangelicals only heard his promise to prevent ISIS from entering the United States and burning down their churches.
American workers upset about the path to legal citizenship for illegal aliens never heard the message that while on the Senate immigration panel (the infamous Gang of Eight), Ted Cruz opposed the path to citizenship and lobbied for greater border security; if The Donald said he was a member of The Gang of Eight and Cruz denied, then The Donald must absolutely be right: Cruz is a liar. By then, they didn’t hear the second clause in Trump’s statement – that he would deport them and immediately give them a chance to return as legal U.S. citizens if they applied for citizenship.
The unemployed were overjoyed at Trump’s promise, a la Ronald Reagan, to “Make America Great Again” (Trump’s campaign slogan). There’s no denying, thanks to Obama and the Communist Democrat Congress and their partners in crime, the Moderate Republicans, that America is a mess. He quotes the actual number of unemployed – 93 million – and promises to get their jobs back from overseas.
That’s a hard message to refute. Why shouldn’t they believe him? He’s considered a successful businessman. Pundits raise the question of his Atlantic City bankruptcies at their peril. A.C. is a weak argument. Atlantic City, like Las Vegas, was full of organized crime figures, corrupt officials, and dubious developers with shady schemes. Beside them, Trump would look rather like Superman in comparison. Do leave Atlantic City out of the equation.
The other candidates may be just as committed to national security. At least one – Ted Cruz – is committed to stopping illegal aliens from entering the country, even though Trump has the cheeky hypocrisy to declare Cruz a liar, given Trump’s own “touchback” immigration policy. But Trump is a famous guy with truckloads of money who bought and sold politicians. The other candidates must scramble to raise money and Trump merely laughs and them. And when he laughs, his numbers go up even higher.
This morning, with the new Nevada poll numbers showing Jeb Bush at 1 percent and Trump at his highest ever, The Donald mocked him and asked why Jeb didn’t just go home.
“How do you fight Santa Claus?” Rush Limbaugh asked during the Obama campaign: someone willing to give away our money.
Today, we have to rephrase that question: How do you fight Superman?
Or rather, how do you fight Super Businessman, who promises to punch the bad guy Jihadists in the kisser, make monkeys of the hated Insider politicians, giving them their just desserts, and showering the American public with jobs, and threatens to sue anyone who criticizes him?
How do you dissuade an American public seeking vengeance for decades of corruption, marginalization, and duplicity from voting for someone masquerading as an Outsider but who played a sizeable role in that Insider corruption and even admits it in his first debate?
The Conservative Media could start cutting down on his power and influence by not handing him a free microphone every time he spews out an insult.