Recently I’ve been thinking about Donald Trump… this goes without saying, he’s pretty much dominated the presidential campaign conversation, to the point where it’s the most popular topic of 2015. Why is that though? Why is it the guy that everyone loves to hate is still so favorable in the polls, and why do we care about the polls in the first place? Finally, does anyone stand to benefit from this debacle?
If we’re going to consider the Donald phenomenon as anything other than a gigantic waste of resources and a manual of what not to do when in the limelight, it makes sense to analyze why Mr. Trump would even want to be President in the first place. Sure, he gets a lot of publicity out of this, and the frustrated voters now have a new outlet, but neither of these reasons seem encompassing to me. What if there’s a totally different purpose for his recent activity, controversial statements included? I’m about to contribute to a new conversation, where Donald Trump is part of a grand scheme to ensure the campaign conversation goes the way his benefactors want it to.
To give this theory a little background, we’re going to have to rewind to 2012. Essentially, Obama and Romney clear their primaries without a second breath as America gears up for this decade’s great face-off.
Romney gathers the Republican constituents, but Obama manages to pull through, uniting the Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, African-American and female majorities. That’s a lot of sub groups the Republican party realized they could no longer afford to ignore. Learning from this, the GOP goes back to the drawing board with a hell of a game plan. None of them could honestly pretend to switch sides and represent minorities, at some point their image would come off lackluster. An easier technique would be to stack the deck this time with fourteen people on a stage (seventeen if you count the ones who withdrew). Let’s take a step back and think about why any of this would make remote sense. When you think Republican, you think small government, so why would the GOP want to implement such a drastic change? First of all, think about how hard it’s been to focus on anyone else besides the frontrunners. Also by comparison, this election cycle the Republican party earns an A for effort in terms of diversification, even if most of the candidates are still white and as conservative as ever. Once you add their trump card, whose sole purpose is to stir up trouble and dominate conversation before disappearing, you actually have a viable strategy for winning the election.
To round this theory off, since Trump’s announcement the GOP has slowly distanced itself from him with each derogatory comment or offensive stance he has taken; to be fair he makes it really easy to do this. It seems the louder and ruder he gets, the more viable of a scapegoat he becomes. Now, and this is a very tentative stance, but if we want to assume that Trump isn’t serious about becoming president, and is only serving a purpose for some unseen benefit i.e. playing the role of scapegoat, we have to ask what there is to gain from placing himself under such serious crossfire.
Mr. Trump has a lot of experience in this area, his entire career on The Apprentice was based off of defaming people and becoming more or less, a bad guy (think Simon Cowell from American Idol).
In fact, you could say that a lot of the political conversation today greatly resembles what you’d find in a reality show like the Apprentice or American Idol, and that’s probably because it works so well. Think about how much you hated Simon, and found yourself agreeing with Paula even though stand alone her judging was sub par at best.
Now take the conversation to present day, where you find Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio a bit crude, but feel as if anyone could be a better president than Donald Trump. Then you’ve got the fact that until recently Trump was a fervent supporter of the democratic convention, there’s still videos of him chumming it up with the Clintons all over the web (straight off of Google Images).
This makes it so much easier for the GOP in the long run. They get the media attention from Trump without ever agreeing to have supported him, and when he resigns (or is barred from running, as is the latest news) then they’re more or less for the better. Donald’s reputation as a lone wolf actually allows the GOP to criticize him and show their good side in comparison, a strategy that seems too complex to me for any one man to have devised.