Remember when we all thought that The Donald was the biggest joke among the 17 Klown Kar troupe of circus performers that was the Republican Primary contest?  Yeah, of course you do.  Then he actually succeeded in being crowned King of The Krazy Republicans by snatching the Presidential Candidate prize from the likes of Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.  Wow! we thought.  How bizarre is this! How could someone with no experience in governing – never been a City Council member, never a Mayor or Governor, or member of Congress, never been elected to any public position  – and no discernible “expertise” in economics or diplomacy or anything else  save for a reality television show and endless self-promotion become the Republican Party’s national leader?  His one real claim to fame, his much publicized business expertise, is indeed real, but tainted by - what? – 6 bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits both by and against him, and failure after failure of his projects around the country.

But the one thing Trump had going for him was and is his vow to “shake things up.”  He was not going to be an “establishment candidate” pedaling the same old solutions to the problems America faces.  He was going to “tell it like it is” – no "political correctness” for The Donald, no sir! Not him.  This was and continues to be his major appeal to his disgruntled no more “political-business-as-usual” supporters and as a result he has become a cult figure among them.  Nothing he says disqualifies him.  Nothing he does is beyond the bounds of propriety.  Attacks on him, his character, his policies,  only strengthen the devotion of the Trumpettes and are countered by the oft used “media bias” meme.

The latest Trump Battle against the rest of the world is with the Khan family whose Army son was killed in Iraq and who gave the signature speech of the Democratic Convention.  Trump has come out hitting hard, his gloves off, as he is wont to do, against this Gold Star Family much to the criticism of both Republicans and Democrats.  He frames his counterattacks with the defense that “the Khan family, in criticizing and attacking me publicly, are fair game.”  A couple of defensive subtexts include “the speech was written by Hillary Clinton” and “it was a set-up” although I’m not all that clear on what the latter actually means since all political speeches and most assuredly those delivered at national political conventions are by definition “set ups.”  It's been five days now, and this is still a running issue with the Khan's also taking to the airwaves in their own defense against Trump's attacks on them.  It resembles nothing more than an episode of "The Real Housewives of Miami" or "The Biggest Loser." 

But the Trump beat goes on.  He can say that Russia isn’t in the Ukraine or that he never said he admired Putin or that he didn’t really mean that the U.S. would not respond to an invasion of Latvia as it is bound to do by the NATO agreement and nothing happens.  Sure, there inevitably follows a raft of criticism by the media but nothing seems to dent his diehard support among the Trumpettes.   All of this, from his attacks on the Khan family to his denial of prior statements that are on video tape, only cements his primary claims that he was “going to shake things up” and “tell it like it is.”  He has, ironically, been fully consistent about his promises in this regard despite all the wild inconsistencies all along the way.  And this is why his supporters are even more strongly on his side than they might have been six months ago. 

Even with Hillary’s post convention bounce, national polls still peg the races between Trump and Hillary as close.  It seems to be the accepted reasoning that both candidates have high negatives and, therefore, voters are more or less equally ambivalent about their choice.  But to me, it’s like the 70% of Americans who think that the country is “heading in the wrong direction” poll numbers that don’t reveal the huge gap hidden in this 70% number as to what the causes of this disgruntlement are between liberals and conservatives and, equally, the widely different solutions that liberals and conservatives are proposing to change the direction of the country.

What I believe is happening is that the poll numbers reflect the craziness of this year’s Presidential election.  If I were to be polled by Gallup or CNN (and I won’t be if history is any indication) given the chaos that our current Presidential campaign seems to be generating, I would probably cast my vote for Trump just to fuck things up.  Now I can’t say for certain that this is what’s happening – folks deciding to “play” with pollsters rather that giving their real opinions – but it’s certainly what I would do.  After all, the polls back in 2012 failed to predict that President Obama would be re-elected by an even greater margin than he “polled” back in 2008 much to the Republican's surprise.

An even greater indication of what polls don’t reveal, is voter attitudes right now as opposed to what they will be on November 8th later this year.  Right now the entire Presidential campaign seems as if we’ve descended into some sort of parallel universe where the old campaign “rules” simply no longer apply.  Given this “take” – and not an unreasonable one in my view – folks are much more inclined to vote with their emotions, i.e. either for Trump or against Hillary, or even just for fun.  But when faced with the actual act of casting a ballot for the next President, I suspect that the clear choice this year – between the chaos that Donald Trump appears to promise and the measured, practical future Hillary Clinton advocates – will be the deciding factor. 

On the other hand, and here I am invoking the “fair and balanced,” there are “two sides to every issue” that our media follows blindly, I would say that all bets are off this year.   As crazy and chaotic as this year’s Presidential Election Campaign has been thus far, there’s no reason to assume that it won’t get even more crazy as time goes on. 

As Betty Davis allegedly said in her Academy Award winning performance in “All About Eve,”  “Fasten Your Seatbelts, It’s Going To Be A Bumpy Ride!”        

NOTE:  For this first time this year our hummingbirds are back.  I thought that they had simply flown the coop – our backyard, really – but saw two this morning. 

Have A Good Day!


Popular posts from this blog