By Yuval Hananya
Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican nominee for President in 2016. Or 2020 for that matter, but we all know that’s going to be Kanye’s year anyway. No, Donald Trump will not be the nominee, but that doesn’t make his candidacy any less remarkable or important. It really doesn’t even matter. For the time being, the 10 billion dollar man is invincible, and that is key to understanding why he is successful and even more important for predicting what’s to come.
The idea of a Trump Presidency is not new. Oprah once took the time way back in the 80’s to ask the Donald whether a run for President was in the works for the infamous billionaire. The Simpson’s, as they often do, predicted the catastrophe that would be a Trump White House. The joke of a Trump run has been floated and discussed for over 30 years, and I’ll admit; as I watched his announcement I was excited. My excitement turned to laughter, and that turned to concern. His announcement speech, in which he released his unknown net worth, now infamous campaign slogan,, and plans to have Mexico build a wall helped set the tone for the months to come. I don’t need to tell you how bad the past few months have been, but what I will tell you is that they have not been bad for Donald Trump.
How Donald Trump has survived this many gaffes is remarkable. Time and time again, the other 16 candidates have fought Trump and lost. When former front-runner Scott Walker had to suspend his campaign, I knew how catastrophic the summer of Trump had really been. Yes, there was a brief two-week period where ties were cut with the candidate in an effort to save face, and his candidacy and business ventures almost seemed doomed there for a while. But as I watched the polls come in, it became pretty obvious that 2015 would be Donald Trump’s year, no matter what he said or did.
The average politician cannot handle more than one scandal without it being the total downfall of his career. There are now only two exceptions to this rule: the Clinton’s and Donald Trump. The thing is, Donald Trump is scandal. That is why he is totally immune to it. We’re not used to politicians making mistakes, but that’s the point. He is not a politician. So he can say John McCain isn’t a war hero and get away with it. He is a reality TV star, and a really successful one at that. It’s not that he wakes up every morning and puts on a new persona; what we are seeing is the real Donald. Written on the boards of his campaign office, the words “Let Donald Be Donald” serve as a motto to live and run by, reminding his staffers that this election is just Donald, no focus groups.
So what now? Trump’s candidacy will come and go. He’s invincible, but not electable. Most of campaign promises involve the word “Great” which is, great I guess? Sure, he wants to send back all illegal immigrants and plans to make Mexico pay for the wall, but is any of that even remotely possible? It’s not. This is why his candidacy is a sideshow. An extremely dangerous sideshow, but a sideshow nonetheless. The media and the nation have to watch and continue to run the stories because they sell. What makes his campaign so remarkable and unheard of is that it is solely fueled by the media for the entertainment of the people. CNN and Fox experience massive ratings because of the Donald and the “What could he possibly say next” mentality that drives every man, woman, and child in this nation to tune in and never look away. It has turned the election for the most important job in the world the most thrilling reality TV performance of all time. He deserves an Emmy, but not the job.
As more candidates drop out of the race, others will rise. New polls are showing Ben Carson within only 1 point of Trump. And while Bush may have the biggest war chest, I think a moderate like John Kasich or a fresh face like Marco Rubio could save the party from men like Trump or Cruz. I don’t mean to bash either of them for running. I’m happy the Republican Party has the enthusiasm it does. Couple that with the diverse and experienced group of candidates, we might just have ourselves a Republican in the White House. And while Trump’s Presidential ambitions will come to an end eventually, we won’t see the effects of his ruthless campaign that flipped the very nature of politics on its head.