As the weeks march on, the nation’s self-proclaimed political experts are watching their predictions fall as fast as they can make them. Only a few short months ago, everyone in the beltway knew 2016 was going to come down to Clinton and Bush. Then, a month or two later, they were forced to deal with the shocking rise of Donald Trump. And every passing day brought new, confident proclamations about the nature of his appeal. He’s going to burn out. He’s going to finally go too far. He’s not really going to run. He’ll get exposed in the debates. Only a matter of time…
And here we are. After weathering several “scandals” that would have put the kibosh on other candidates, Trump is not just hanging in there – he is unstoppable. As beloved as he is despised, the real estate magnate is slowly but surely amassing a coalition of supporters, putting distance between himself and second place.
The Washington insiders are flummoxed, unable to explain how they could have gotten this one so wrong. Some have dug their heels into the dirt, embarrassing themselves in the process. The Huffington Post, for instance, refuses to promote Trump news to their Politics section, instead leaving him in the Entertainment category. Of course, if they really wanted to take a stand, they would stop reporting on him altogether. Gotta get those hits, though.
“I don’t think the people running for office are real,” Trump said in an interview with Time magazine. “They have to throw a lot of consultants away and be themselves. I think it is one of the things that has helped me.”
No, no, Mr. Trump. It is THE THING that has helped you. Americans are sick to death of two-faced politicians spouting phrases that sound as though they’ve been crafted by a team of scriptwriters. There are no teleprompters in sight when Trump gets in front of a microphone. He is prone to tangents, inflammatory asides, and outright bragging. When have we ever seen a presidential candidate so eager to tell the public how rich he is? It’s this simple audacity that Trump’s supporters are drawn to.
And they still don’t get it. The mainstream media has spent the last few days dwelling on Trump’s use of the politically incorrect term “anchor babies,” as though this is going to be the one that sinks him. They can’t understand that this controversy is exactly why he is so popular. The more they stomp their feet and pound their fists, the more Trump’s supporters cheer. We are tired of being told that we can’t say this, we must say that, blah blah blah, who will think of the children. Enough! How about we spend more time talking about the subject of anchor babies and less time talking about the term. This is what Americans are sick of. The more you rail on about it, the more firmly entrenched Trump’s #1 position becomes.
Political insiders are still certain that Trump’s popularity comes with a deadline, but it may be just one more prediction that fails to come true. This is a cultural movement as much as it is a political one. Sometimes change comes in the most unlikely forms.