For the first time in my lifetime, which has settled into its fifty-third year now, no new candidate running for president of the United States has dominated the media landscape, the rhetorical space, and, most importantly, the polls the way citizen Donald J. Trump has done, consistently and without waver. However, this is not why he needs to be the Republican nominee to run for the highest office in the land. It is because he embodies the emotional core of the anti-establishment bent that has gripped the GOP since the summer of 2010, when the TEA Party emerged out of the grassroots and was co-opted by the Republican establishment to win elections and take back the Congress. Only this movement did little to curtail the “despised” Barack Obama agenda and still appears to be a flaccid sub-committee of goofballs screaming into a vacuum; mostly powerless and annoying. Trump, like no other GOP candidate in this race, can actually do what these people want, throw a grenade into the establishment and crack the concept of modern American governance.
Like many of the TEA Party candidates ushered through the system like little revolutionaries in 2010 and 2012, Trump is not a politician. And to hear him speak for two minutes on the subject, you realize he has no idea how anything works to this end. Yet, Trump defies the very real argument that these types of candidates are mostly the result of redistricting and gerrymandering and merely work on local levels and once you expand the message nationally it is weak and ineffectual, as Obama proved in 2012 by getting re-elected with the largest margin for a Democrat since FDR in 1944. Trump is national, as the polls have reflected for half a year now.
Until September of this past year, the whole Trump thing was mainly a product of media fascination, as the candidate appeared on every television and radio show imaginable and said anything that popped into his skull, tweeting at a record pace, even for a high school kid, and capturing the imagination and good humor of the news class. But the skepticism that this is somehow a passing fad should now be put to bed, yet somehow it is not. There is still a very large segment of the media, both left and right, as well as the electorate that believe it is only a matter of time when everyone wakes up and realizes Trump is a rich, spoiled reality television star, whose actual record in real estate is not as nifty as the image, and his overtly combative language will sink him.
This has not happened. In fact, it has emboldened him and his supporters, and spiked his poll numbers at every turn. Thus, Trump has already thrown a grenade into the system. There is not one part of the political machine that normally pervades our discourse that Trump has not obliterated. He is the ultimate outlier. No one, and I mean no one, not even the candidate has a fucking clue what he is about or capable of or what may happen as a result. This all portends that he has the will and the legs to do the same should he be cast upon the general election or by weird happenstance be elected. Below all the bluster and grandstanding and half-assed malapropos, this is as independent a candidate as anyone has ever gotten. He is a monstrous construct of Ross Perot, Ralph Nader and John Anderson, all men I have voted for as independents. You get the feeling if this were 2008 and the country was lined up against a sitting two-term Republican administration yearning for change, then Trump would have declared as a Democrat. Trump is not about ideology or party politics, he is about Trump. His cult of personality knows no bounds or origin, it just is.
Without much argument, Trump is the only non-political candidate, save for religious loon, Dr. Ben Carson, and abject business failure, Carly Fiorina, in the bunch. Calling Ted Cruz, a political hack who has spent his entire professional life in the public sector or phony TEA Party champion, Marco Rubio, nurtured at the teat of dynastic poltico, Jeb Bush, outsiders is akin to Al Gore’s claim in 2000 that he was a reformer, despite being the sitting vice president for two terms. These are men who do whatever the political winds hint within their right-leaning sphere. Cruz is supposed to be a strict constitutional constructionist or as he puts it, an “originalist”, but when confronted with his in-eligibility to run for the office based on the 1788 construct of “natural born citizen” he cites a 1934 Supreme Court decision, while at the same time challenging the legitimacy of the Supreme Court in interpreting the ACA or marriage equality. He is a dyed-in-the-wool politician—sounds, looks, and smells like one. He is currently in the Senate, which is located in Washington and bankrolls the government. Please.
Trump also dwarfs the rest of the field in this “grenade throwing” edict. Chris Christie is about as awful a governor as one could possibly have; a social conservative who cannot control his fiscal house. We are taxed to death while being lectured on morality. You want a competent governor, vote for John Kasich, but he’s been in government since the 1980s, so he’s out.
As a free-thinking, libertine independent, who mainly believes that politics is some kind of merry fuck-around for my own amusement and does little to affect my mainly sub-outlaw existence, there is no contest in the realm of a completely wild card candidate like Trump. On the far left you have Bernie Sanders, who espouses a failed government-controlled economic restructuring of wealth based on this illusion of fairness. The man has been in the United States Congress in one form or another since Madonna was hip. On the far right you have the aforementioned political recidivists, who clamor for the same failed laissez faire/trickle-down nonsense.
Trump has no failed ideological albatross. He is Trump. No one has a fucking clue what or who that is.
If independents and Republicans and even those of us curious to see the system broken into pieces for a lark are truly serious, then Donald Trump has to be a candidate for president.
It is going to be Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side. Regardless of this Sanders daydream the leftist media has cooked up of his “surge” and the even more outlandish indictment jones the right media clings to. Write it down. Hillary Clinton is your other choice. No more an entrenched politician exists in this whole mess.
This is the contrast this republic was created to witness.
And this only happens if Trump is the Republican nominee.
Let’s see how serious we are about tossing a grenade into this thing.
Do yourself no favors and “like” this idiot at www.facebook.com/jc.author
James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, “Midnight For Cinderella” and “Y”. and his new book, “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon”.