CLW has some thoughts on what’s going to happen to Donald Trump.
People keep referring in this to “the Trump campaign” like there’s a brain trust of strategists saying “OK, now we’ve done a great job ginning up support among anti-immigrants, now let’s stir up the anti-gay crowd by going after xxx, after that it’s the anti-gun nuts, then it’s the anti-China crowd, then…”. I don’t think so.
I’ve been around more than a few people like Trump; he’s a whirling dervish. He reads something or gets some tweet and it sets him off on some tangent, and then he goes out on his next event and goes wild on it. In meetings with his people, doing his “management” as he calls it, he simply sucks the air out of the room.
He listens to no one, that’s why you keep hearing “the blacks/Latinos/Chinese/<whoever>, they love me!” Because whenever he’s around people like that he never listens to a word they say. He can’t hear their objections, or they are simply dumbstruck, and he interprets that as “love.”
The people on his “campaign” are simply holding on for dear life while he wheels from one thing to the next. Just trying to make sure the hall is ready, and the frigging microphones work. Because he decided last night, “hell with Des Moines, tomorrow we’re going to Albuquerque!” No one is guiding this campaign, it’s just a personal crusade.
This may well be why it dies. Could be after the primary, he could get nominated. But when the campaign gets formal, when there needs to be some structure and discipline, when the carefully orchestrated and well paid-for attacks eventually come, his “campaign” won’t have a structured response. Because he won’t let them prepare a response to the inevitable. He’s saying “BS, we don’t need to worry about that look at the polls!”
So they’re down from 20+ opponents to just a couple, and when the attack comes he will flail. He’ll get a calm, reasoned, and focused attack in a debate, and will go randomly off tangent. Something in this painful, slow, and deliberate process will trip up his circus act. And that will show that, indeed, the emperor has no clothes.
He’ll get pushed back on his heels, and then come out swinging wildly. That won’t have the desired effect, and he’ll get more extreme. That will only get a worse response, and he’ll finally say something really, really terrible — like call Obama a nigger, or Hillary a fucking bitch, or something just way over the line. Reasonable people will say “no, really, you need to dial it back a notch”, and he’ll just go further. Then he’ll become a cartoon of himself.
With any luck, this implosion will be “yuge” and the shrapnel will be widely dispersed — and since the party will have followed him down this rat hole, they’ll get painted with the same brush. He’ll set the republican party back decades. The down-ticket candidates will suffer, and maybe, just maybe we’ll get the congress back.
Fingers crossed that we know how to take advantage when it does happen.
Vis on this: his lack of a reasoned response to the inevitable “favorite bible verse” question. Seriously? If you had ANY kind of a campaign staff, that would be number one or two on the list for a person seeking a Republican nomination.
It would take ten seconds. Some campaign adviser says “OK, let’s pick one, how about the golden rule? Sound good? OK, so when that question comes that’s what you say. Got it? Good. Now…”
But when the adviser comes in, he says “screw that, I’m good, have you seen the polls?” and blows them off.
And the softball goes un-hit.
If a year from now we are still talking about Donald Trump in any other fashion than “Hey, remember him?” I won’t know whether to be delighted, mortified, or scared shitless.