A lot of people - mainly Republicans - seem worried and perplexed by Donald Trump's apparent popularity right now. (Democrats, of course, are just sitting back, shaking their heads, saying "Go Donald!")
A friend of mine noted today on Twitter that, though he's a Republican, he'd vote for any of the candidates from either party to ensure that Trump didn't win the White House.
Let me give a bit of reassurance to my Republican friends and readers, from someone who has studied and written extensively about presidential elections: Donald Trump is going to get about as close to the White House in the 2016 presidential election as I am.
I haven't been to a circus since I was a kid, but you know how, before the main events get going, the clowns come out first to warm up the crowd?
That's what Donald Trump is to the circus that is the 2016 presidential election. He's the clown (or, more accurately, "ass clown") who's warming up the crowd before the actual circus gets going.
By the time the main events begin in earnest, Trump and his antics will be a footnote to the 2016 presidential election.
"But Trump is leading in the polls right now!!" you might say, wringing your hands in consternation.
Indeed, according to realclearpolitics.com, the most recent USAToday/Suffolk poll (from July 14), shows Trump leading all other Republican candidates, earning a total of 17%. Jeb Bush is next with 14%. Similarly, a Fox News poll just released today (July 18) shows Trump with the lead among all Republican candidates at 18%, with Scott Walker second at 15%.
So what is one to make of this? Let me paraphrase John McCain and simply point out that the reason Trump is leading among the Republican candidates right now is because he has stirred up all the crazy right wingers in the Republican party, of whom there are, sadly, quite a few.
Among the approximately 273 Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential nomination, Trump is the only one representing the "right wing bigot" faction of the Republican party. For that reason, all of the Republican party's right wing bigots are solidly behind him.
The remaining 272 Republican candidates are much closer in line, ideologically, and therefore each have their own little, mostly regional, group of supporters, which numbers way less, for each of them, than what Trump is able to gather to himself right now.
In short, when you see Trump getting the most support among the candidates right now, keep in mind that, using the latest numbers from the Fox poll, 82% of likely Republican primary voters are not supporting Donald Trump! And that's among registered Republicans! Once the debates get going and more and more polls start getting taken and candidates start dropping out of the race, Trump will very quickly fade into obscurity.
Quite simply, the 17 or 18% support he's got right now is all he's gonna get! Because, again, that represents the strongly united "right wing bigot" faction of the Republican party. No other Republicans are going to flock to Trump when their own favorite candidate drops out of the race.
No, they're going to flock to Bush.
Because in this country, in this era of our history, money and name - especially when those two things are combined - make all the difference, and Bush has the edge in both those categories.
That's also why Bush is going to be running against Hillary Clinton.
Not eager to see a Bush-Clinton rematch? Sorry, it's gonna happen, because corporate America decides our elections and our candidates.
And why does corporate America decide our candidates?
Because we decided they could.