It’s beginning to look like the 2016 presidential contest could be Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump.
While the Democratic Party is having a not-too-unusual struggle between the left and the middle of politics, the Republican Party is faced with what could be called an “outlier”.
Donald Trump is running away with the show in the later stages of the early part of the campaign process.
On the Democratic side, Ms. Clinton’s only serious political primary contest challenge is from the self-avowed socialist from Vermont, Sen. Bernie Sanders. But one could say that is the usual challenge from that party’s left contingent (even some of the far left don’t think Bernie is far left enough).
But on the Republican side, the whole process with 17 candidates has been turned upside down by a billionaire who does not fit or fit neatly into the categories of right and left or even centrist — he’s just Donald Trump. He says he wants to be the Republican nominee, although he would possibly go the third-party or independent route if need be. Trump has talked of, gasp! raising taxes (but not on the sacred middle class but the rich, including those involved in hedge funds) and imposing tariffs on goods our corporations bring in from outside the country. Trump is not afraid to criticize big business or the privileged monied class of which he is part. He even admits to taking part in the rigged game but proposes to even the playing field a bit.
Meanwhile, Jeb Bush who had been the assumed eventual nominee, seems impotent (politically). And the rest of the crowded field can only wish that they could command the attention Trump does.
To the extent Trump really does have an allure, despite disrespectful and uncivil and reckless and at times sophomoric rhetoric, it may be kind of like how men are attracted to fast women but bring home the girl next door to meet mom and dad and eventually marry and why women secretly or not-so-secretly are attracted to the bad boys.
And I had thought the GOP was finally paying the price of what began as the “Southern strategy” back in the days of Nixon of appealing to white racists and others of narrow (and sometimes weak) mind and went on to take in others outside the mainstream with a reactionary frame of mind, who might call themselves tea partiers. I thought the GOP had unwittingly created a monster that would force it to nominate a reactionary candidate, such as Ted Cruz.
And I guess I should have mentioned Nixon’s “silent majority”, that untapped group in the middle, politically silent, but harboring resentment and a longing for the way things used to be (in their minds). Trump claims to have tapped into that.
At any rate, so along comes Trump with an ego as big as all outdoors and a political view that does not seem to fit the common stereotype. Here comes someone who may never have planned to be a real candidate — he was just a showman building or maintaining a brand but a portion (and it seems a large portion, although polls can be misleading) of the public has taken him seriously.
It’s almost like the Colbert (coalbear) Report, where Stephen Colbert did the parody of one of those new reactionary far-right pundits on TV or radio and people (well some) thought he was serious (some people cannot comprehend satire, researchers say it’s a genetic disorder).
So now I’m saying I see good news for Hillary (emailgate notwithstanding). Although it is scary that someone as wild and reckless as Trump could actually get the nomination of one of our two major parties, I think in the actual vote come November of 2016, Hillary would win and do so by a fair margin if not a landslide. If Trump ran separate from the two major parties, it would seem the advantage would go to Hillary (but conventional wisdom this time around seems shaky).
But in the end, voters might be seen like young people taking a sober look at their future:
The young man decides reality dictates the girl next door, not the fast woman, and the young woman only wants to dream about the bad boy, for her real life she has better sense.
We can only hope.
I don’t endorse Hillary Clinton but in no way would I want Donald Trump as president.