The Donald Trump Risk
Pundits are telling us daily that Donald Trump will “pivot” to a more “presidential” manner and will put GOP fears to ease. No sooner have these words been said and the Donald comes out with another outlandish statement. So, the question might be, is Trump ever going to act “Presidential”?
Most pundits are as so fixated on a certain method of presentation and display of strategic thinking that they are incapable of seeing Trump in any other way than as a narcissistic, vane, and shallow person who uses bullying tactics and fear to arouse his supporters. Is understanding Trump that easy?
First, pundits need to understand that most Americans are thoroughly disgusted with the behavior of government and their elected officials. No one seems understand the economic burden (stagnated wages, lack of good paying jobs openings) so many Americans are facing, and even worse, do not seem to care. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, however, spoke to these feelings. These groups represent a lot of voters.
Second, Trump gives no indication he has a strategic vision. Trump might better be viewed more as an opportunist. In Trump’s world, an entrepreneur picks a field and then enters with out much delay. Once in the field, like building golf courses or buildings, Trump knows that the bigger the project the bigger the cut he can get. Trump does not care about details but does make sure he has an escape (sometimes bankruptcy, sometimes by selling the project and his name to someone else). So there is no likelihood that reporters will ever elicit a thoughtful strategic response from Trump on any subject.
Third, Trump has jungle instincts and knows they work especially well when the opponent is playing by a traditional, more moderate set of rules and behaviors. The Donald will avoid discussions of policy easily by making one outrageous, slanderous claim against his opponent after another. The news media will, as Pavlov predicted, react to the slander and overlook the substance.
Fourth, near the conclusion of the race, especially if the polls are shown favoring his opponent, Trump will adopt a much more congenial tone and reach out to which ever group or groups (such as moderate Republicans, disenchanted independents) with more dire predictions or far reaching promises intended to encourage these groups to vote (and not stay home) for him.
Fifth, in a race such as this year where there is such a large number of disaffected voters (hard core Trump and Sanders supporters) and with Hillary Clinton facing a large block of voters who do not trust her and would prefer anyone else, Donald Trump could sneak across the wire the winner. And then what?
Sixth, America would wake up with an amazing head ache. Like the Brexit aftermath, the bulk of Trump’s promises would be walked back or exposed as too dangerous if implemented. The Donald Trump presidency would begin with a sense of Americans haven been conned. No one will know or have a hint how a President Trump will respond to a foreign or domestic crisis.
Americans, like most other people, want to hear what they would like to hear. Over the years, Americans have sorted through wild political rhetoric and in the end, the majority speaks and seems to make the most logically correct choice. It may appear now that Hillary Clinton is pulling away from Donald Trump and will win in a walk. It is far too soon, however, for Democrats to take this position.
Trumps’s policies, even if he adopts the GOP platform need to be evaluated and illuminated. If this is done and the majority goes for Trump, so be it.
If Trump is able to keep the reason spot light off his agenda, America will get what it deserves and Americans will soon learn his promises were not what they were said to be.