There has been a litany of predictions of the political demise of Donald Trump since the day he announced his candidacy.
We were told his plan for a wall along the southern border would be scoffed at, we were told his comments about Mexicans would end his campaign, we were assured that he was done because of his comments about John McCain. We were guaranteed a drop in his popularity when he criticized Megyn Kelly.
The political loudmouths who pretend to understand the American electorate have been wrong at every turn.
The mainstream media has been as out of touch with Americans as has been Fox News.
The political pundits and talking heads are as clueless as are the politicians who are piling on Trump over his call for a ban on Muslims coming into the US.
Trump is reading the American public like a book. A new poll shows 56% of all Americans think Islam is incompatible with American values. Seventy six percent of Republicans hold that view. Astonishingly, that view is shared by 43% of Democrats.
The irony is that Trump is invoking the most liberal president in history to support his positions! FDR interned Japanese Americans in concentration camps. He refused refuge for a shipload of Jewish refugees, many of whom ended up being gassed at Auschwitz when the ship was forced to return to France in 1942. These moral and political failings of FDR and his Democrats have largely been ignored by liberals extolling his virtues. The reality check Trump is providing is both necessary and embarrassing.
The posturing of Republican contenders is predictable, as all are being overshadowed by Trump. The posturing of Democrats is almost laughable, as they are in the untenable position of subverting the iconic memories of FDR. Even Jimmy Carter banned Iranians from entering the US!
Donald Trump and I disagree on almost everything. Near as I can tell, we only agree on trade agreements and lobbyists. But Trump is the Republican I would support if I had to support a Republican.
Trump is shining a light on the failure of our political system. He is succeeding because the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have failed the American people.
The Republican Party is owned by the rich and the Democratic Party is owned by Wall Street and the Big Banks.
The little guy is represented by no one.
And that vacuum is being filled by Trump.
Donald Trump’s nomination will mean the end of the rich controlling the Republican Party. The people will have finally spoken, Disagree with them though we may, Trump supporters are not beholden to Wall Street. They are Wall Street’s worst nightmare, because they will not blindly buy the propaganda of the Koch brothers or the billionaires who have been calling the shots on Republican agendas in Congress and in state legislatures.
I have no use for Bill Clinton, but Bill Clinton was my choice as the most talented politician since Abraham Lincoln. And I believe Lincoln was the most talented politician in American history. Trump leaves Bill Clinton in the dust.
Professionally, I am a political strategist. As such, I think I am able to separate politics from my personal philosophies and objectively evaluate candidates and campaigns.
Such an analysis results in my considering Donald Trump to be the most brilliant politician I have ever observed. I doubt Trump believes much of what he says. I think his ability is exploit political opportunity is uncanny. His sales skills are almost supernatural. His entire career has been as a salesman, and one of the most successful one can imagine. He built a real estate empire on salesmanship, balls, and brilliance. He is doing the same as a politician.
He has managed to position himself on the people’s side of every controversy. He is not constrained by ideology or fealty to fact. He has fashioned himself as the champion of everyman.
He is as much a threat to the Republican Party as he is to Democrats.
I hope he is the Republican nominee.
But then, I hope Bernie is the Democratic nominee! I think Bernie would defeat Trump. But if Sanders loses to Hillary, I hope Hillary loses to Trump.
My rationale is entirely strategic, not philosophical. Hillary and I agree on many more issues than do Trump and I.
But a Hillary presidency will mean that the Democratic Party will again be in the grip of Wall Street. The very same corporate control of the party that has been the case under Obama will continue.
Progressives will be frozen out of the party leadership, lobbyists and industry hacks will be appointed to departments and regulatory agencies, just as they have been under Obama, and were under Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and W.
Trump will probably do the same, but the Democrats will have the opportunity to embrace Sanders, Warren, and the progressives who will redefine the Democratic Party.
The Trump campaign will be studied by political scientists and chronicled by historians. I believe future scholars will evaluate Trump as one of the greatest politicians in American history.
Which doesn’t mean he is right about anything. Just that he is brilliant.
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