This has been arguably the strangest Presidential election cycle in modern history. I take a little pride in knowing that I’ve been mostly right about things; I didn’t underestimate Trump when the pundits were saying he’d drop out quickly, for example. One thing I completely missed was the way that the media would be able to take him down once he secured the nomination. They might not be able to for one extremely clever (or lucky) reason: we know him already and we’re either already aghast or we’ve accepted him for who he is.
His supporters generally fall into one of three categories:
- Trump’s Our Hero. These folks see him as an extraordinary man who talks like everybody else. He’s not a politician in their eyes, so he’s the perfect outsider to clean up DC. His views might rock the boat but that’s exactly what this country needs.
- Trump Might Just Work. There are plenty of Republicans out there, perhaps even close to a majority, who have accepted that he’s going to be the nominee and have embraced him despite occasionally cringing at the prospects. They aren’t 100% sold on his plans, but they feel like there will be enough checks and balances to prevent him from destroying the country. Then, there’s also a chance that his ideology might be effective.
- Trump isn’t Hillary. This is likely a close second as far as representation within the pro-Trump group. They don’t like him but they feel he’ll do less damage than Hillary. At least he has the letter (R) next to his name, right?
As for his detractors, they seem to be pretty unified. Trump would be a disaster as the President. He lacks the basic geopolitical knowledge to operate intelligently as Commander-in-Chief and has demonstrated a complete lack of ability when it comes to picking the right people for jobs. He can’t seem to organize a campaign properly, let alone a country, and if it weren’t for the non-stop coverage the networks gave him over his competitors, he would have fallen off the map long ago. The list of negatives could be turned into a book, but they all have the same basic theme: Trump shouldn’t be given the power of the office of President of the United States.
Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, you know one thing very well: Trump himself. You know what he says. You know how he acts. You know that whatever he says today might be completely different tomorrow. You know that he doesn’t know much about how to operate a country and you know that in dozens of endeavors other than real estate and entertainment he’s been a dismal failure. You know that he was born into an empire and would be retired telemarketing company manager if he had the average American’s background.
You know all of this and you’ve made up your mind. Oh, you might claim to be undecided, but your decision will not be based upon new information you learn about Trump himself. You’re waiting to see if anything in the world makes it more appealing to have Trump in charge than Clinton. You’re waiting to see if either or both major party candidates implode. You may be on the fence to the point that you’ll make your decision after the debates, but one thing you’re not waiting for is to learn more about Trump or his policies.
That’s why Trump can’t be attacked. There’s nothing he can do that would surprise people anymore. There are very few things that could pop up from his past other than something criminal that would surprise you. I once thought that the media would line up interviews and tell-all exposés from people he’s wronged in the past and that after enough of them, his popularity would drop. I now believe I was wrong. He’s aired his dirty laundry and made it this far. There’s probably not enough dirty laundry left out there that can make a difference.
He’s misogynistic. We know that. There won’t be any Miss Universe contestants who can paint him as a pig and change anyone’s mind about him.
He uses racism as a wink-wink attribute. In other words, he won’t be blatantly racist but he’ll leave enough doubt so that racists can embrace him. We know that. An interview with a former employee that details how Trump called him a derogatory, bigoted name won’t make an impact on voters.
He has average intelligence. We know that. Any proof of how dumb he really is will be dismissed by the general population.
Whether by accident or as a calculated play, he has already shown us the best and worst of Donald J. Trump. Nothing the news can say or do will sway our perspectives on him. We know his shortcomings and we’ve either accepted them or not. From a campaign perspective, this is a nightmare for left-wing media. It’s a disaster for the Democratic party. It’s a conundrum for the Clinton campaign. Win or lose, Trump’s fate will not be determined by anything new we learn about him. We already know what we need to know to make a decision.