No matter what has been said about Donald Trump, there is one thing no one can take from him: he knows how to get noticed. By making all kinds of outlandish comments like calling Hispanic immigrants “rapists” and criticizing Vietnam vet John McCain for having been captured by enemy combatants, he has motivated quite a response. However, he is also the top candidate (for now) in the race for the 2016 Republican nomination for President.
What was that saying about there being no such thing as bad publicity? First, that wildly successful Super Bowl to cap off a scandalous NFL season, now this.
The ironic thing is that Trump is no more than an attention whore and opportunist. He doesn’t believe a third of what he has said on the campaign trail. In 2008, for example, he called for then-President Bush to be impeached over the war against Iraq, which he knew would cause people to align him with the left. Today, of course, he is on the most extreme right. Not to mention that he used to be an advocate of that conspiracy theory about President Obama being illegitimately in office.
Serious candidate or not, he will make an impact whether he wins or loses. The Republicans wanted their primaries to be predictable and without the wild debates that turned the 2012 primaries into a circus act that forced Mitt Romney to the far right to keep up. Trouble is, Trump turns almost anything he’s involved with into a circus act. That’s fine for a casino, but an election?
Of course, it helps when your base, by all indications, wants a circus act. Among other things, the aforementioned “birther” theory used to have a lot of believers, most of whom, I’d guess, vote Republican. And, of course, the very fact that Trump is on top of the Republican field demonstrates the appeal of the warped things he’s said to this demographic. No, you can’t just blame name recognition. Not with Bush’s brother in the race.
But the Trump bubble will pop, right? I’m 85% sure it will. Why not 100%? Because he has given subtle indications that he may go third party if the Republican machine mobilizes against him like it did Mitt Romney’s intraparty foes in 2012. That would be every bit as damaging to the Grand Old Party as having Trump at the top of the ticket, rendering the whole purpose of destroying Trump moot.