Yikes. This. Is. Something.
OK, this Trump thing has essentially been sealed since New York, but Cruz battled on anyway. Admirable, but misguided. … But now, I feel like things are about to get pretty real … like, really real.
And here are some numbers for you to wrap your head around:
— Total primary-voting Republicans thus far: 26,580,942
— Total primary-voting Democrats thus far: 22,009,356
— Total Trump votes: 10,669,428
— Total Hillary Votes: 11,984,313
— Thus far, Trump v. Hillary looks like the following: Trump has more votes in 18 states. Hillary takes Trump in 18 states.
— So far, 15.1% of the American population has voted: of that, 3.3% voted Trump and 3.7% has voted Hillary.
And my personal outlook, if one were interested:
In perhaps the biggest political gaffe of the century, the GOP essentially sealed Trump as the nominee. The fine mind that brought us The Apprentice and was featured in WWE several times now represents the conservative faction in American politics.
… I feel like this is that moment when people will say ten years from now, “well, it seemed like a good idea at the time,” kind of like Clear Pepsi, The Macarena, Chumbawumba, or making Jesse Ventura governor of Minnesota. Because, let’s face it, Trump is kitsch. He appeals to the lowbrow instincts of people, and … come on, he’s dangerously unqualified to be Commander and Chief.
Frankly, the Republican Party has been pandering to working-class voters so long while offering very little, economically speaking, that this shouldn’t be a huge surprise. In the end, the Republican Party is a pro-business party. What it isn’t is a working-class party, yet it sold itself as one for decades, and finally, it looks like those pent-up voters found their candidate.
So now Trump has to figure out how to appeal to a general audience. No more crazies, no more flirting with racist groups, no more promoting violence or objectifying women. But the problem I foresee is that he can’t help himself. Every time he claims to be “presidential” he goes on Twitter two hours later to yell obscenities at whoever. No longer can he afford all of that, because he has to appeal to groups he hasn’t appealed to yet: women, minorities, policy experts, academic circles (intellectuals more broadly), and he still has to convince swaths of evangelicals. So does Trump have the capacity to “unify”? …. well, writing that I laughed out loud. Sure, some voters will be forced into voting Trump, but, in the end, are there enough working-class white dudes to elect this guy? Will all of Bernie’s and Cruz’s votes go to Trump? Highly unlikely.
Trump represents the biggest wave of anti-intellectualism in American politics since McCarthyism, and it’s pretty frightening. He openly suppresses ideas and even openly discusses suppressing freedoms. If you read his interviews, I’m pretty certain he has no idea where the South China Sea is. And I 100% guarantee he has no clue of stuff like the following: who the leader of Moldova is, what problems Brazil faces, why it matters if Britain were to declare independence, and certainly has zero idea what Russia wants. His tough trade stance is simplistic and ignores all the jobs that come into the US because of globalization. While low-paying jobs are leaving, higher-paying, skill-intensive jobs are growing. And isn’t higher pay a good thing? Well, not to blue collar workers who refuse to learn new things, or can’t because they have no educational options. And that is who Trump has targeted — that and conspiracy theorists.
“But, he’ll surround himself with smart people,” is a frequent response. But that doesn’t work because Trump doesn’t listen to anyone else. He loves himself far too much to do that.
And now a host of questions remain: Can Trump educate himself enough to debate Clinton? Can Trump pull in more people? Will the Republican Party continue to exist?
I’m afraid that Americans are wading in dangerous waters. This is true not only for Americans, but also the fate of the world. This narcissistic game that Trump plays only feeds his ego while swaths of Americans happily validate his grandeur. But I’m thinking that Trump has now entered a level that far exceeds his capacity. Trump generally has no coherent worldview, policy, and no clear vision of anything. He’ll pander, be outrageous, sensationalize, and discredit people to any extent — and that is abundantly clear. And I for one am looking forward to debates with Clinton, where Trump will certainly feel the pressure when faced against someone who does have an understanding of these issues.