* a subjective term
Donald Trump, a person who will never be president, has nevertheless been the nexus of the American media's coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign season.
- Gawker, September 2015 (image above)
If you're waiting for Donald Trump to pivot to become "presidential" - a candidate who will stay on message and, objectively speaking, not hurt his own campaign - then I have one word for you. Stop. Really. Because it just isn't going to happen.
First off, Donald Trump is never going to be the president of the United States. Whether you like him, simply find him amusing, or like most Americans, feel something between mild irritation and absolute hatred for the real estate mogul-turned-reality TV star, you probably know that his brand of fiery, accusatory, blowhard rhetoric doesn’t play well with voters.
Under “President Trump,” America would degenerate to its ugliest, darkest days. He would single-handedly destroy its reputation and the 240-year-old principles on which it stands. And that is precisely why Donald Trump cannot, will not, be elected president.
[A] new examination of the demographics and projected voting patterns in some of the key Rust Belt states underscores just how unlikely [Trump's winning the general election] really is. To succeed, this analysis finds, Trump would likely have to improve on Mitt Romney’s advantage over Barack Obama among blue collar whites by double digit margins, which is an astronomically high bar — in almost all of these states.
So for once in Trump's long, luck-filled life, the game is rigged against him. Because Trump, unlike most of his Republican rivals, has not spent years winning the loyalty of political elites, in an arena where that's essential. The irony, of course, is that Trump has more in common with the elites who will lie down on the tracks to stop his candidacy than with the voters who profess to love him. If this is a game, Trump is not supposed to be on the field—he's supposed to be in the owners' box, deciding who gets to play. National politics is like smashmouth football, and Trump was not built to be a player. There's a reason why you never see the owners on the gridiron.
Donald Trump’s nomination is a sign of the Republican Party’s absolute failure and weakness, not a commentary on America’s strength. It is to the eternal discredit of the Republican Party’s that they have embarrassed the country by nominating a man like Donald Trump. But he’s not going to win in November, because he doesn’t have the votes. No matter what the angry white GOP primary voters think, America as a whole - this complex, multiracial, Information Age, economically resilient, World’s Greatest Democracy of a country - is not going to elect an angry orange clown. Donald Trump might do a lot of damage to America’s political culture, but he will never be president.
"What kind of a man does that? Root for people to get thrown out on the street? Root for people to lose their jobs? Root for people to lose their pensions? Root for two little girls in Clark County, Nevada, to end up living in a van? What kind of a man does that? I'll tell you exactly what kind — a man who cares about no one but himself. A small, insecure moneygrubber who doesn’t care who gets hurt, so long as he makes some money off it. What kind of man does that? A man who will never be President of the United States."
Issues matter, plans for the country matter, ability to govern matters – and none of those things are strengths of Donald Trump. He is first and foremost a man with a tremendous ego that needs to be fed, not a man of serious ideas or well thought out positions that go beyond sound bites. His bluster and unvarnished rhetoric have gotten him farther than I would have thought but, at the end of the day, the American people will not buy what he is selling.
Before one more straight-faced political story is written about the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump, the obvious begs to be stated: The man has absolutely no chance of winning. Zero. Nada. Write it down. Take it to the bank. Bet the farm. This preening self-parody of an egomaniac will never, ever be elected president of the United States.
And here's the bedrock obstacle to Trump's success: There are simply not enough struggling, resentful, xenophobic white people in the US to constitute a national majority sufficient to win a presidential election... Bottom line: The strongman approach is inherently self-limiting. It flourishes in the bizarro environs of a modern Republican primary, but there is no evidence at all, and much to the contrary, that it could be used to assemble a national majority. Yet it is the only approach in Trump's toolbox. That is why he will never be president.
So, could Trump win? We confront two stubborn facts: first, that nobody remotely like Trump has won a major-party nomination in the modern era. And second, as is always a problem in analysis of presidential campaigns, we don’t have all that many data points, so unprecedented events can occur with some regularity. For my money, that adds up to Trump’s chances being higher than 0 but (considerably) less than 20 percent. / There are lots of undecideds, and Clinton's polling leads are somewhat thin in swing states. Nonetheless, Clinton is probably going to win, and she could win by a big margin.
Americans have never chosen someone like [Donald Trump] to lead one of their two major parties. And now that he’s the presumptive nominee, Americans will - for the first time in their history - have a choice of whether they’ll put him in the Oval Office, to lead the country for four years. They almost certainly won’t.