I write this in a state of despairing despondency. Donald Trump, a political phenomenon I find utterly odious, has swept the latest of five primaries.
At this point, I do not think Trump can be stopped. I think there are now only two possible conclusions to this bizarre and depressing saga, barring Trump himself deciding to quit or somehow being incapacitated, both of which are extremely unlikely: either Trump wins the GOP nomination outright, or someone else secures the GOP nomination from a brokered convention. If the latter, however, I doubt that person, whoever he or she may be, would have any credibility among the majority of the Republican electorate, even if that nominee were a reincarnated Ronald Reagan bearing the endorsement of Jesus Christ himself.
Come November, after what will be an exhausting, shrill, horrifying, thoroughly unserious, substance-less election between Trump and Hillary Clinton, an election as non-cerebral as an argument over juice boxes waged by four year olds, I think Trump may very well win the White House.
This is not a sentence I write lightly, and I sincerely hope that in nine months I can look back at this blog post and say “What in the hell was I thinking?”, but everyone has so far failed to understand Donald Trump and has underestimated the force behind his political rise. I think it is entirely possible he can win the White House. When one looks at his likely opponent, I think it likely. Clinton is still the odds on favorite, but I do not think she is as strong a candidate as is frequently supposed. If she wins, it may well be a near run thing. Or perhaps she will win in a landslide.
I still cannot entirely fathom what has passed through the mind of the average voter in backing Trump, nor can I even begin to comprehend why anyone might find Trump appealing beyond his status as a giant middle finger to “the establishment”. Some combination of economic illiteracy, old fashioned nationalism, the latent appeal of authoritarianism, and simply having one’s own ideas being given a voice on the national stage after years and years of being not just ignored but also demonized are, I suspect, the main factors. I wish I could understand Trump’s appeal to ‘the common man’ though, because it is an appeal that will, I think, carry Trump to the Oval Office.
God help us all. And God save the Republic. But Goddamn the average voter.