This piece was written by Julio Rivera.
Last week, a Pro-Ted Cruz mock campaign ad depicting Donald Trump as an alien playing the role of an undercover Democrat was released on YouTube by political street artist Sabo.
In the humor of the moment, the message stood clear. Should someone with a history of political positions like Trump even be running for the Republican nomination? In the seven months or so since Trump has announced his Presidential bid he has been remarkably successful in courting the one voter block that would have seemed the least likely just months before.
Trump’s inconsistent statements on abortion have ranged over the years from saying he “hated the concept of abortion but I’m pro-choice” in 1999 to being quoted at a townhall in Iowa on Tuesday saying “All I can tell you is this. I’m pro-life, and I’ve been pro-life a long time.” When asked for specifics on handling violators of any pro-life legislation he noncommittally stated “I just don’t want to talk about that right now. Everybody knows my views, and I think my views are very plain.” By refusing to provide specifics on abortion he has successfully managed to prevent himself from being pigeonholed or accountable to any specific course of action on the issue.
Conservative voters, by Trump’s emphatic pronouncement of his intention to build, “The Great Wall of Trump!”(insert joke here), to be paid for by Mexico, (insert funnier joke here) initially became one issue voters and abandoned common sense the same way many one issue Democrats and undecided voters did in gifting the exponentially more damaging 2nd term of Obama.
Trump’s position on Immigration, which many have criticized as “Touchback” deportation, doesn’t even accomplish the true intent of what many early supporters were looking for in Immigration reform. Despite this, Trump’s campaign has steamrolled along without an actual record to attack as Trump has used his celebrity to hijack the media into a state of hypnotic trance while pulling a shell platform game where nothing is truly what it seems. The fact that Trump has scored so high in traditionally conservative Iowa is a testament to this.
Once upon a short time ago Cruz had a lead as high as 10 points over Trump in the first caucus state which has remarkably come back down to a virtual tie. The appearance that Trump has created is that he is every bit the conservative that Cruz is while being absent of any evidence to support whether he is or not. It shouldn’t come to any surprise to any seasoned voter who has participated in the past few election cycles that a candidate would attempt to present an ideal image while in the courting phase of the election cycle. After a midterm cycle in which the sitting President called for a referendum on his policy, only for the newly elected officials to behave in the manner in which their predecessors did, why is anyone buying campaign promises from an ideological wildcard like the businessman Trump? The sheer number of right-leaning voters who have decided to support such an unproven conservative proves the effectiveness of celebrity and media saturation in the process of selecting our elected officials.
The very confusing history of Trump makes it impossible to predict how a candidate who has written “One thing I’ve learned about the press is that they’re always hungry for a good story, and the more sensational the better.” and “The point is that if you are a little different, or a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you.” as well as “I play to people’s fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular.”-( The Art of the Deal, 1987) will truly deal with immigration, economic, foreign policy and social issues.
In addition to the free publicity generated by the soundbite press, under mutual stipulations, the Trump campaign and the RNC came to an agreement recently that granted the campaign access to the extensive data that the RNC possesses on voters. This was given to the campaign in return for Trumps continued pledge to support whoever the eventual Republican nominee is. This information, while available to all potential presidential nominees would be of particular value to a candidate who has been speculated to run potentially a third party campaign should he lose the nomination. Many have written off the ability of Trumps campaign to win in the traditional theaters of campaign warfare due to the appearance of it being a mostly media driven endeavor.
Whether or not Trump is running a campaign capable of winning will be made know in the coming weeks as the dates February 1st in Iowa and February 9th in New Hampshire loom on the horizon.