Is Donald Trump a Toxic Bloviating Ignoramus?
The important lesson I learned this weekend: when your blog is in need of a topic and maybe a dash of humor, you can always count on Donald Trump to provide both. You can see what I mean on this post about a spat between Donald Trump and George Will.
George Will said Trump was a “bloviating ignoramus” and then proceeded to say things about stupid rich people intruding on American politics. Trump’s reply via Twitter was the equivalent of him calling Will a “great big poopy head” on a schoolyard playground.
Despite the humor in this kindergarten style round of name calling, it’s worth considering Trump’s role in the American political scene. Some argue that his approach to, well, everything makes him toxic to a political campaign. To determine whether or not he’s toxic, we’ve got to look at the things that will matter this November: money, PR, and voters.
There’s absolutely no doubt about it, Romney needs the money. Whether it’s money from Trump or money from the people who listen to Trump (yes, they exist), Romney needs it. Obama’s campaign is expected to raise nearly a billion dollars this election. Romney needs every cent he can get, even if it comes with PR woes.
Donald Trump is a PR disaster waiting to happen. He’s a media whore who only cares about himself. There is absolutely no good PR that can come from Trump, unless there really is no such thing as bad press. Trump will say stupid things and do stupid things; count on it. Romney should be a good enough friend to get donations from the Trump crowd, but don’t expect a Romney/Trump bus tour anytime soon.
On one side of the coin, Trump’s followers will probably vote Republican, and there’s zero chance of Trump throwing a pity party over a Romney rejection to tell people to vote for Obama. On the other side of the coin, Trump’s an idiot. He could mount an independent campaign for president (he’s crazy enough to do it), but he’d be primarily taking votes from Romney. Just the threat of it would be enough to get Romney talking to him again.
Trump’s toxicity in this election depends on how much Romney embraces his support. Too much of an embrace will make Romney seem as nutty as Trump, while total rejection risks Trump acting on his own.
Trump is like the Republican Party’s creepy uncle: yeah, he’s creepy, but if you don’t keep an eye on him, there’s no telling what mess he’ll get you into while you’re not paying attention.