I’m watching the Donald Trump campaign for president with the same amount of amusement as everyone else. The only difference is that I think he has a legitimate shot at becoming president. You’ll choke when I tell you why, because you’ll agree.
Realistically, the mood of the country is that it is time for a woman to be president. If you have watched any broadcast TV lately you know that commercials have swung from the traditional anti-woman sexist stuff of the past to become flagrantly anti-male. (Mostly. Still some exception.) That’s the national mood. Clinton is in the right place at the right time. The era of women has arrived. Nothing but a health problem or a new scandal could stop the inevitability train.
But if Hillary does not coast into the White House as I expect (and this is a prediction, not a preference) you will see a Donald Trump presidency.
Here’s why. I’ll start with some obvious stuff and then get to my surprise reason that Trump could become president. I’ll bet you don’t see it coming.
For starters, the visceral reaction that makes so many people dislike Trump has a lot to do with his New York style. I grew up in upstate New York and his style registers with me in a completely different way than it does with my California friends who can’t stand him. What I see is bluntness, honesty, some risk-taking, and a competitive nature. I don’t hate any of that. In fact, I kind of like it.
I have blogged about making the transition from my New York personality to my California personality. New Yorkers tend to say whatever they think is true to whoever is standing nearby. Not much filter. Californians say what they think will make you feel good. The California way would feel like lying if it were not so well-meaning.
I certainly understand that Trump comes off as arrogant, obnoxious, and lots of other bad stuff. But over time, and compared to the liars on stage with him, you might get hooked on hearing his honest opinions. That’s how the New York style works. At first you hate it because it seems so harsh. In time you start to appreciate the honesty. And when you realize the harshness is not a signal of real evil – just a style – you tend to get over it. He won’t win over all of his haters, but I predict that his New York style will grow on people more than you would expect. You could say his style is his biggest problem, but it might be self-solving with time and exposure. He is getting both.
When I speak of honesty in this context, I’m not talking about Trump inflating his business success record. Keep in mind that Trump is literally in the business of exaggerating the value of his brand, so if you see him doing exactly that – and breaking no laws in the process – you might come to understand it as nothing but a business approach that is apparently working.
Trump is a business-Republican as opposed to a social conservative. He is the first candidate in memory that could legitimately offer this proposition:
1. Social freedom (that liberals like)
2. Stronger economy without raising taxes (that Republicans like)
I’m not saying he can deliver on any promises. I’m only saying he is likely to have the sort of platform that looks appealing to independents.
Now let’s say Trump gets strategic because he sees that his stroll across the presidential landscape is being taken seriously. He never really had to get serious before. But I’ll bet he could turn it on like a switch if he thought it would get him elected. I would expect him to dial back his crazy-sounding stuff as his poll numbers grow.
But that’s not what gets him elected. If he wants the independents and some Democrats to vote his way, he needs something bigger. He needs a trump card.
And he has it.
I believe Donald Trump could become President of the United States if he promised to shave his head upon winning. Or perhaps he could do it a month before election to suck all the media attention from his competitor.
Right. Think about it. Voters are emotional creatures and they would love such an act of humility coming from such an egotistical jerk. People love to see other people change. That is the formula for successful movies: The protagonist changes when the audience thinks such change is not possible. We LOVE that.
Hillary Clinton has a 95% chance of being our next president unless we get some surprises. But the other 5% is all Trump. So if Clinton stumbles, Trump is running the country. Assuming he shaves his head.
[Update: This article is a good complement to my post. And it makes me wonder how long before Trump’s supporters will be labelled “limbics.”]
In Top Tech Blog, read about 3D printers for printing pharmaceutical drugs. This is part of why I predict healthcare costs will drop 90% in your lifetime. But what happens when anyone can print drugs at home? Might be a downside!
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