I took it as given that Donald Trump’s candidacy was more than a joke but less than a serious campaign. He is a publicity hound who can manipulate a segment of the population — a segment just large enough to watch a peabrain TV show and keep golf courses and gambling casinos (some of them) operating — but not a man able to face a national electorate and endure a thorough drubbing at the ballots of a rational electorate.
That’s what I thought, and what I still think. But I think it now with a bit less certainty than before. I now see two possibilities should Trump win the GOP nomination. No, make that three.
Number one. He goes down and with him a significant number of other Republicans. The Democratic candidate wins, as do those who ran against fallen Republicans. The country acquires a Democrat President with a Congress of his own party. No guarantee that will solve many or even any of the country’s and the planet’s problems but a good chance it will add fewer to the toll than would the alternative. It might actually result in a people-and-democracy-friendly Supreme Court. Could happen. Most likely will not.
Number two. He wins and with him just barely enough Republicans to keep control of Congress. I will thereupon summon a confabulation of my nearest and dearest, hoping to find a way we might all move to another country.
Number three. His candidacy provokes a slew of minor party candidates, among whom votes fall at random like leaves of autumn, forcing an interpretation by the Supreme Court where, two members of the conservative bloc having collapsed in terminal confusion, no majority can be assembled. The country descends into chaos, seventeen states or parts thereof secede to form a new and addled union, mass media organizations and golf courses and corporate farms and energy giants collapse, the military tries to take over with the same success it had in Iraq, Haruki Murakami writes a novel about the Balkanization of a mighty power and even the Pope writes us off.
- A friend of one of my daughters suggests that, should he see winning the nomination as a real possibility, he would immediately withdraw rather than face certain defeat. ↩