I had a hunch and almost mentioned it but then said to myself: naaaa. But the hunch was that Donald Trump (no one else in politics to write about) was going to change his tune if he won the nomination for GOP presidential candidate, and now I heard that he assured someone that if he wins he will get more serious. I’ll have to check and see what he actually said.
It makes me think of my youngest daughter who as a little girl would say something outrageous or naughty and then say: “I was just kidding”.
Trump’s latest is in a bit of obvious hyperbole he told an audience that he “could shoot somebody and not lose a vote”. (Presumably he would not get the dead man’s vote.)
But the point is, from what I am reading he has masterfully taken the tactic of using his celebrity fame to say outrageous things to get what is called free media. Not only does he get to save money on paid advertising but probably the viral videos and widely reported Tweets and other utterances are more effective in today’s environment anyway.
Whether he would become more serious and whether he could even handle the office remains to be seen. He might like so many before him find that Washington and the whole public sector works by a different set of rules and customs over which he could have little to no control. And most interesting of all would be if he becomes more mainstream because of his cosmopolitan New York City upbringing.
Wouldn’t that be a laugh at those Tea Partiers who support him (and not all do by a long shot I would not think, but many do I am hearing).
What seems apparent by the discourse I am hearing is that the Republican Party is split more than ever before, maybe not just into two factions but several, that is it is splintered. I think maybe at one time years ago it would be correct to say the GOP had a liberal wing, a broader establishment wing, and especially from 1964 and Barry Goldwater, a conservative wing, the liberal wing gone with Nelson Rockefeller. But that conservative wing, who lost the first round with Goldwater, hit it big with Ronald Reagan. But before Reagan was Richard Nixon, who considered himself conservative, but who cared little for domestic politics. His most notable actions on the domestic side were probably creating the Environmental Protection Agency, something every God-fearing conservative is obligated to hate, and wage and price controls, anathema to conservatives. And on the world stage he opened up relations with Communist China, would you believe?
Those who consider themselves real or true conservatives have had a long-simmering grudge with their own political party (oh, yeah, they were not wild about Eisenhower either), but most have realized the reality is that we have traditionally a two-party system and third parties thus far have not worked.
And it seems to me that even Saint Reagan was not as true to ultra-conservative thought as the ultra-right wing proclaims he was. He was more for supporting the interests of his Orange County, California backers and saying what he had to say to mollify the conservatives further down the economic rung.
But whatever, the man presented himself well, and I think was fairly honest if a bit befuddled at times and apparently suffering the effects of Alzheimer’s sometime into his presidency.
He is still a saint in the conservative movement, but what would Trump do with him today if he were running? Trump would call him out to be the grade B actor he was. He wouldn’t fail to mention that Ronnie once played opposite and was upstaged by a chimpanzee in one of his many grade B movies.
But Trump may defy conventional political ideology if indeed he has any at all. I imagine he is a little right and a little left and a nativist. If he was to get the nomination and take a more serious tone, he might make everyone or enough people forget what he said and did before. If so, look out Hillary or Bernie. If not, order the new White House china Hillary (to replace the plates you tossed at Bill’s head).
Sanders? We will see. I’m still doubtful an admitted socialist will be able to garner enough support for either the primary or the general election.
But then again, if we are seriously considering whether Trump could be elected president, we are talking about a desperate or terribly jaded electorate.