The more I think about it, the more I’m starting to believe that Donald Trump has a legitimate shot at winning the Republican presidential nomination. When he first announced he was running, I viewed it as nothing but a publicity stunt and his candidacy as a joke – as did most of the country. After all, this is “The Donald” we’re talking about. Who in their right mind would take him seriously as a presidential candidate?
Well, we have our answer to that question: Republican voters.
And while some still think he’s just enjoying his “15 minutes of fame” before he eventually fades out, I wouldn’t be so sure.
Trump has three massive strengths that no other candidate has:
- He has absolutely no political career working against him.
- He doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him.
- Because he doesn’t care about what anyone thinks of him, he has no problem lying through his teeth.
But even going beyond his strengths, you can just look at what he’s saying as a candidate. He’s:
- Appealing to the racism, bigotry and rampant anti-immigrant sentiment that most Republicans deny exists among a good portion of conservative voters.
- Talking that “big tough bomb them to hell talk” conservative voters drool over when it comes to Iran and ISIS.
- A rabid anti-Obama basher – even a birther.
- Trashing Hillary Clinton just as bad as any other Republican candidate.
- Every bit as anti-government (at least in rhetoric) as the other candidates.
- Come out against same-sex marriage.
- Refusing to back down and sticking to his guns even as he faces intense public scrutiny over his racist comments, which is a trait conservatives love.
In many ways he is the perfect Republican candidate.
Though even when you get beyond all of that, a major issue for these other GOP candidates remains how exactly they’re going to campaign against him. They can’t go after his political record because he doesn’t have one. If they go after him personally, not only could that backfire by making these other candidates look very petty, but he’s just crazy enough to spend who knows how much money digging up things from their past that they sure as heck don’t want the American people to know about. Are they going to attack him for being too harsh on immigration? Yeah, let’s see how that works out with most conservative voters. They can’t say he’ll be soft on terrorism because in many ways he’s being even more “bold” than these other candidates have been when discussing ISIS and Iran. Heck, he’s even better at bashing President Obama and Hillary Clinton than they are.
And let’s not act as if the truth, facts or reality matter to conservatives, so Trump’s dishonesty doesn’t factor in at all.
While my mind still won’t really let me believe that Trump is a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination, the more I look at the reality of who he is, what he’s saying and how I’m not sure these other candidates are going to be able to counter his nonsense – it really does start making sense why he’s quickly become a GOP frontrunner.
Liberals should be celebrating that, by the way. Just thinking about the possibility of Donald Trump as the GOP candidate for president gets me excited – though I do get the feeling that if the RNC felt that it might happen, they would do whatever they could to sabotage Trump. The last thing the GOP wants is Donald Trump as their candidate.
If that were to happen, as unlikely as it might seem, that would essentially hand Democrats the White House in 2016. While his arrogant, egotistical bigoted shtick feeds right into what many conservatives love hearing, Donald Trump would get absolutely annihilated in the general election.