Trump Wins! Whither Trump?
February 21, 2016
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Trump has just won South Carolina, what does this mean? What might we say at this stage of the Campaign? What might we project about how this will end?
Clinton will continue to put more daylight between herself and Sanders; Bush is dead; support for Cruz will likely continue to soften; and Rubio will begin to align himself for the veep slot with irrepressible winds now blowing hard into Trumps sordid sails.
What will Trump do with these hard winds? Will he turn serious about moving to the center somehow to have a shot against the battle-tested and ruthless Clinton juggernaut?
I just described Trump as maybe turning serious because until recently I thought that he was more of a Joker figure — by this I mean someone who was in this race only to see things burn rather than to building a coherent GOP machine capable of winning the whole Enchilada. Now it seems that he has the opportunity to try and herd the demons he has unleashed to fashion a winning strategy.
Trump must be given his due. He has excelled at campaigning, outwitting his adversaries at most turns with well placed combinations of insults, provocations, and bizarro policies that have forced his rivals to match his lunacy. He has both gutted and usurped the GOP. Bush is dead and Rubio lives only because he has recast himself entirely, shaking off all vestiges of moderate decency. Only Cruz can stand up to Trump with the base, but he seems not to have a single friend in the GOP. (One can be forgiven far wanting him to win the nomination just to see the most awkward and sad GOP convention ever). But the dream to be nominee is fading now, I think, for Cruz and anyone not named Trump or Clinton.
Nominee Trump is really too bad for America. Not because Trump can win it all — he cannot without the aid of some weirdo exogenous shock — but because his campaign will extend the national agony of his parading the very worst of America, a stupid slobbering bull that Trump has been riding shamelessly with relish and delight.
I suspect that even in defeat Trump will ride into the history books for having concocted the grandest farce in presidential politics. He’ll have plenty of time later for winking mea culpas to repair his reputation. “I did it,” I can hear him saying much like Jeff Davis said late in life, “because I loved America.” I suspect he will succeed even at this because the man can market and it’s best not to underrate him. And he’ll have plenty of friends in the media who will enable him because he is great for ratings.