Over the last couple of months, Democrats have been falling all over themselves watching the GOP deal with the Trump phenomenon. From his revolting rapist comments concerning Mexicans, to his putdown of John McCain, to his seemingly endless attacks on Megyn Kelly both during and after the GOP debate, Donald Trump's star has risen, not fallen. Nothing this guy says or does seems to hurt him. And the more people that come after him, the more popular he seems to get.
Over the last couple of weeks, I've had this sickening feeling about what's going on here and it just won't go away. Look, I know this is going to sound crazy, but here goes. Contrary to what I wrote a month ago, Donald Trump can win. Yes, you heard right, I said win. And not just GOP nomination. The whole ball of wax. A recent poll showed Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, ahead of him nationally by only six points. SIX POINTS!!!
This wasn't Rasmussen or some other conservative bubble poll like the ones that had Mitt Romney beating Barack Obama in 2012. This was a CNN poll. You may not like CNN - and I sure as hell don't - but they're certainly capable of conducting a poll. And if I'm the Democratic Party, I would take this poll VERY seriously. I would cease my celebrating and start worrying. Hell, I'd start shitting my pants now.
What is the reason for my assertion that Trump can win? It comes down to three factors.
Hillary Clinton's vulnerability. Whether Democrats want to admit it or not, Hillary has issues, some of which have been fabricated by the far Right, but, let's face it, some have come through her own incompetence. Like her husband before her, she has been her own worst enemy. Whether you believe there is any validity to the charges that she violated the law or not, the fact that she left herself open to this kind of scandal will plague her in the general election, mark my words. The main reason for a possible Joe Biden candidacy is because he knows she's vulnerable. He can smell the blood in the water. You can't give the GOP all the credit for her high negatives. She's had a hand in it.
The lackluster GOP field. Seriously, take a good look at the Republican candidates. Some of these people make Mitt Romney look like Bruce Springsteen. And this was supposed to be a deep and competitive field? Compared to what? A funeral procession? Jeb Bush, who was supposed to be the GOP presumptive nominee, looks like the poster boy for a Sominex commercial. Donald Trump called him "low energy." From what I've seen, that's the most understated thing Trump has uttered quite possibly in his entire life.
The ugly mood of the country. Ah, here we come to crux of the matter; the fuel that keeps Air Trump flying high. Face it, Trump isn't just speaking to the choir, as I said in an earlier piece, he's playing to whole damn orchestra.
A lot has been said and written about the racist and xenophobic elements within the Republican Party. Well there is another element that, as it turns out, isn't confined just to the GOP, and if you've been paying attention to the crowds that attend Bernie Sanders' rallies, you'll know exactly where I'm going. The country, for lack of a better word, is pissed. It's a good thing nuclear warheads aren't readily available the way guns are or there'd be a crater where Washington D.C. is right now.
Both sides of the political spectrum, plus a good chunk of the rest of the electorate, have had it up to here with the political system of this country. There's an old saying in politics that people love the sausage; they just can't stand seeing it made. Well, to a majority of people, that isn't sausage that's being made in Washington.
I'd say on a scale of 1 to 10, voters are somewhere between 11 and ballistic. That's where the Donald comes in. Trump is a master manipulator. In many ways he's better than a magician. A magician can only pull a rabbit out of a hat or make someone disappear. What Trump does is truly ingenious. He tells his audience that the politicians in Washington are stupid and corrupt and that only he can fix the system. Then he does what all conmen and great sales people (sometimes one in the same) do. He keeps it simple, never revealing any details. Like the magician, you can look up his sleeves, but you won't find anything.
That's because Trump doesn't have anything up there. He never did and he knows it. He's playing his audience, but they're too stupid to know they're getting played. That's the beauty here. Trump never has to produce a scintilla of proof for his wild accusations or reveal a sliver of details about what his intentions are. He just has to point fingers at everybody else from Jeb (his favorite whipping boy) to Hillary (his likely opponent in the general) and the crowd goes wild. Tell him he can't do what he says he's going to do and he just says, "I don't think so, you're wrong," and proceeds to double down on his assertions.
Seriously, does any rational person really believe that a president Trump is going to actually build a wall two thousand miles long across our southern border? This is a government that can't pass a highway funding bill and we're supposed to believe that something considerably more ambitious and many more times expensive is going to pass? And while we're at it, find the resources needed to round up and deport over 11 million undocumented people? But Trump says he'll get it done and his faithful minions accept and believe him.
In my career in sales, I've worked with all kinds of characters. People who could sell last-night's leftover meatloaf and claim it was prime rib. They couldn't hold a candle to the Donald. Penn and Teller are rank amateurs next to him.
And you want to know the best part? Trump, for all his bombast, isn't all that off base. When he says the politicians are stupid and corrupt, he's telling it like it is. When he says the system is broken, you can't help but say, "No shit, Sherlock!" All Trump is really doing is rubbing salt in a wound that's been infected for quite some time; a wound that to an awful lot of people has gone untreated long enough.
So they turn to Doctor Trump. He has the perfect prescription for what ails them. The ultimate snake oil salesman selling snake oil to a gullible and frustrated people whose patience has run out and who are too tired and fed up to wait any longer. Talk about suckers; Barnum would cum in his pants.
Political pundits can say it's only August all they want. In a few days, it will be September. I guarantee you we'll be talking about Trump well into the fall, winter, spring and summer. The man is here to stay. He's running for president, he's loaded with cash (HIS OWN CASH, MIND YOU!) and he's got the ear of a lot of people who seem to think he can deliver them and the country from the elites who have destroyed it.
His message, if you listen carefully, is not just a conservative message. In many ways, it's a far more blunt version of the same populist message Bernie Sanders has been delivering to sellout crowds all over the country. Yes, he's a racist, or at least he's pandering to that element. With Trump, you never know. But it would be foolish for anyone to believe that he is merely the fruits of the Frankenstein monster the GOP created.
The truth is no one created Donald Trump. He's been making outrageous statements all his adult life. What he really is is an opportunist. And like all opportunists, he has seized upon this granddaddy of an opportunity. He's no flake; he's for real. And if both political parties don't start taking him seriously, in about eighteen months, Chief Justice John Roberts will be swearing him in as the 45th President of the United States.