The disclaimer at the head of this blog has to be this: I have said before, many times, that Donald Trump has gone too far and this will be the end of him. I said it right after he announced his candidacy, with the ‘Mexican rapists’ remark.
I was not alone in that assumption. Like everybody else who is over, say, about 40, I grew up in an era where any politician who said something so blatantly racist, so crass, so insensitive, would find their career finished. Even George Wallace, as racist a man who has ever mounted a major run for the presidency (in the 20th century, anyway) used somewhat more circumspect language.
But, Trump’s popularity grew. I thought for sure his remarks about Megyn Kelly probably being on her period would finish him off. After all, no woman is going to vote for a guy who makes creepy, sexist remarks like that in public. But, no, you still see lots of women at his rallies.
The violent incidents at his rallies, the increasingly fascistic tone, retweeting stuff from white supremacists, especially that Bernie Sanders in the gas chamber joke, each time I thought “He’s gone too far. Now, he’s toast.” And each time I was wrong.
But, I’m going to predict it again. Skipping a debate is a huge mistake, for two reasons. First, because it makes him look like a chickenshit. If he can’t face Megyn Kelly, what’s he going to do if he comes up against Hillary Clinton? If, God forbid, he should become president, how is he going to negotiate with Angela Merkel? He’s been hit with plenty of ridicule on the internet today, but that won’t faze him – he doesn’t give a shit what we think and neither do his followers.
The second thing is a lot more damaging. The next time Republicans meet on stage to all make fools of themselves, Trump won’t be there. Trump fans across America are going to look up and say “Hey, where’s Trump?”
And then they’ll forget him faster than last week’s contestant in American Idol. His base has the attention span of a goldfish; out of sight is out of mind. By the end of the debate, they’ll be saying “Hey, that Cruz guy is pretty good, I liked what he said about bombing the fuck out of everybody,” or “Hey, I forgot Huckabee was running, maybe I’ll vote for him.”
It’s such an egregious political mistake that it gives credence to the theory that it was all a joke campaign from the beginning, maybe instigated by the Clinton’s, maybe just a scam to sell more copies of his book, maybe some kind of weird social experiment, a la Sascha Baron Cohen. Maybe he never really wanted it, which would explain all of his irrational statements, like “I could shoot somebody and my voters would still support me.”
Then again, I could be wrong again.