It is fun to watch the pundits sweat. We had the pleasure of watching them carom from one instance of “this will kill the Trump campaign” to another. Who didn’t have fun watching them try to justify including Trump in every question, article and discussion, on the basis of showing that he was not really fit to be President. It is even more fun to watch them squirm when people suggest that the billions in earned media they provided had anything to do with Trump’s victory. The excuses they come up with make many of them look more mentally damaged than a Trump supporter.
So what’s next? The pundits are deeply analyzing the numbers, explaining to the great unwashed that Trump’s negatives are too high to win. For the pundits, a Trump win is impossible. And they are luxuriating in the internal GOP stresses, questioning who will attend the convention and which candidates will distance themselves from the horrible presidential candidate.
For those of us who read and watch these verbal diarrhetics, we have long understood that the scope of their view extends about 30 seconds. If a poll implies something or a candidate says something, it is reality and must be commented upon. At least until something new comes along. This unfortunate lack of perspective is the tool that makes Candidate Trump very dangerous.
The media has treated the primary like a presidential election. Trump has done the exact opposite. He has realized that the primary is an internal election with a goal of appealing to committed Republicans and to bring in people who live on the fringes. And he has done a spectacular job, squashing more appealing politicians and “better” campaigners. Now the primary is ending and I expect that we will see a new level of marketing brilliance from the Orange One.
One of the most interesting and hypocritical elements of the primaries is the conceit that they are presidential in nature. Candidates talk as if they have only to wait a few months before whatever they say will magically become reality. Trump knows better and won the primary by campaigning to win the primary. Now he will turn to the election and once he hits the magic 1237, I believe we will see something entirely new. And it will create a new level of earned media – the lemmings will chatter at an all new level.
As Trump closes the primary, he will say things that are never said. He is already hinting at it but expect to hear him explain, clearly, to the American people that a primary is a completely different campaign than a presidential election. He will explain that during a primary he could say things that are aspirational, allowing people to understand how he thinks. Now that he is battling for the presidency, he will explain that he must find a message that appeals to a broader base, so that he can defeat the evil Democratic opponent.
Imagine, if you will, the impact on the pundits who have built up the primaries to never before seen levels of importance. Imagine the shock of watching Trump further fracture the fourth wall. The pundits that survive their heart attacks will be chattering 24/7 like insomniac cocaine addicts. And in their constant yammering, trying to create narratives that Trump feels no obligation to accept, we will see a growth in Trump’s popularity that bear little resemblance to the polls of today.
We have an historic election coming but not for the reasons we have heard. It is historic because this is the first election that the media will buy the winner on their own dollar, and they won’t even realize it until it is over.