So Trump has got the nomination in the bag. Cruz has quit the campaign; the entire U.S. Senate is in mourning because he will be coming back to them.
Nothing short of the most egregious cheating on the part of his opponents could prevent him becoming the GOP candidate for the 2016 election. I don't know what your Twitter is like, but mine is full of conservatives of all stripes, and it went INSANE last night.
You have the Trump Triumphalists taunting everyone who said it'd never happen. You had a ton of the "anyone but Trump" group (an eclectic mix of Fundamentalist Theocons, Neocons, highly zealous Libertarians, and the few fans of the Establishment GOP machine) declaring that they were going to sit out the election, vote Libertarian, or a few even saying they'd vote for Hillary. Some were calling on this or that Republican to run as a third-party candidate against Trump. A few were presenting fantasy scenarios where somehow Kasich could take the nomination.
The thing I found amazing, from both the Trump-hating Right and of course the Left and the mainstream media, is just how enormously people continue to misunderstand Trump, his movement, what his people are about, and what he is capable of doing (both in terms of winning elections, and in terms of his effect on American Democracy).
Many pundits, including very smart ones (like my friend Brian Garst, who I had a Twitter Debate with last night), still imagine that there's no chance of a Trump Presidency happening.
But the thing is, it very much could happen. Outside of the hardcore Democrat Establishment, people hate Hillary. Even many of the true "progressives" who adore Bernie Sanders hate her. Yes, a lot of people hate Trump too, but I think Trump has a lot more room to maneuver to change their minds.
And Trump's power to subvert and manipulate media at all levels is really stunning. He hasn't really even started to go at Hillary. And if he nudges his unfavorables down a bit, he can become President if he wins over just a part of the white centrists, some of the working-class Democrats who feel betrayed by their party, and even a sliver of the 'ethnic vote' (which is not nearly as hard as the mainstream media has made it look: Trump consistently won the Latino vote in the GOP primaries; a lot of legal Latinos who actually vote like him because they know he's not wrong about some of the massive problems illegal immigration brings, usually to THEIR communities).
People think that the media will favor Hillary and tear Trump apart; and of course most mainstream media people like Hillary way more than Trump! But the facts are that Trump doesn't try to win over reporters, he tries to make news. He's gaming the system. He knows how to FORCE the corporate news media to talk about him, and he doesn't play by the leftist reporters' rules. They have already thrown everything they could at him (because the mainstream right-wing Media didn't want him either), and none of it stuck. CNN won't win where Fox News failed. He knows how to manipulate corporate media and social media alike to get what he wants.
Trump isn't stuck with the media. The media is stuck with him.
And of course, Trump's opponents still dismissing him, even now, as a "buffoon" is part of how he wins. Hell, I understand that instinct. I did it too at first. I couldn't believe anyone would take him seriously. But everyone assuming he's not smart is one of the greatest weapons he has. While the elites on the right and left laugh at his 4th-grade level speeches and declarations about "loving the poorly-educated voters", that's how he wins. Hillary, who is supremely arrogant, convinced of her own destiny, and totally out of touch with almost everything, is bound to make the same mistake.
She's not the only delusional one, though. Hillary is not doing well even in her own party. She's having a really hard time beating a 74-year old Socialist who is about half as good at social media as Trump is (which, I'll note, is STILL really good, and about twenty times as good as Hillary). Spiteful declarations that somehow Hillary will inevitably wipe the floor with Trump are at the least extremely premature.
Then there's the people worried about how this will all change the GOP, or America itself. I'll be talking more about that in another blog entry in a couple of days.
Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Oversize + H&H's Beverwyck