You know your campaign is really going poorly when people from both Parties, (yes that includes the one you are the standard bearer of), are openly discussing and writing that they think you are crazy. That is the situation Donald Trump found himself in last week.
Trump’s campaign has largely been a sideshow that defied every political axiom. That played well in capturing media attention. Multi-alarm fires, car wrecks and other disasters always get more play on the local news than feel good stories about puppies do.
If you are a less well educated, prejudice, homophobic, misogynistic and under informed white male Trump’s particular form of populism played well in the large and weak field that was the 2016 Republican primary. The stars were aligned for a candidate like Trump to win less than a majority, but enough primary votes to secure the GOP nomination.
In fact he locked up his Party’s nomination about a month before Hillary Clinton nailed down the Democratic nod. That is where the problem began to appear. A sane candidate would have used that “free time” to pivot to a general election strategy. Trump continued to play to Bubba while spending too much time talking about his favorite subject – himself.
Then we had the battle of the conventions. The Republican affair looked like Dancing with the Stars; in that the stars of the Republican affair were largely either named Trump, (some of the even used their own words), or people you never heard of. One of the few name Republicans to speak was runner-up Ted Cruz who went out of his way not to endorse Trump. The five session event received it’s only passing grade in the Thursday night session which was actually going well until The Donald took the stage, rambled on for almost 80 minutes and painted a picture of America as a hopeless cause that was sinking quicker than a ship with a 20 foot wide hole in its hull below the waterline. In the interest of brevity let’s just say the Democratic affair looked like a convention, featured known political commodities and included the endorsement of a much closer runner-up.
Trump’s unforced errors continued even before the Democratic affair could completely conclude. The parents of an Army officer killed in Iraq spoke. For good reason Gold Star families are considered off limits to attack in politics. Trump could do one of two things: express condolences for their loss or simply shut up. Instead he chose to attack them. Politically he entered into a fight he couldn’t win.
He has repeatedly proven his ignorance of foreign affairs. Trump has threatened to reexamine NATO. That alliance is one of the keystones of post-World War II foreign policy for the United States and the West. It is one of the ways Harry Truman (certainly not Ronald Reagan) won the Cold War. He has repeatedly displayed both a misunderstanding of and frightening fascination with nuclear weapons.
The above is a very incomplete list of Trump’s missteps. It has almost all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, asking if the man is sane. When people are asking if your candidate is crazy in August it doesn’t bode well for November!
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