Whatever else Donald Trump is, he is a new phenomenon in American politics. It is not the first time somebody has tried to leverage extreme wealth to gain a political position. Remember Steve Forbes? And this is Carly Fiorina’s second attempt. And, California residents with long memories might remember Arianna Huffington’s unsuccessful bid for Governor, in a pre-Huffington Post persona, when she was apparently a completely different person.
But this is the first time it’s come this close to succeeding.
It’s not the first time somebody has gained popular support with an extreme right wing position. That has actually become standard among Republicans. But never before has anyone gone this far to the right this fast. He is so far to the right that Glenn Beck suspects he might be a Democratic plant, and Dick Cheney has said he’s over the edge. Dick, torture is no problem, Cheney. Dick, let’s wiretap everybody, Cheney. Dick, we’re going to start a war and we don’t fucking need to give you a reason, Cheney.
And yet he keeps moving further and further to the right. That makes no sense.
I see a couple of possible ways to explain it.
a) Glenn Beck is right, and he’s a Democratic party plant intended to destroy the Republican party. That is playing with fire, though, and very out of character for the Democrats. Quite frankly, they don’t usually have the cojones for that level of dirty politics. If that is what’s going on, it could backfire badly. What if Trump wins?
b) Trump is just doing this for the publicity, to sell books, to increase ratings on all of his future television venture, and just because he really enjoys the publicity. If he has no interest in the presidency, he might be now trying to say something so outrageous that his campaign will implode and he’ll be off the hook. But, as he desperately gropes for the bottom, he’s starting to see that the bottom isn’t there. The people who follow him are completely unhinged.
or c, and this is what I think is actually happening) c is a b, but… He started running because this would be a good way to enhance the Trump brand, but he found a winning platform and now he’s feeding on adrenaline from the crowd.
Of course he sincerely wants to be president. Who wouldn’t? Certainly, what narcissistic megalomaniac wouldn’t?
He is a monster that has created itself. We should be afraid. We should be very afraid.