"He is not a war hero. He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured, OK? I hate to tell you," Trump said. "I believe perhaps he is a war hero."
Von Clownstick is already trying to walk his bluster back as only he can -- by throwing the Veterans' Administration scandals and illegal immigration into the mix:
As Trump keeps surfacing at or near the top of polls, it's interesting to consider the ramifications of that. Sure, you can chalk it up to the usual bullshit -- small sample sizes, idiot respondents, the fact the election is still well over a year away (though primary season starts earlier and earlier, doesn't it?), but that doesn't completely capture the situation.
As the GOP clown car keeps filling up, turning into a short bus (17 Dipshits and Counting -- there's your reality show!), it becomes more and more apparent that as the Republican party loses its collective mind and continues empowering the baffled and bewildered of this country, it (the party and its vocal contingent) will only get worse. They have no intent of moderating their style, substance, message, or intent. And the Citizens United decision makes that possible, makes it easier.
While completely different in substance, Trump's appeal (such as it is) is much the same as that of Bernie Sanders: in a business where insincerity is not only routine, but presumed, the idea that someone is saying something that they actually mean is unexpected, to say the least. Hillary Clinton literally cannot get a meal at Chipotle without testing it first with a focus group. Sanders clearly means what he says, while Trump at least appears to do the same, which still puts him ahead of the focus-grouped chumps.
Look, don't get me wrong. Donald Trump is a pimp and a prevaricator, five pounds of shit in a ten-pound bag, a useless blowhard fortunate enough to be in nation that can't seem to get enough of such types. He's a fucking teevee personality who has never run for or held public office, and upholds his inability to work well with others as a selling point. He has no goddamned business running for anything. You might as well vote for the meteorologist on your local station.
Sanders is sincere in addressing the US' frightening -- and increasing -- levels of systematic inequality, which are on the verge of becoming destabilizing in the sense of maintaining a civilized society. He has no chance of becoming president, because the people who own and run the system do not want any actual change. And the moment he becomes remotely viable, the Clintonistas will kneecap him. This is not just in their playbook, it's in the table of contents. The Republicans do not have to worry about Sanders, because the Democrats will happily do the dirty work for them. After all, they have mostly the same donors and owners.
Back to Trump. As long as he continues barking nonsense, he paradoxically reduces his overall viability, while enhancing his appeal to (ugh) his base (read: paste-eating morons and people who view their own relatives as fair game for sexual opportunity). In a rational world, even he knows that he has no real chance.
But we are no longer in a rational world, if we ever were. It's comical enough that there are nearly twenty candidates vying for the office from one party, though some (Jindal, Christie, Perry, and several others) are almost certainly running for veep or a random cabinet slot. They're just maintaining visibility. But it's truly scary to think that there are any people at all who sincerely think that Donald Trump is remotely qualified for the job of President of the United States of America.
I think there's at least an even chance that at some point, maybe right before the primaries, or after the first or second successful one, Trump gets disavowed by the GOP establishment, takes his ego and his money and his fanbase, and pulls a Ross Perot. I would encourage him in that endeavor, as it would pretty much turn out as it did in 1992 for Perot, horking just enough votes away from the already divided Goopers to keep them out of the White House for another decade. (Not that that will keep them out of their gerrymandered congressional seats, no sirree. The knuckle-draggers will be making their mischief for years to come.)
But maybe Trump gets a few lucky breaks along the way, moderates his approach, brings more people onboard his campaign Titanic. At that point it becomes a litmus test for all of the above -- conservatives, liberals, Democrats, Republicans, teabaggers, hippies, the young and the old. If you're the sort of fist-shaking codger who campaigned for George McGovern in your feckless youth, but are now content to pull up the Social Security/Medicare ladder and skull-fuck your grandchildren, then Trump's your guy, and we thank your candor in admitting it.
On the other foot, if you're a young person who claims to Really Care, and then voting day comes and you don't show up, then kindly shut the fuck up. If you live in a state that requires a photo ID to vote -- as wrong-headed as that rule may be -- and you really want to vote, then you have a good fifteen (15) months or so to find the massive cash necessary to do so, and/or to procure the "primary" and "secondary" forms of identification. Plenty of time there, folks, and if you do it, you might actually get someone in there who can undo the unfairness of all that.
But the bottom line is, the elderly and the foolish show up to vote, because by definition they have nothing else to do. Hell, I think that voting beyond the local or state level is a useless joke, and even I vote. That's probably the sole advantage of the endless campaign season -- unless you're a complete moron, you have no excuse for not knowing when it's time to vote, and a plan for making sure you do it. And if you are a complete moron, you should be staying home and watching courtroom shows anyway.
So maybe we're about to find out where we're really at as a nation. Maybe the divisions are too deep and wide after all; maybe after nearly 400 years, the concept of the post-Westphalian centralized nation-state has run its course. If there is really a majority of simpletons clamoring to vote against their own rational self-interest, then perhaps it's time to find ways to disentangle your interests from theirs, to make sure your fortunes are not mutually tied. Maybe the coastal states that actually produce things and revenue break away from the welfare red states, and everyone figures out what their mutual interests actually are.
Perhaps the contradictions, as they say, need to be heightened. It's not just Trump, but the rest of the maroons jockeying for position that will be illuminating things in the months to come. Every election is like that, in some respect, but as economic and environmental conditions get more and more perilous, the situation becomes magnified.
[Update: This is an interesting theory about Trump. Nothing would surprise me anymore.]