Are You One of the Suckers Barnum Was Talking About?
"There's a sucker born every minute." That's a quote attributed to P.T. Barnum, who never underestimated the American credulity.
I am not sanguine about our chances of winning the presidential election this year. We have two groups of people to thank for that. The Republican establishment is one. They account for part of the problem. By coming into this election season thinking they had the nomination locked up in the person of Jeb, they got blind-sided by a large group of very capable people announcing their own bids. They were not prepared for that. You would think they would have learned with Dole, McCain and Romney. After those ugly lessons they still anticipated a business-as-usual candidate would skate in and keep life inside the beltway pretty much as it’s been since FDR. A joke.
That would be okay if it were the only problem. We don’t need the blessing of Karl Rove to win this year.
But the people who are really driving our chances of victory to near zero are the ones who have us repeating mistakes of the very near past. Let’s review.
In 2008, after everyone assumed that Hillary was to receive an unopposed coronation, up pops a one term Senator who had no real-life experience of any kind. He was vapid and emotionalist. But he was young and new and snarky (that, for liberals, passes for intelligence and competence). McCain got the nomination for the Republicans. In a fit of utter childishness, republicans who disliked McCain stayed home, while the rest of the country blindly jumped on the bandwagon for Obama, who hadn’t done a single thing to earn their trust or their vote. A large part of our population chose to be credulous idiots in order to install our first black president, as if that really means anything.
In 2012, the same scenario repeated itself. Millions of Republican crybabies stayed home because they didn’t like that Romney (who is now repeatedly proven right in everything they laughed at him for then) got the nomination. So, once again, these stupid people stayed home and pouted on election day. The result: The emotionalist lemmings re-elected the worst president in American history. If you are Republican and stayed home in 2012, that result was your fault and you have no excuse. Whether you were being petulant or lazy, YOU put Obama back in office.
Do you remember how we Republicans used to laugh at the Kool-Aid drinkers? Every time Obama opened his mouth, he said something wildly inaccurate and often deceitful. It was so obvious, and yet he got elected. Fast-forward four more years. Well…today, we have an embarrassingly inarticulate real estate huckster, who thinks carrying out foreign policy is the same as buying a shopping center, at the top of the Republican field. From mid-summer on, he has yet to explain his least point to voters. He has no argument. A ten-year-old could have written most of his political point papers, posted online. He blurts out stuff anyone could read on FB every minute of every day, and without the slightest provision of evidence and the new Kool-Aid Drinkers cheer wildly. And these rubes are every bit as fanatical as were their Obama-loving predecessors. If you disagree with Trump, these wide-eyed supporters will jump on Facebook and Twitter to denounce you as the anti-Christ.
In 16 20 24, I started out by saying that people are ready to hear a brash and controversial message delivered by an honest politician. By being himself, Trump has garnered tremendous support. But that only covered the first two chapters of the book. The idea behind writing the book was to build better statesmen by building smarter, more discerning voters. More importantly, the message to politicians was that they should have a coherent, real message. I dread, once again, people are whoring their vote for empty celebrity.
Every time the Donald has a fit of Tourette Syndrome, a very large group of rubes calls it being honest. These same rubes call themselves conservative. They completely missed Trump calling Eminent Domain for the purposes of building private enterprises a “wonderful thing”. (See the 3:33 mark of this link. Talk about big government picking winners and losers!!!) They think it is okay to build a giant federal police force (!) for the purposes of deporting illegals is a good idea. [1. I will dedicate an entire post to the utter stupidity of this idea. Not because I like illegals squatting in the U.S. but because there is a much easier and constitutional way to do it.] These people tripped over themselves to excuse his imitation of Serge Kovaleski, a reporter he knows very well, who has an affliction that causes his hands to be twisted and difficult to control.
Trump, once famous for his childish Twitter fight with Rosie O’Donnell, later said he didn’t know the reporter and wasn’t making jokes about his condition. Well, it turns out he has met the man several times over the years and even sat for a one-on-one with him. You don’t forget that kind of thing. I will go way out on a limb here and say that no one, including the people saying he wasn't ridiculing the reporter, actually thinks he wasn't ridiculing the reporter.
You can get away with that middle-school shit if you are Dennis Leary performing the song, I'm an Asshole. But it doesn't mark you as a leader the rest of the world will respect. We all saw the same weakness in Obama. But he still sits in the Oval office, ignoring his intelligence people.
Here’s the bottom line. Trump is an absolute populist. When he speaks, he is not being honest, as we have seen many times. He is blurting out populist statements with little or no evidence to support them. No matter, his giddy children are eager to buy all of it and curse the world for not seeing his brilliance.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg where Trump is concerned. Let’s say he wins the nomination.[2. In the interest of full disclosure, I will vote for Trump over anything the statists produce] That is where the happy carnival ride will stop. The first thing that would happen is the media, who have been carrying him for his circus-like appeal, will turn on him like feral dogs. They will fill the airwaves with “news stories” that they have been sitting on since July. As sad as that will be, the debates will be worse. Gone will be any pledge from reporters to be even-handed with the candidates. When asked about anything significant, Trump will talk about the great companies he built. He’ll wave his arms. He’ll talk about who is, and is not, nice to him. It will take all the strategy of a game of tic-tac-toe to back him into a corner. His opponent, Bj Bill’s wife or Sanders, will then proceed to tear him to shreds. He will be left looking stupid and pathetic. That is not a sight I’d like to see.
When this happens, all the undecided and center-left voters will immediately shift left. Result: President Hillary or President Sanders.[3. The only way Bernie gets the nod is if Hillary is indicted as she should be. Maybe not even then considering the lack of dignity the left exercises these days.]
At the moment, the Donald sits atop the Republican field, nine times out of ten firing down, instead of across at Democrats. He is doing his level best to leave the entire field bruised and penniless for the general election, while providing hours of footage for Hillary to use against Republicans. It doesn’t matter that his claims are usually untrue or wildly misrepresented; there is tape of a “Republican” making the claims.
If he looses the nomination, Trump WILL run a third party ticket.[4. I don't believe he ever intended to honor that stupid loyalty pledge to begin with.] His loyal lemmings will throw in with him. Result: Again Sanders or Clinton.
Understand, lacking a paper ballot in almost all polling places, a Democrat win may likely be the pre-programmed result anyway. But a Trump third party run will be the same thing.
Last scenario: Trump looses the nomination and doesn’t run third party. I will be the first to salute the unselfishness and chivalry of the decision. But I suspect that millions of Trump-ettes will pout their way through the general election and not vote. Result? You got it. Not the Republican.
Since the dawn of modern media, there has never been a more been a more self-absorbed, socially incompetent boob in such a commanding political position in the U.S. Only Trump can change this assessment. He can, for once, show up at a speech or debate prepared to communicate a clear and level-headed message. I don’t see that happening.
So, to Trump’s supporters I can only say that it is great that you are politically involved. I like the fact that the Trump effect has awakened so many people. But if you don’t grow up and support one of the adults in the race (Christie, Rubio, Fiorina – my opinion) you will see your guy and the hopes of conservatives go down in flames. It will be sad and it will be ugly.
Matt Jordan is a travel writer, political commentator and author of 16 20 24. Get your SIGNED copy here!
Find 16 20 24 on Amazon.
Find 16 20 24 at Barnes & Noble