Thursday, June 2, 2016

The World According to Trump

Whether it's the drought in California or Harambe the Gorilla or the World Golf Championship, Donald Trump has an opinion, and it gets widely disseminated in the press.   The news media typically lets the Donald slide, but took exception when he went after the press in one of his recent tirades.  It's a battle Trump will probably win as everyone hates the news media.

Trump is more stand-up comic than he is presidential candidate, which helps explain some of his appeal.  He flies off on his wild tangents like George Carlin or Louis C.K., keeping what plays well with the audience and quickly discarding what doesn't.  Most recently, he had the audacity to challenge Bernie Sanders to a debate only to back away when Sanders called him on it.  This led to a slough of chicken memes, but I doubt Donald frets over it too much as after next Tuesday Hillary will be anointed the presumptive Democratic nominee, not Bernie.

However, his brash opinions and unchecked statements are raising a lot of red flags.  Even Stephen Hawking felt the need to interject in a recent BBC interview, saying he has no explanation for Donald Trump's appeal.   Yep, it is pretty hard to reason with a climate change denier, among many other things, but  sadly there are a lot of misinformed Americans who prefer to live in the age of fossil fuels and dinosaurs like Trumposaurus Donald.

The big question is -- how did we get here and why are so many Republicans endorsing a guy that mercilessly attacked them throughout his campaign?  Mitch says he's perfectly comfortable with the Donald, but in his own attempt at humor said he would like to see Trump be a little more boring. Even Former GOP nominee Bob Dole has said that Republicans should fall in line behind Trump and suggested Newt Gingrich as his running mate.  It is really hard to figure out this new found love for Trump after so many Republicans chastised him throughout the primaries as a demagogue and the worst thing that could happen to the GOP.

Sadly, in this zero-sum political world we live in, it is either us or them, and the Republicans appear willing to stand behind Trump in the general election rather than let the Democrats hold onto the White House, even if it means suffering potential huge losses in Congressional races.

Not Bill Kristol, who says he will back a third party candidate, presumably David French, who he feels is a true conservative.  This has Trump fuming, as he had to endure a grueling primary season that cost him somewhere around $50 million, most of it in personal loans he can recoup once he starts taking donations for the general election campaign.  It's not like French stands a chance to get anymore votes than Libertarian Gary Johnson, but it is the idea that Kristol would challenge his legitimacy that irks the Donald.

What started as a joke is now all too real as he has the GOP nomination in hand.  There are still plenty of ways to derail him, even before the convention, but the GOP leadership appears to have accepted the bed they made for themselves, cozying up to the Donald with the hope they can get something from him.  Marco Rubio even apologized for his "penis jokes" earlier in the campaign.  I assume this is because he heard he was on the shortlist of VP candidates.  I can only imagine how humiliating it would be to be Donald Trump's VP.  "Hey, Marco, how about getting me a bottle of water!"

You can bet that in a Trump White House, the only advice he would take is his own.  So, these Republicans who think they are going to somehow control Donald and get him to play by their playbook are as foolish as "Little Marco."

It is doubtful that this will come to pass.  As boring as Hillary is, she at least presents a reasonable persona that is aware of the issues and sees California for what it is, not what Donald Trump imagines it to be.  A victory in the Golden State would put Bernie's dreams of a brokered convention to rest and allow her to focus directly on Trump, which her campaign has already started to do.  Her only concern is that Big Bill doesn't interject himself too much in her campaign, as he has a nasty habit of sticking his foot in his mouth at inopportune moments.

It should be quite entertaining, as I don't expect the Donald to tone himself down one bit.  The GOP will live or die on the broad shoulders of Trump come November.  At best, they can only get him to concede on a Vice-President of their choosing.  I don't think it matters for the Donald, as this campaign has been always about himself and the #2 man will just have to fly coach.

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