It sometimes seems that the election campaign in the US for president never seems to end. With the Republican debates in full swing and the first primary in Iowa not so far away it's been interesting to watch, as a Canadian, the field in both parties and how various races are shaping up.
On the Democrat side there seems to be a foregone conclusion that it's Hillary Clinton's turn to run for president with Bernie Sanders in the running as a form of comic relief and diversion for the granola-eating wing of the party. In theory the Democrats should be in fine form. They've held the White House for the past seven years and are awash in money. It's interesting to note that despite this there are only two real candidates seriously running.
On the Republican side things are much more concerning. The party that gave us Ronald Reagan seems to not have been able to produce a genuinely towering figure since the end of his presidency. This time out is no exception. You have the usual bunch that seem to run every time with their limited ideas and token expressions but no one with an amazing vision to inspire the party and the nation.
And then there's Donald Trump.
I've avoided writing about him until now because frankly I think he's already gotten far more attention than he deserves but people have been asking me, "Lord Ironheart, what are your thoughts on the Donald?" So here they are:
Donald Trump is a Democrat plant.
Yes, you read that right. The current front-runner in the polls for the Republican nomination is really a Democrat in RINO clothing. Let me explain.
Let's say you're the Democratic leadership. You've got a small field of candidates which plays well for party unity but doesn't excite the voting public. Your lead candidate is a person who acts like she's entitled to be the next president and that actually running for the job is a necessary annoyance. She has poor public charisma to all but her most loyal supporters, her husband still overshadows her in every public appearance and the word "shrew" still crosses most people's minds whenever she opens her mouth.
Up against her you have a genuine socialist who's got a whole bunch of crazy ideas (as socialists always do) that, if implemented, would destroy America's economy in the name of "social justice". He's got the far left wing of the party, the section that's most likely to show up for things like primaries, all energized because they finally have a candidate openly campaigning on things they've always dreamed of. The vast majority of Americans, however, are turned off by people who say "Hey, let's be more like Greece and Spain!" with their 30-40% unemployment and frequent brushes with national bankrupty.
With a bunch like this, the Republicans could run a lacklustre candidate and still have a serious shot in 2016. What to do?
Enter Donald Trump.
Now, just like the Democrats have a left wing that is verifiably stupid, the Republicans have a right wing which is equally off the grid. These are the folks who still think Whites and Blacks shouldn't go to the same high schools or use the same water fountains. They're still miffed that Chrisianity isn't the official state religion or that women are allowed to work in "real" jobs and they hate immigrants from countries other that northern and western Europe.
Just like the radical fringe on the Democrat side, these folks are very politically active. They'll show up at any rally, always make it out to vote in whatever primary there is and campaign noisily. Like the Democrat fringe, they represent the worst of their party and are a turn off to potential middle of the road voters. Unlike the Democrats, however, they are far scarier and social unacceptable.
Imagine, if you will, the leadership of the Democratic party sitting with the Donald and telling him that since he has the ego and the money they want him to run for president... for the other side. They want him to be his blustering arrogant best, say all the worst things that will bring out the Republican radicals hooting and whistling. Be insulting, aggravating, and insufferable! It'll just turn those nutjobs on.
What's in it for them? Donald Trump as a Republican candidate is a sure fire way to ensure that Hillary Clintons wins in 2016. The Republican fringe will vote for him, sure, but the rest will be too disgusted and either vote Democrat or sit the election out. The entire Democratic party rallies around Hillary in the meantime, especially after Trump has made multiple misgynistic comments about her.
What are the clues that this is indeed the strategy? Consider that Donald Trump, for all his antisocial behaviour, is a successful and intelligent man. Yes, he likes being the centre of attention but what he's doing now goes far beyond logic or sense. He has turned himself into a stereotype and brought out the worst element of the Republican party while making it seem like they are the typical representatives of that group.
And if the Republicans don't let him run as their candidate or he doesn't win the primaries? He's already threatened to run as an independent and guess which party he siphons votes off of?
If he wins (hah!) he benefits. If he loses, he takes the GOP down to yet another defeat. What could make more sense?