Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore on flickr
Are the Democrats rooting for Donald Trump or scared of him? You can find pundits giving either opinion, on the same day.
Donald Trump is an enigma in the recent history of politics. Switching back and forth between the major parties, and then sprinkling some Reform party membership in the mix, he shows little loyalty to an ideology or institution. His political donations are widespread. Identifying as a Democrat most recently in 2009, then starting his bid for the Republican nomination in 2015, he plays a political hopscotch game unlike we've ever seen in national politics.
Trump's popularity among a portion of the Republican party is equally matched with his vehement loathing by another segment of that same party. Every day, my news feed is filled with blogs and articles by prominent and obscure Republicans alike voicing their reasons for not supporting Donald Trump. If you believe them, many will never, under any circumstances, vote for him, even if he receives the Republican nomination.
In light of such perspectives, and some of the interesting and favorable media coverage of the Trump campaign (which, let's be honest, is not a common occurrence for Republican candidates), I've come to some conclusions about an undercurrent of Democratic support for Donald Trump, despite what appear to be some radically conservative viewpoints, such as his position on illegal immigration.
The whispered and whistled conversations go something like this:
1. Donald Trump as the Republican nominee gives the Democrats the best chance in the general election. A not insignificant portion of the Republican party refuse to support Donald Trump, the (perceived lack of) character of Donald Trump, or the positions of Donald Trump. While some portion might vote for him if he receives the Republican nomination, it is an aberration for there to be a group so completely against ever supporting a particular candidate of their own party. Positions vary from voting for the Democratic candidate to not voting at all (the most common promise), but the voices are loud and unwavering in their opposition.
2. The Republican party looks like a circus with Donald Trump in the mix. I see delight and laughter in the eyes of my Democratic friends when they talk of Donald Trump being the torch bearer of the conservative Republican party. The debates look like a schoolyard, the media like a reality show commercial, and the party like fumbling teenagers in the backseat of broken down jalopy. He's endorsed by personalities such as Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter, perceived by many as examples of the party's fringe radicalization. In the eyes of many, his persona reveals the Republican party to be what many Democrats believed it to be all along: intolerant, self-promotional, and greedy.
3. Even if Donald Trump wins the general election, it's almost like having a Democrat in the oval office. Aligning himself with the Democratic party for almost 2/3 of his adult life, it's unlikely that in 2009, he changed his ideology in a Damascus road experience. More likely is that his political alignment is a calculated business decision designed to supports his endgame, whether it be a business deal or, in this case, becoming the president of the United States. His roots and recent history are in the Democratic party. And in the end, Donald Trump is a dealmaker. There won't be any government shutdowns if Donald Trump is president. There won't be any standoffs over a conservative Supreme Court justice. He won't implement radical reforms if they are not politically expedient. He may actually prove to be the most efficient "politician" of all time, if the populace elects him, because he's shown his willingness to support either party, any idealogy, or all positions if that's what it takes to climb his mountain.
But let's be clear, that mountain will be owned by Donald Trump, not the people of the United States.