Four things came together to give us Donald J. Trump as the all-but-official GOP nominee.
First, the so-called cable news channels in the US are, indeed, for-profit businesses, looking for ratings, looking for an edge. Thump was ratings gold for them. He got enormous free publicity in exchange for supplying viewers. He did a very good clown-act. Maybe professional “wrestling” is a closer approximation, but either way they have airtime to fill and he provided them with riveting free content.
Second, the GOP has been pandering to, and fanning the flames of, a very dissatisfied base. They have been promoting a “reality” that is remote from actual facts. And, they have not delivered on their promises. This left the GOP a hollow party, dependent on a narrowing base, that no one could reason with. They created a monster. A monster that apparently watches cable TV.
Third, due to something the GOP has accomplished, the 1% have done great in this otherwise tepid recovery, but vast areas of this country (it goes zip code, by zip code) have been left behind and are still where George II’s Great Recession left them. They have not seen the recovery at all. They are rightfully afraid, and unfortunately very angry. And they watch TV.
Fourth, The Donald turned out to be a political genius. The man is nothing if not arrogant, but I don’t think even he had a clue how good he would be at this. He took his entertainment TV experience and turned it into an entertaining campaign, driven by free TV.
I thought the Trump phenomenon would burn out. I think he guessed it would, too, that he would come away with a bigger “brand”. Well, the second part sure came true.
©2016 Kent Borg