With at least three months to go, the mainstream press (once again) is writing the obituary of GOP nominee Donald Trump’s bid for the White House.
Trump has lately endured withering criticism on a number of fronts: The controversy continued over his sarcastic remarks about the bereaved parents of a killed Muslim American soldier who spoke against him at the Democratic convention. President Obama, among others, called him “unfit” to be president. A number of Republican candidates and donors across the nation were expressing bootstrap angst about Trump’s impact on GOP campaigns or were just endorsing Hillary Clinton (and Bill too). Even his wife’s erotic lesbian poses as a young model were front-page news in New York.
All that, in turn, was being touted as the beginning of the end of his campaign.
The BBC News item “Trump campaign teeters on the brink” began by stating: “Like a boxer on the ropes, the Trump campaign has weathered a flurry of body blows over the past few weeks. Is this the beginning of the end, a full three months before Election Day? Should Donald Trump throw in the towel before the inevitable November knockout?”
But Donald Trump’s campaign — and his political revolution too — is far from being kaput. It’s just wishful thinking by a press and political establishment that hates him and all he stands for to mark Trump’s downfall.
It’s a regrettable failure to recognize the potency and Teflon durability of Trump’s ShockReality brand of politics (see my article last August: “Donald Trump “phenomenon” defines new age of American ShockReality politics”).
Beating conventional wisdom, Trump is the anti-politician who has a knack for connecting at a rudimentary level to a majority of Americans by bombastically exploiting their frustrations with their politically correct and inept government and politics.
According to plan, Americans continue to be bombarded daily with incredulous negative articles and continuous talking heads bemoaning him — but they all have Donald Trump on their lips and in their headlines.
So, as it was during his primary run, bad news is good news for Trump — his focus continues to be that Americans solely hear his name and that news is made by his politically incorrect tweeting and speeches.
Here’s another epic mistake made by his opponents: You can’t begin to analyze the race between Trump and Clinton (and Bill too) like past contests for the White House.
This is a presidential campaign far from being like any other — and one that will change American politics forever.
Forget what any poll says. Unless they are leftover teabaggers, many of those supporting Trump (especially Democrats) will never admit to a biased pollster, much less even best friends or family members, that they will be secretly voting for Trump, or against Clinton (and Bill too), in November.
The reality of the 2016 campaign is that a good majority of Americans have already decided who they are voting for, or against, for president. And they are not changing their minds, no matter what.
It’s the Election of Dissatisfaction, pure and simple.
As absurd as it is, Donald Trump can and will continue to test the boundaries of decency and truth to win the votes a majority of angry Americans — that strategy will, in turn, win him the needed votes in the Electoral College in both critical battleground — and what were once traditional red and blue — states too.
The best thing the mainstream press can do at this point if they gleefully want to write the Trump campaign obituary is to starve the fire-breathing proverbal dragon by not overindulging, or even reporting, on Trump’s hyperbolic messaging and behaviors.
The fewer the Trump headlines and talking points, the better for both entrenched Republicans and Hillary Clinton (and Bill too).
Steven Kurlander blogs at Kurly’s Kommentary (stevenkurlander.com) and writes for FloridaPolitics.com and The Huffington Post and can be found on Twitter @Kurlykomments. He lives in Monticello, New York.