I’m not going to lie, the more I study Donald Trump the Republican presidential candidate, the more I think he just might be an absolute genius. Now don’t get me wrong, I still think he’s a vile human being, but as a Republican presidential candidate he might just be brilliant.
Let’s start out with how this all came to be. For years Trump built a solid following among conservatives as an anti-Obama birther who bashed the president any chance he got. Not only that, but he dedicated quite a lot of his time to attacking Hillary Clinton as well. And to conservative voters, if you show unrelenting disdain toward those two, they’ll pretty much worship you.
Hell, he managed to get himself a weekly feature on Fox News’ Fox & Friends where he was promoted (for free) on America’s most-watched conservative entertainment channel.
But when it comes to understanding the mind of conservative voters, make no mistake about it – Trump gets it. He knows that it doesn’t matter if what he’s saying is true, just as long as it’s what conservatives want to hear.
Which is why when he called most Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, he didn’t hesitate and he sure as heck didn’t back down. Why would he? That’s what most conservatives wanted to hear. In fact, had he walked back his comments it would have only hurt him in the polls.
After that came his controversial comment about Sen. John McCain’s war record. Now, even I was a bit unsure how this might play out for him. Then he pulled out another “genius’ move by shifting the conversation away from what he said about McCain to the ongoing issues facing our veterans and our VA system. As we all know, that’s a go-to issue Republicans like to harp on – even if they never do anything about it.
However, there’s also the reality that most conservatives don’t like McCain anyway. They ran him through the mud in 2000 during the GOP presidential primary and couldn’t have cared much less about him in 2008 when he was trounced by President Obama. So, while Trump’s remarks were off-putting for some who fiercely defend veterans, the fact he shifted some of that focus to our government’s continued incompetence with providing for our veterans, and how McCain has been a part of problem, was a fairly intelligent political maneuver. Somehow he managed to mock a war hero – and still went up in the polls.
Then there’s the fact that it’s almost impossible to really attack him for anything. He’s proven time after time that if one of these other Republican candidates comes after him, he has no problem saying whatever he has to say to come out looking stronger and more “in charge” than they do. He really doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him, and he doesn’t have any sort of political career to protect like many of these other candidates do. He’s rich, 69 years old and really has nothing to lose. Even if his campaign fails, he’s still going to be a billionaire.
Aside from all of that, he’s also put the Republican party in a no-win situation. The RNC sure as heck doesn’t want him to be their candidate. But at the same time, they can’t just go after him to tear him down because if they really tick him off he can run as a third-party candidate and ruin any hope they might have at winning the presidency in 2016.
Though let’s also not forget that in all of Trump’s dealings with Republicans these last few years, I’m sure he knows quite a few tidbits of “Republican insider information” that they sure as heck don’t want made public.
Trump really has set himself damn near perfectly. He:
- Spent years building up a following while being promoted frequently on Fox News.
- Has absolutely no political career to attack.
- Recognizes that the best way to get the attention of conservative voters is to simply tell them what they want to hear, regardless of whether or not it’s true.
- Has mastered the art of spin possibly better than any other Republican candidate.
- Has the Republican party up against the wall because if he were to run as a third-party candidate it would ruin any chance they had at the White House in 2016.
- Seems to have recognized that he just needs to “out-Republican” his presidential counterparts to appeal to the majority of conservative voters.
While he stands absolutely no shot at ever becoming president, he has proven himself to be a damn effective candidate. When you’re running as a Republican, it really isn’t about facts or reality, just pandering to right-wing ignorance and propaganda – two things Donald Trump has proven himself quite brilliant at doing.