Barring a catastrophe Donald Trump will not become the 45th president of the United States.
At the risk of tempting fate Ms Soapbox would like to present a top 10 list of things we learned from Trump’s doomed presidential campaign.
The Top 10 List
TEN: The Republican Party is in desperate need of an overhaul: In 1860 the GOP selected Abraham Lincoln to be its first presidential candidate. Mr Lincoln was a thoughtful man who worked hard to create consensus across party lines.
By 2016 the GOP had drifted so far from its principles that it selected a craven businessman to be its presidential candidate. Not surprisingly Donald Trump was so ill-suited to the task that he eventually abandoned the GOP in all but name, opting to run as the candidate for the alt-right movement.
NINE: Running a country is not the same a running a business: It turns out free market entrepreneurs are not the best candidates for public office. This isn’t surprising because businessmen use the system—tax loopholes, bankruptcy laws, Chinese steel illegally dumped in the country—to pump up the bottom line while good political leaders improve the system to better serve the public good. This requires a change in focus from me, me, me to us.
EIGHT: Being glib and obnoxious might work in business but it’s no substitute for coherent policy: It’s not enough to say the economy, the military, Obamacare, Iraq, NAFTA, safety, immigration, is a disaster and only I can fix it. A candidate needs to articulate how and why his policies will work. Oh and saying the US would have defeated ISIS if it had simply “taken the oil” when it left Iraq is not what we mean by a well articulated policy.
SEVEN: Having contempt for minorities is dangerous; having contempt for women is suicidal. Trump divided the country into “us” and “them” by attacking immigrants, African Americans, Muslims, and Latinos; he threw in people with disabilities and prisoners of war for good measure. And then he went after the women. Soon there wasn’t anyone left in the “us” category except Trump and the alt-right. This is hardly a winning strategy when a candidate needs more than the wing-nut vote to win. On the upside, we can thank him for the “nasty woman” label…it’s emblazoned on everything from T-shirts to coffee cups.
SIX: Being inarticulate will sink you: The pundits say televised debates don’t influence voters. They’re wrong. It’s one of the few times we get to assess the candidate under pressure.
Trump’s pathetic grasp of the English language rolled through all three debates. He responded to the assertion that he painted “a dire negative picture of black communities” with “ugh” and said “stop and frisk” was ruled unconstitutional because it came before a “very against police judge”.
We’ve been down the sloppy-speech-equals-a-sloppy-mind path with George W Bush, we don’t need to do it again
FIVE: There’s only so much you can blame on a global conspiracy or demons: Trump says if he loses it will be because the election is rigged but this doesn’t square with the Russians hacking the Democrats emails to influence the outcome in his favour.
He says Bernie Sanders made a deal with the devil when he threw his support behind Hillary–an allusion to the allegation that Hillary is a demon. Apparently her security team can smell sulphur wafting off her body and everyone knows demons have poor personal hygiene. *Head shake*
FOUR: When one’s temperament is at issue it doesn’t pay to be vicious and vengeful. In 2006 Rosie O’Donnell criticized Trump for not stripping a beauty contestant of her title for underage drinking (and mimicked his comb-over on TV). Trump responded with a barrage of hateful comments. In the first debate he said Rosie deserved his abuse and no one feels sorry for her. Geez Donald, get over it already. To paraphrase Hillary: a man who can’t back away from snarky comments made 10 years ago should not be allowed anywhere near the nuclear codes.
THREE: When mainstream media screws up, it screws up big time. The mainstream media succumbed to the temptation to headline Trump at the expense of the other Republican candidates, this allowed Trump to build up a head of steam. By the time the media realized Trump might actually win the nomination other credible contenders like John Kasich were sidelined.
TWO: Political satire can take anyone down…but it takes creative genius to parody Donald Trump. What can I say? Alec Baldwin, Kate McKinnon and the entire SNL team deserve Emmys for their brilliant portrayal of the presidential candidates. And Donald, please note, Kate was just as hard on Hillary as Alec was on you.
ONE: Democracy, clunky though it may be, still works: Despite the fact that the GOP saddled the public with an egomaniac as the Republican presidential nominee, Americans found a way to look beyond party loyalty and reject him.
Given the expected outcome of this election the GOP will be forced to conduct a deep post-mortem. One can only hope that they’ll review their history, starting with Abe Lincoln, and figure out how to do it right next time.