It became apparent to many people in 2011 that the GOP had become a parody of itself. For many years, it had been regarded as a political party comprised of two types of people: millionaires and suckers. With each presidential election, the accuracy of this assessment becomes more and more apparent. The GOP debates have taken on the feel of a game show like "Hollywood Squares" or "Family Feud". Taken directly from the corporate merger playbook, the party has made numerous efforts to co-opt and consolidate a myriad of special interest, right-wing and white supremacist groups into the fold; many of whom have rejected the party for selling out. If this were the 1970's and the GOP were a building in the South Bronx, we could expect to see it go up in flames any day now.
In line with the last analogy, here enters billionaire real estate player, author and televion personality, Donald Trump entering the GOP bid for president by spewing racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and homophobic sound-bites and commentary on an almost daily basis. For a few reasons, there is little to no surprise that he has emerged as the GOP front runner, much to the embarrassment of the party itself. The response to much of what Mr Trump has said or done during the last few weeks has been to question his intellect as well as his sanity. Here I would have to disagree. I question (or out and out doubt the existence of) his morals, narcissism, and apparent, insatiable greed; but what I see is a very shrewd and clever business man, bored with conquering corporations, now setting his sights on taking over the political party of commerce.
When Australian media mogul, Rupert Murdock was asked why his focus with FOX News focuses on promoting a conservative agenda in a country where he isn't a citizen and has no vested interest in our politics, Mr Murdock's response was, "hate sells..." Consider the fact that Donald Trump is a master at the art of branding (aside from putting his name on every residential and commercial building that he owns) and media manipulation. In marketing, the saying is that seven impressions make the sale. Understand that these impressions don't have to be positive, as shock-jock radio personality, Howard Stern and hip-hop icon Luther Campbell proved years ago, you get more attention, and are talked about more by the people who hate you than the people who love you. The fact of the matter is that people are talking about you and that creates a brand. Mr Trump is a master salesman, which also makes him a master of psycho-analysis. He is able to tap into the heart, soul and thoughts of his potential client and say exactly what they are thinking or feeling. Adolph Hitler did this very effectively in the1930s; Mr Trump effectively tapped into the hearts and minds of the eugenicists and aforementioned suckers of the party, told them what they want to hear, and rose to the top.
In true corporate take-over fashion, when Mr Trump recognized that the party leadership was not thrilled with him as their top contender, he threatened to run independent; knowing that he leaves the party this will guarantee that either Mr Sanders or Mrs Clinton will be taking to oath of office in January 2017. The leadership GOP is getting a taste (or in some cases, a second taste) of what Mr Trump has done at any number of major stockholder meetings of companies that he has taken controlling interest in: play along or perish. We must remember that he has filed for bankruptcy at least four times, which is an oft used tactic by large corporations to get out from under pesky investors. I wonder how that tactic would work in addressing the national debt.
Oscar Wilde once said that the only thing worse than wanting something is getting it. In the true Prometheus tradition, the same people who cultivated the GOP into a party where a greedy narcissist moves from the shadows of supporting candidates to actually becoming one. Lets face it, the Koch brothers are not too far removed from Mr Trumps type of thinking, they would rather be in the background. The same way that Marion Knight and Sean Combs failed to take a few more notes from the Berry Gordy playbook when it comes to running a high powered, boutique record label and appear to be classy and dignified in public, The GOP is quickly becoming the Death Row Records of political parties; notorious with members fleeing for greener pastures, which include militias, hate groups and break-off political parties.
Of course, I could be completely wrong, Donald Trump could really just be a loud-mouthed idiot who lucked out in real estate and talking a cable station into giving him his own reality show. He might really believe the things he's saying and the following that he has amassed due to the luck of the draw. Whether it's a case of Mr Trump being the idiot's champion or a master salesman, the bottom line is this: the next few months are going to be quite interesting.