Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Donald Trump Scares Me: The Politics of Money, Power and Fame.

Photo: Larry Marano
Remember the conversation you used to have, or may even still have, about what characteristic or trait you'd rather have: Money, Power, or Fame, and what you'd do if you had one over the other? Well what happens when a presidential candidate has all three and a significant lead in the polls.

I give you Donald Trump.

Usually early front runners in political races don't amount to much when it's time to cast votes in primaries that are still months off. Remember Herman Cain who was derailed by his harem of women who spilled all the tea about his extramarital affairs? The problem here is that Donald Trump has enough fame to keep himself relevant until the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary. Donald Trump has enough money to bankroll his campaign himself even if he does not win the Republican nomination for Presidency. And Donald Trump has enough power, mostly begotten from his fame and money, to derail any political conversation to his own talking points so that he looks like the favorable candidate.

Remember it was Donald Trump's birther antics that forced President Obama to produce his long form birth certificate the weekend of the White House Correspondent's dinner in May 2011. Remember that's the same weekend the President approved a covert Seal Team 6 mission to take out Osama bin Laden. Donald Trump had enough fame, power, and money to make the Commander in Chief, who was commanding like a boss, to step away for a moment and address his foolish claims that maybe he wasn't an American citizen.

Fast-forward four years later and here we are with Donald Trump dominating the conversation about whatever it is he wants to talk about; mainly immigration and Megyn Kelly's incompetence. Not only does Donald Trump dominate the conservative political conservation, he has also overshadowed one time front runner and suggested shoe in for the Republican Presidential nomination Jeb Bush. In fact, this week Jeb turned into a babbling, bumbling, idiot getting tripped up in a conversation/argument about immigration and anchor babies. And let's not forget how Trump tried to clown Jorge Ramos in Iowa last night.

With 17 Republican Presidential candidates some are going to be knocked out of the race because they simply don't have the name recognition or backing of a Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, or Scott Walker. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina may stick around a little longer because 1. Fiorina is a woman and 2. There is intrigue amongst the right about Black conservatives standing on the front lines for what some consider a dying breed of political values.

As for the other candidates, they either need to put up or shut up, because the race for the White House is a game of chess and shooting dice. Strategy is important but nothing matters more than the money, and most can't compete with the bankroll of a billionaire.

Real life example: I live in Florida. In 2010 a man who narrowly escaped health care fraud charges bankrolled his billions into a successful Gubernatorial run and is now in his second term as the Republican Governor of the largest swing state in the nation. If Rick Scott was able to spend his way into the Governor's mansion against Democratic candidates who were less than ideal, it won't be hard for Donald Trump to do the same. While Hillary Clinton has been all but given the Democratic nomination, a potential Biden run will split the left at its core and the other Democratic candidates, with a small exception given to Bernie Sanders, don't have enough name recognition to pounce on the fractured White House of the current President and use it to propel them into Democratic stardom.

There may still be time for a funny named, unknown candidate to enter the race for the White House and take it all the way to the inauguration with a runaway victory, but that hasn't happened yet. Even if this mystical grassroots campaigning candidate does emerge, they'd still have to cut through Donald Trump's campaign powerhouse. Donald Trump is Ross Perot with the charismatic appeal of Ronald Reagan. His political foolery may last as long as his money does. With a net worth of $4 Billion that's a very long time friends. A very long time.

1. How realistic do you think Donald Trump's Presidential chances are? 
2. What candidate, Democrat or Republican, current or yet to announce can top him? 
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