I've watched the fuss, fun and games over Donald Trump's candidacy for the Presidency with bemused interest. I find it hard to believe that someone with his track record should be taken seriously as a candidate . . . until I consider the other candidates, and the state of both major political parties. With very few exceptions, he's probably a better candidate than most of them put together.
- Elected politicians may promise the earth to their constituents, but as soon as they take office they're bribed, bullied or cajoled into doing the will of the political class and the moneybags behind them. Witness the fuss over Obamacare, or immigration, or any other hot-button issue. The clearly expressed will of the people is routinely ignored by Congressional representatives and Senators, who proceed to lecture us on "what's good for America". What they really mean, of course, is that it's good for them.
- Trump may not be a mainstream politician, but he is a self-made man. He's made many mistakes along the way, making him almost a buffoon-like figure in the minds of many, but he's always managed to bounce back from them. He's pretty much an 'alpha male' in human biological terms, albeit a flawed one.
- Trump comes across as a blowhard and a braggart, becoming almost a caricature of himself in the public eye. However, he's backed up that caricature with amazing flexibility. He can think fast, stay on his feet through the most turbulent times, and 'bounce back' from setbacks that would have destroyed a less self-confident man. He's been accused of being pushy, arrogant, and uncaring about the feelings of others. All those accusations are probably true - and he doesn't give a damn.
The scariest part of his candidacy, from the point of view of the major political parties, is that he's not beholden to the 'Establishment'. He could finance his entire presidential campaign out of his own pocket. It'll take a billion dollars or more to win the Presidency in 2016, but he's got a billion dollars and then some. The 'Golden Rule' has often been misquoted as "He who has the gold makes the rules". That's why most candidates for political office are beholden to those who donate the money to make their campaigns possible. Trump wouldn't be subject to that sort of pressure - and the Powers That Be absolutely hate that. They're petrified at the prospect of a candidate, and possibly a President, they can't control. If I were in his shoes I'd be taking my personal security very seriously, not because I was afraid of the public, but because I wouldn't put it past the party political machines to take desperate measures to get him off the ballot by any means necessary. No, I'm not joking. I wish I were.
I don't know whether or not Trump would make a good President. His emphasis on immigration reform sounds right to me - and I say that as a (legal) immigrant myself. We do need to secure the rule of law in this country, and that includes securing the borders and kicking out all those who've come here in defiance of the rule of law. In other aspects of policy I suspect he might lean towards "What's good for business is good for America", rather than constitutional or other principles: but then, the policies of our political class have been biased towards "What's good for us is good for America, whether America likes it or not".
That's the real problem here: I don't see how a President Trump could possibly be any worse for America than 90%+ of the other candidates out there. I'd make an exception for Scott Walker, who I regard as a principled man of proven ability in his state. Ted Cruz shows some promise, although he, too, can be a blowhard at times, and I think he needs more experience and seasoning. On the Democratic side, Jim Webb also has a proven track record and appears to be centrist rather than hard-left or progressive in his politics. I suspect any of those three candidates might make a viable President. However, looking at all the other candidates, I think Donald Trump could do a whole lot better for America than any of them. In some ways he reminds me of Teddy Roosevelt, at least in terms of his enthusiasm.
That's a hell of a condemnation of our political class, when you think about it.