Sort of…in this post from October of 2011.
The Trump candidacy in many ways was exactly what I had in mind when I predicted the consequences of a dumber electorate manipulated by ever more ruthless and unprincipled campaigners. Trump breaks the old rules that said a Presidential campaign should be constrained by respect for both the voters’ intelligence and the office of the Presidency. Those rules made sense back when voters were smarter and Presidents carried more gravitas, but these are new times.
But here is where I went wrong: I thought the first Celebrity Candidate would be totally manufactured by the establishment. The Republican donors must have looked at how the Democrats turned Obama from unknown to President in five years and I figured they would try to do it themselves by finding a good-looking, even blanker slate to build into a candidate between 2011 and 2016. (Well, Rubio is a pretty blank freaking slate. But he was never their guy until Jeb Bush imploded.)
So we did end up with a Celebrity Candidate, but it’s happened in a way that leaves me more optimistic than I’ve been in years. Here is a guy who came from outside the party establishment to absolutely horse-f**k Jeb Bush. Bush got something like $150 million from his plutocrat backers, and all they have to show for it is a warehouse full of guac bowls. That’s the biggest win for government by the people in forever. If you mourned the “Citizens United” decision, Trump just proved it doesn’t matter. That is something even a Sanders supporter ought to take heart by.
Trump is rich, but he’s hardly spent any of his own money. Plus, there are thousands of people rich enough to self-finance a campaign, but only Trump did it. So it is not a matter of outside dollars beating insider dollars. It’s a real outsider laying a whooping on the powers that be.
I don’t understand the unhinged pants-loading fear of Trump by Democrats. He is by all measures the most moderate GOP candidate if you judge by the totality of his public activities. He has no strongly held positions on anything, other than wanting to be a great President of a great country, and you can’t do that as an extremist. He will feel like a failure if his approval numbers as President are less than 80%, and he’ll be extremely pragmatic in keeping his popularity up. You’ll see a very different Trump after he piles up a bunch more primary wins. He won’t flip-flop on previous statements, he’ll just switch to talking about other things that are of more appeal in the general election. You got a taste of this when he came out in favor of Planned Parenthood in the last debate.
One thing that ought to be a clue to Democrats is that nobody hates Trump more than the GOP. I read these threads where the usual crowd of progressives has a meltdown when contemplating a Trump presidency, but they sound exactly like the GOP establishment. I suggest that progressives stop and think about why the GOP hates Trump so much and whether that’s a clue he might not be such a bad guy after all. It’s an interesting twist on guilt by association. Lots of progressives try to discredit Trump by saying he has the support of David Duke or whoever, but if guilt by association is valid, then you guys are all in bed with Karl Rove.
Anyway, if you really think the courts and Congress won’t be able to stop Trump from wrecking the country, then what you need is not an election but a constitutional convention. Because there are going to be more Trumps next time.