Congrats, Donald Trump. You’ve done really, really well in this presidential campaign of yours. You don’t know much of anything. You have been guilty of almost everything you rant against. You have advocated breaking the law by torturing enemies and killing their families and have come close to promoting violence against protesters. You have scared our allies to death. Yet here you are.
Just this past not-so-Super Tuesday, you whipped Sen. Marco Rubio in his home state of Florida, lost without much hurt to John Kasich in Ohio, had a virtual tie with Ted Cruz in Missouri, but also won North Carolina and Illinois. You’re the leader of the pack as the race goes on. It’s conceivable you won’t have enough delegates to automatically win at the GOP convention, but denying you the nomination might make the party go poof more quickly than giving it to you.
In other words, D.T., you are in a place even more impressive than when you were the host of “The Apprentice” TV series, but you hardly got here on your own. So whom do you thank? How about starting with the left, and particularly President Barack Obama? While you have supporters from a broad demographic swath, a major portion of them are members of a working class that has been up against it and are more than a little angry. Obama had a lot to do with that.
He brags about creating jobs, but if he wants to take credit for what’s happening in the economy, it’s asked, how about the miserably slow growth rate in which businesses go plop, plop, plop, wage stagnation, the rise in poverty rates, and the decline in median income? How about a crisis-threatening debt Obama has addressed with the gusto of a slug caught in glue?
On top of all of this, as Rubio said in his concession speech, the elites look down on working class folks, who if they say they’re concerned about illegal immigrants competing with them for jobs, are called bigots. That’s the leftist style of argument these days — call people names.
It gets worse when Obama decides to ignore Congress through a constitutionally suspect executive order to grant legality to millions of illegal immigrants. Your contrary, populist promise of mass deportation could be downright cruel if it were actually doable, but what better tit-for-tat way to rouse cheers from supporters being spat upon?
Leftists also fired up your supporters recently when unruly protesters got a speech of yours canceled. But it’s not just leftists who have lent you a hand. Some of your Republican opponents have crucified each other with negative ads, and your foremost GOP opponent, Cruz, is seen by some as more a self-serving, simplistic and strident opportunist than someone who could ever get anything done.
To be sure, Donald, you have also helped yourself, especially through marketing savvy with some dents, such as sending out Mussolini quotes on Twitter — but, hey, did any of your supporters care? Your braggadocio actually works for you. The incoherence of your speaking style helps keep people comfortably unsure of what you are saying. And, because of the widespread disgust with prissy political correctness, you are serving your cause with an incorrectness that is finally nothing less than repulsive.
Help from outside is still on the way, Donald, because your probable opponent in a general election would be Hillary Clinton, and while most figure she would beat you handily, she has a plethora of problems from klutziness on stage to foolish stands on issues to a past of deceptions more politically dangerous than yours. Even this email thing could get hot and heavy.
At the same time, there are lots of people who would not vote for either of you. There’s talk of a conservative third-party candidate if needed. Sorry, but there are still people who care first and foremost about this country’s future.
Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.