In May, I wrote a brilliant column in this space about Donald Trump that began with this: “Donald Trump says he’ll tell us soon if he plans to run for president. I’ll tell you now: He won’t. The boy has cried wolf once too often.”
I was wrong. Obviously!
Then I figured, given his annoying narcissism, he’d never catch on. Wrong again!!
And when he needlessly and mean-spiritedly bashed John McCain I was absolutely, positively certain that he had jumped the shark, that it was lights out for Donald Trump.
I wasn’t only wrong on this one, too, but his poll numbers actually went up!!!
So if you want to stop reading now, feel free. I deserve it.
For those still with me …
It’s no secret that Trump is doing so well because many Americans have had it with politicians, a word they spit out more than merely say. Voters don’t trust politicians who they think will say anything to get their vote. We think politicians are inauthentic, a nice way of saying phony. And millions of Americans see Trump as the guy who speaks his mind, who says what he means and means what he says, who tells the Chinese to fly a kite and the Russians too. And if he demeans Mexicans who sneak into this country – so what, they say? All Trump is doing, they reckon, is speaking the truth – something most politicians are afraid to do.
There’s a great line from Kris Kristofferson, a Rhodes scholar, who wrote Me and Bobby McGee. “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” That also explains Trump. The voters are saying, we’ve got nothing to lose if we vote for him over those professional political phonies who have done nothing for us. And guess what. Trump is saying the same thing: If I lose, I’ll go back to being a billionaire. Big freaking deal.
People like that about him.
But here’s a thought for you to ponder: Barack Obama is also responsible for Trump’s unexpected success.
Voters know it isn’t morning in America. Most think we’re on “the wrong track.” Millions upon millions have given up looking for work. The gross national product is only limping along. In one poll, most Americans said they think we’re still in a recession. They know Obama isn’t Reagan or Clinton when it comes to their day in day out economic wellbeing.
Enter the non-politician, politician … the TV celebrity … the guy who doesn’t give a damn what anybody thinks … the one who doesn’t read from teleprompters or even note cards. He may sound like a jerk constantly bragging about how great he is, but hey, ain’t he refreshing?
And more and more voters are saying, “He’s just like us” despite the fact that he’s nothing like us. We don’t live in houses like his, we don’t sit in the back seats of limos like he does, we don’t eat at restaurants that he frequents, we don’t have our names on buildings and golf courses all over the place, and we don’t have his money.
Mere technicalities. When you’re fed up – really, really fed up – you’ll convince yourself of almost anything that gives you hope for a better future. Even if that hope is Donald Trump, the guy who gives egomania a bad name. Besides, unlike liberals who resent the wealthy, Trump’s fans aspire to someday be rich just like he is.
So now I’m about to make a few more brilliant predictions:
- Donald Trump will say something even dopier than his remarks about how John McCain wasn’t a war hero. This time people will say, Enough!
- Nothing lasts forever, and Trump’s past due date is approaching fast. Even if he doesn’t mouth off in a big way, the voters will simply get tired of him.
- If he fails to win the GOP nomination, he definitely will not run as a third party candidate.
- He definitely will not be elected President of the United States — ever
One more, very important thing, you must consider: I’ve been wrong about everything I’ve ever written about Donald Trump.