With the most recent polls showing Hillary Clinton with a commanding double-digit lead over Donald Trump, it becomes more apparent this nation is willing to accept the status quo over the nonsensical. In terms of experience, Hillary offers far more than Trump, but still, there will be many voters whose votes she will get who see her in a negative light, just less so than Trump. That said, what would be the long term affect of Trump’s candidacy?
Let me start by saying much of his affect will be tied to what happens in this fall’s house and senatorial elections. If they remain at the 96 percent re-election rate they tend to have, there might not be that much of a shift. The senate might swing Democratic, but it is too soon to determine if both houses go that way, giving Hillary carte blanche to deliver on her many plans and promises.
Then there is the matter of the Republican Party as a whole. Unlike what others have stated, I do not see this as the end of the party. Perhaps had Trump run against Barrack Obama, it might have, but when there is a Clinton anywhere near the White House, Republicans tend to enjoy, and sometimes prosper from the self inflicted wounds of team Clinton. Should the GOP hang on to both houses this fall, you can bet it will be business as usual in DC, or in other words, gridlock.
Of more interest, and more concern, to me is what becomes of Trump. Say and think what you want about the guy, personally, I think he is destined to be my Ass Hat of the Year, but the media loves him. This should worry anyone in this nation who wants to see this country heal from its multiple divides, many of which are horribly ugly in nature and the end result of Trump’s spreading of hate.
I have never believed Donald Trump wants to be POTUS. He is too smart to be in charge of a failed democracy. He knows enough to know he cannot deliver on his most basic promises. There was never going to be a wall built by Mexico. He cannot possibly return all the nice paying middle class jobs lost from the disaster of 2008. He can’t even make America great again because even he knows hate, fear, and finger pointing are not what make America a great nation. Only a fool would believe this is possible and while Trump is many things, a fool is not one of them.
Trump is wired for two things, seeking attention and then using that attention to make money. Up until now, he has done quite well in both arenas. Donald Trump cannot afford to be in the White House unless he is a guest to a dinner attended by dignitaries. What Trump can afford is to deliberately run for president with the intent to lose, all while increasing his name recognition and value for the use of that name. You would be surprised at just how many people are willing to invest in his name simply because like Trump, they see green before they see red, white, and blue.
I have no doubt Trump saw polling numbers that put him even with Clinton and grew worried. “What if I win this thing? What the hell do I want with a country to run? There’s no money to be made doing that,” had to be among his thoughts. Of course, by losing, he can claim he lost a rigged election and then sit back and fire off hourly tweets about everything Hillary is doing wrong.
This brings us to the media. Do they continue to feed the Trump machine because they know it is a ratings gold mine or do they turn a deaf ear and steer clear? If the situation is reversed and if Trump wins, do you really think the media will care what Hillary thinks? Did it care what Gore, Kerry, McCain, or Romney thought?
However, a self-promoting blowhard who will say anything to grab a headline just to remain relevant will be just what the media needs when their post election ratings begin to decline.
So why is this a problem? If you are of the mindset that this nation needs to find more ways to come together rather than tear it apart, who the media features as a counter to the Clinton message will go a long ways as to how citizens respond to the events that unfold. Will that messenger be a voice of reason who offers well thought out counter arguments or will it be Trump, a man who has yet to show he is capable of leading a Boy Scout Troop let alone an entire nation.
This year, 2016, is going to be remembered as an election that pitted the far left and the insane right against the middle ground. Like her or not, Hillary is far more centered than Trump. She is also far more calculating and conniving, but that is not the same as Trump, who is nothing more than self-promoting. And since the media refuses to even give Gary Johnson anywhere close to a real opportunity to be heard, voters are left to choose between one of two evils.
Perhaps, if the media tells Trump, “Thanks for the ratings bonanza, but now we have real people and events to cover,” we will be able to see just how effective or ineffective Hillary will be as POTUS. She can spend her first term in office laying all the ground work for her reelection while the GOP and other parties can begin to figure out who they want to appeal to and how best to find a candidate they can get behind and support.
Of course, all of this hinges on whether or not Hillary, and to a lesser extent Bill, can stay out of the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. However, the chance of that happening is about as much as Donald Trump going 24 hours without firing off a tweet designed to offend a specific group of people. After all, he has an election to lose.
Jim is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is also the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching. Jim considers himself an equal opportunity pain in the ass to any political party, group, or individual who looks to profit off of hypocrisy. When he is not pointing out the conflicting words and actions of our leaders, the NFL commissioner, or humans in general, he can be found riding his bike for hours on end while pondering his next article. Jim recently moved to Camarillo, CA after being convinced to join the witness protection program.