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Ron Fournier on 2016 Prospects: "President Trump? Stranger Things Might Happen"
How will the presidential campaign in 2016 look? Will there be any candidate who is sound on the National Question? Looking at the current crop of likely contenders, it's not an encouraging prospect.
Then again, a lot could happen between now and then. A third party or insurgent candidacy led by a candidate with sound principles and the talent of articulating them might be successful, especially if he had a healthy disdain for today's PC nostrums. But where is such a candidate?
The current third parties garner a microscopic portion of the vote and are unkown to the general public. Possibly an insurgent campaign led by a candidate who is already famous might be more successful.
Writing over at National Journal, in a piece entitled President Trump? Stranger Things Might Happen (January 13, 2014), Ron Fournier writes that
The public's trust in government, politics, and political parties is at record lows, according to a variety of polls. A record-high 42 percent of American identify as political independents, Gallup found this month. Republican identification felt to 25 percent, the lowest Gallup has measured since it began conducting interviews by telephone 25 years ago. Democratic identification is unchanged from the last four years, at 31 percent, but that's the lowest annual average in a quarter-century. The public's hunger for change fueled the insurgent campaigns of Perot, Dean, and Obama, and it could spur a new one. Wrenching economic transition, new technologies that empower the masses, and the lifting of limits on campaign donations could make a 2016 insurgency swift and surprisingly potent.
The time is ripe for an insurgent candidate. Would that it were a candidate who would defend the historical American nation!
The Pew Research Center has documented a decades-long decline in the public's faith in U.S. institutions, including businesses, schools, churches, charities, media organizations, and, of course, politics and government. As these silos weaken, the public will be increasingly more open to people and brands that defy institutional boundaries. Bitcoin, for example, is a digital currency invading the space of traditional financial institutions.
How might this apply to politics? The barriers to entry will be lower. We're far more likely to see a presidential candidate emerge from outside the traditional political community. A provocative thought: In our celebrity-infused culture, why couldn't the next game-changing insurgent candidate—if not president—emerge from the world of sports or entertainment? Certainly, the path from a corporate suite to the Oval Office is less cluttered than usual.
President Trump? No way. The American public is too smart to let that happen. But stranger things might.
I don't know, if Donald Trump were sound on the National Question, I think he'd be more electable than McCain or Romney.
After the 2014 congressional elections, some serious work needs to be done on this. You can't wait until the summer of 2016.