If the 2016 Presidential election has taught us anything, it’s that conventional wisdom no longer has a place in the thought process of anyone trying to figure out Donald Trump’s path to the White House. Conventional wisdom said that he shouldn’t have made it into the primaries at all. It says he definitely shouldn’t have won the nomination. It says that he’s imploding before our eyes and taking the Republican party with him.
There is nothing conventional about Trump, but there may be some wisdom in his actions, at least from the perspective of winning the Presidency. Let’s look at the most recent things that Trump is doing so we can understand why at this point he’s probably going to win.
- Attacking Khizr Khan: Trump is attacking the family of an American soldier who gave his life fighting for his country. This would be political suicide in any other circumstance and with any other candidate, but with Trump, it’s the smart move. He has three months to make the negatives go away, but in the meantime he’s putting the focus on radical Islamic terrorism. More importantly, he’s demonstrating again that political correctness is not something that guides him. Both of these things will keep his base juiced up while leaving him enough time to repair any damage he’s done with members of the military.
- Promoting Paul Ryan’s Primary Opponent: One thing you never do as a candidate is to go after the most powerful Republican politician in the country if you want to win the Presidency. That’s the conventional wisdom. The Trump wisdom is that Ryan has proven to be an easy person for conservatives to attack. If Trump is going to win, he’ll need conservatives to either accept him as the non-Hillary or embrace him as someone who will fight the Establishment. Whether Ryan wins or loses his primary is irrelevant to Trump. The fact that he’s going after him now and not bowing down to party etiquette will endear him to Republicans who don’t like Ryan as well as Democrats and Independence who want someone not beholden to decorum within the party itself.
- Embracing Vladimir Putin: Like it or not, Vladimir Putin is respected by millions of Americans. Trump’s bear hug is getting him some heat in the press and among party leaders, but it’s signalling to voters that he’s willing to work with the country that could very easily become our biggest enemy once again. He’s offering hope to the idea that his penchant for deal-making is going to keep America safe from anyone who wants to do us harm. As the election season hits its climax, most negatives associated with Trump’s willingness to endear himself to Putin will be erased.
If Trump had done any of these things (or any of those faux pas he made in the past) in mid- to late-October when many undecided voters were making up their minds, it would be bad for him. Instead, these are all things that he has time to fix while still gaining the benefits they give him to certain parts of the electorate. It’s like he’s hitting rock bottom now so he can vault himself to the top when the time is right.
It should be noted that I am not a Trump supporter, nor am I a Hillary supporter. I’ve accepted that there will not be a conservative in the White House in 2017 which is why we’re in the process of forming a third party to help pick up the pieces after this election. This is why these perspectives should be taken seriously. I’m not promoting Trump. I’m declaring that against all of the things the press is saying, he’s very likely going to win this election.
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