In July of last year, I wrote my first GregsList, The Top 10 Reasons Donald Trump Will Be President. This was before the John McCain flap, the Mexican immigrant fiasco, the Megyn Kelly squabble, or the ban on Muslim immigration blow-up. Last week it was the Pope, and most certainly, there are many Trump flaps in the wings between now and election time.
Rest assured, Mr. Trump will not stay quiet, or abide by politically correct protocol. So goes the consistency of a Trump marketing campaign. He has an incredible knack of creating news stories -- daily headlines, regardless of controversy or audacity -- in order to stay in the news. And it is driving his critics and competitors crazy.
As I wrote in July, this sparking of attention-grabbing firestorms is not by chance. It is not because he is stupid, or an out-of-control bigot, or a loud buffoon, or any of the endless derogatory descriptions tossed his way. Au contraire. His style is a planned tactic designed to keep his competitors out of the news, and to pound his own brand name recognition. He denies the other Republican candidates priceless air-time in which to present their ideas, or to simply build their name recognition.
1. The "Hold your nose and vote" factor
Old Guard Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), while in the bowels of his own candidacy last year, pledged he would not vote for Donald Trump even if Trump was the Republican nominee. At the time, I concluded Senator Graham would then vote forHillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. (Surely he would do his civic duty to vote, so I could only assume he would be voting for the Democratic nominee). Since then, he has backtracked, saying he would essentially hold his nose and vote Trump. This phenomenon, to me, is the top reason Donald Trump will be the next President. Presidential Primaries are know for their visciousness, and this election is a prototype of PPD -- politics of personal destruction. With so many personal attacks and cannibalism (especially in the Republican camp), one might doubt a party could ever come back together for the General Election. History proves, however, that dueling candidates soon kiss and make up, and voters eventually rally around party lines -- even if they have to hold their noses before voting! More than any election cycle I can remember, there is an anti-Trump element who believe, right this minute, they will not vote for him under any circumstances. If anything, they will stoically not show up to the polling booth. I believe this will not be the case. When crunch time comes November 3rd and these Trump haters have to choose, the majority will head to he polls and pick Donald Trump over any Democrat candidate. As Republicans, it will dawn on them at some point that not voting is a vote for the Democratic nominee. They will show up and vote Republican -- even if they don't think so yet!
2. The Peanut Gallery is silent and powerless this time around
Boomers and Seniors were raised with the concept of The Peanut Gallery. An old Vaudeville term, it described spectators in the upper "cheap seats" who were vocal, and often tossed peanuts on stage to show any displeasure with the show. They were inconsequential patrons other than their critiquing comments, and peanut tossing. In this contrarian election cycle, The Peanut Gallery represents the mainstream media outlets, the intellectual elites, the vocal liberals, and anyone who professes "gotcha" political correctness as a way of bringing down an opponent. Trump has broken all the rules with his continued domination of voter support despite the comments from the Peanut Gallery! It is truly remarkable to witness critics of Trump being unable to pierce the armor of support for him with traditional, PC tactics. They have no power this time around, and they are in a panic as a result.
3. Trump eats up media innings
In baseball, with nine long innings to play, an average pitcher who can "eat up innings" is a valuable commodoty. That is, even if he gives up some runs, he can grind it out through five or six innings. The game can then be turned over to the late-inning specialists. In the media, there are only a certain number of hours in a day that can be devoted to news stories. And as anyone who has watched politics lately is well aware, Donald Trump consumes many, if not most of those hours. While on the air or in print -- and whether or not the interview or story is in Trump's favor or not -- he's eating up the time. It's a mathematical thing, much like time of possession in football. When his competitors are on the sidelines, and not on the air, they can't get any message across! In hockey, we used to call it being a Puck Hog. In this election cycle, there seems to be only one name hogging the microphone -- Donald J. Trump.
4. He is not a New Age Movement guy
Without getting theological or over-analytical here, the New Age Movement is a controversial belief system that focuses on a New World Order; a more secular internationalism, one world government, a universal currency, and scores of other "prophecies." Critics of the New Age Movement believe its goal is to eventually destroy Christianity, rugged individualism, and patriotism of one's individual country. According to these critics, the movement is already evident with the evolution of the U.N., the Euro as a single currency, and the daily assault on Christianity by ultra-liberals and secularists. The one thing for certain in this 2016 election cycle, is Donald Trump is not a New Ager. He is a traditional American free market capitalist. He believes in American exceptionalism, and not euro-internationalism. His nationalist-protectionist bent flies in the face of the internationalist elite, and the "modern thinking" politically correct New Agers.
5. Trump is a Big Tent candidate
Ever since I can remember, the Republican Party has had a vision of being a Big Tent party -- welcoming gender and cultural diversity rather than being the party of the Great White Fathers (perceived or otherwise). I believe the 2016 candidacy of Trump will be record-setting. If he indeed becomes the Republican nominee, he will earn record support from women, blacks and latinos. He will win more crossover Democrats and Independents since Ronald Reagan. It's the greatest of ironies -- the Big Tent concept so enamored by establishment Republicans can only be achieved with the most polarizing Republican candidate of all time. The only question that might remain is whether a newer, bigger Republican tent is actually big enough to welcome its own leader!