I’ve been avoiding writing anything about the Donald Trump presidential bid because I thought his run would quickly burn itself out. I still think it will, but polls suggest he is still leading the Republican Party nomination in this early stage.
Trump has always been a self-promoter of the highest order and his blustering comments (on immigration, the Iran deal and now John McCain) are part of his brand. What his son, Eric, recently said was that The Donald “is fed up with the nonsense.”
It’s easy to say that Donald Trump himself is nonsense, but fringe candidates (and, yes, Trump is a fringe candidate) appeal to a relatively small segment that are angry about being ignored.
Remember, Ross Perot? He was an independent candidate in 1992, a media darling who captured the attention of the economically disenfranchised who thought a billionaire could fix the country’s economic problem.
Eventually, he burned out and Bill Clinton won over incumbent George HW Bush because Perot’s appeal – while strong – simply didn’t appeal to enough people. (And many just thought he was a kook.)
The Republicans (and media) are at fault.
Trump’s advantages are that he is well known (even if not particularly beloved) and the race for the Republican nomination has an absurd 15 candidates. (Or is it 16 now? I lose track.) It is a scattered Republican market, if you will. That means few, if anyone, knows what the Republican Party stands for today. It looks lost with so many candidates running, suggesting that no candidate thinks the other is worthy of the nomination. There’s simply not one voice representing the party.
In essence, the other Republican candidates are trying to be for everyone, while Trump is saying who he is for and not for.
Trump then speaks to a minority (even if he says he represents the “silent majority) because there is no majority in the Republican Party. There’s just fractures of populations.
Trump is the loudest here, and his brand has always been about being the loudest and most extravagant. It’s there in his hotels, casinos and other real estate ventures. They are loud, with gold trimming and big lights with the name TRUMP blazed everywhere.
Sanity will eventually prevail and we’ll look back at Trump’s run as the mainstream media getting hoodwinked into playing his game. How many times can he go on the Today Show? Even The Huffington Post announcing that it will run Trump news in its entertainment section is playing into Trump’s hands so he can say that is nonsense and people are out to get him.
Trump will not win the nomination and his comments will continue to be offensive. But he’s doing exactly what he’s always done. Playing up to the brand of Donald Trump.