I suppose one could write a column about Donald Trump every day. His constant stream of over-the-top statements certainly feeds into his strategy of keeping the focus on him as a personality without concerning oneself with the wisdom or for that matter legality of his proposals as serious public policy initiatives. If a candidate is willing to say anything without concern for consequences or accuracy, it is likely that he or she will create and maximize a super hardened base.
Teflon Trump is impermeable with that base. But just like a hard shell can keep things in, it can also keep things permanently out. The question in an election cycle becomes for Trump “has he hardened his base to a point and in such a manner that he has essentially created the impossibility for him to win a general election and maybe even a nomination?”
Polling and for that matter common sense indicates that on a national level, when all likely voters regardless of affiliation are surveyed, many of his proposals are individually and significantly unpopular. And taken as a whole, it has translated into Trump having an unusually high unfavorable rating and the worst head-to-head against Hillary Clinton of the major candidates. Marco Rubio runs the strongest in most surveys.
Additionally, it shows that there is little room remaining in the race for Trump to pick up support. Those for him are very strongly for him. Those against him are very strongly opposed to him. Putting aside the Trump spin, a Trump nomination, at least as of today, appears to guarantee a Clinton win.
Trump has successfully used his strategy of saying anything regardless of consequences or accuracy or for that matter legality like a net to capture a larger piece of the overall Republican electorate although his percentage among the most likely of Republican voters has increased by very little.
He is the frontrunner so in turn, by definition, he currently is the more likely nominee. In as much as the most likely Republican Party voters are evenly split on their support for his proposals and the field will eventually shrink resulting in new alignments, Trump is a long way from being the presumptive Republican nominee.
That is my view of the politics as a so-called pundit. As an American I consider much of what he says contrary to my beliefs in what this country is about.
All the presidential candidates are concerned about national security. All of the Republicans are offering strong responses to terrorism. Some of these proposals are controversial and likely to be heavily debated. But none of these proposals, short of Trump’s, stereotype over a billion people. And none of them might actually make the world a more dangerous place for Americans except Trump’s.
I have noticed on social media, if you say something negative about Trump, you are certain to have a number of insulting, crude and often ignorant comments thrown back at you. The identity of the accuser is often covered by some anonymous tag. So much for civil political discourse between knowing parties. Trump certainly can bring out the worse in people. And I guess by hiding behind some generic name, they are demonstrating their fear of taking responsibility for their remarks. All very sad.
I do not plan to discuss Trump regularly. In many ways, with this column, I wanted to lay out my concerns so we can move beyond him. And I plan t discuss the merits of the many other better candidates and eventually announce the candidate of my choice. Then maybe those who understand that change in a political cycle only comes about through an election victory will begin to focus on the true issue at hand, which would be for many like-minded individuals, the defeat of Hillary Clinton.