We’ve all survived.
Despite opposition and terror, Donald did it.
In fact, apart from scaring half the nation, he really hasn’t done anything – yet. And a good thing, too. He seems to have no idea at all of what government means, what it can and cannot do, what he can and cannot do as President, should he achieve that exalted status. Having lived these past fifty years doing exactly what he wanted, with no one to gainsay him, he doesn’t even imagine there might be another way of life.
Which may be his biggest drawback – apart from impatience and having matured in his father’s constructed bubble. He may admire and reward great workers and executives he’s hired. But he doesn’t live as they do. He may be secretly generous and supportive in spasms of good will, but at the end of the day he’s seventy stories above the rest of the world and untouched.
The Trump children have done much to try to dispel the trappings of royalty and to disguise their father’s hermit-like fear of personal involvement. He is, after all, not that far from the neurotic Howard Hughes.
Despite “Lock her up!” rhetoric and prompts, indeed the kids have softened the Donald’s image. One strange sensation as we watched the final night of the RNC: when Ivanka finished her warm AND believable paean to her father and he himself took the stage, there was a definite lowering of spirits among the crowd. Ivanka managed to elevate the proceedings to the level at which hope existed. This was no mean task. The minute Donald got rolling, hope disappeared.
How could this happen so quickly?
Part of this reality was, we think, a matter of age. Ivanka is young enough to exist comfortably among “the Millenials” who exist by believing in What Ifs. Her father has, in a limited way, “seen it all,” perhaps even done it all. As he himself said, who knows the progress of government corruption better than he does, and who is better able therefore to change that culture? That is hardly a declaration of hope, more an admission of collusion. (We can understand why, hearing this declaration, thousands of unsuspecting people sank their savings into Trump projects in order to benefit as he has done from knowing the ins and outs of the jungle paths he’s trod.)
But instead of building on his putative experiences and leading others to salvation, Donald chose to scare the assembly once again with visions of deprivation, war, need, poverty. The transformation from ordinary citizens to Trump-like acolytes seems entirely bogus.
Having fortuitously (who knew?) escaped the clutches of Lucifer presented by a suddenly undisguised James Jones-like Ben Carson, the field was clear (apart from Ted Cruz) for Donald to take up arms against the evils of the world around us. He could have afforded even to be precise. He promised early in his speech that he was going to tell us how he would create jobs and increase wages. He didn’t. But we can be certain he’s watching “the shows” with these items in mind.
Both Donald and his Trumpistas are living in bubbles, one of great wealth and some achievement, the other in straightened circumstances, dining daily on hope. Both bubbles will burst. The first when Donald discovers he can’t just snap his fingers and get people to do what he thinks is best. The second when Donald, having finally learned there are three branches of power in our government, has to “walk back” Day One promises on Day Two, and his adoring throngs begin to mutter and bemoan the fact that they’ve been had again, that Donald has been forced to turn into The Establishment, that they might as well have voted for Hillary. Donald will have a short political honeymoon.
Of course, this is posited on the proposition that Mr. Trump actually wins in November, no sure thing.
One piece of advice for Mrs. Clinton’s team: despite having been vilified and demonized for the past week, turn-about is not good play. It might be fair but it won’t be good. We all know that Mr. Trump is a sitting duck, what with no experience, no ability to think consecutively for more than two sentences without alarming his colleagues in Congress, his backers throughout the country, his allies abroad. He has not bothered to learn anything about worlds other than his own.
But if Trump allowed and fostered the “Lock Her Up!” crowd, Hillary cannot allow her troops to try to do the same to him. The country has no more patience for this kind of kid’s play. The nation wants grown-up ideas and visions of the future that it can picture living in. The difference between the candidates is stark: one is shooting from the hip; the other has time, experience, and imagination. Also, alas, a record. Mr. Trump doesn’t have a record like Hillary’s. He doesn’t have a record, period, that people can point to that is bulging with accomplishments and/or errors.
It seems to be true that with Mrs. Clinton in the driver’s seat, the vehicle is not likely to move quickly. That, however, is also likely to be the case with Mr. Trump unless the Senate suddenly starts thinking about how one-third of it is up again for re-election in 2018.
But if the DNC turns into a chanting match, most Americans will throw up their hands, curse both houses, and Mr. Trump will undoubtedly be the beneficiary of this exercise.
Hillary’s heart will be broken but the choice will have been hers.