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All along the mainstream, media drums are beating out the news that Donald Trump’s campaign will implode any day now.

Donald Dropping Out

Drumming Donald Out—Dick Price

This week, the Wall Street Journal called on Trump to either fix his campaign or drop out.

Over the weekend, the New York Times cited anonymous sources inside the Trump campaign saying their candidate is “exhausted, frustrated and still bewildered by fine points of the political process and why his incendiary approach seems to be sputtering.”

And the round-the-clock cable news channels blow every one of Trump’s many missteps and malapropos into the next Watergate scandal, from rumors that his campaign manager took money from a foreign government (remind me, where have I heard that before?), to muddled talk about having “Second Amendment folk” deal with Hillary, to…well there are too many to list.

If Trump does implode and she wins by a large margin, Hillary will owe the progressive community nothing.

Little irony then that these same media outlets created the Donald Trump extravaganza in the first place, taking a blowhard “You’re Fired” reality show host and shaping him into a preposterous candidate who nevertheless might somehow occupy the Oval Office.

They even created a new form of journalism to do it, scaffoling stories around The Donald’s tweets—those little 140-character thoughtlets youngsters pass around on their iPhones.

Now, so late in the game, they’re throwing up red flags for the train wreck they’ve inflicted on our political process with their tonsorially-challenged kleptocapitalist.

But What If Trump Does Implode?

In this week’s “What To Do With Donald?" survey, many readers thought Donald’s campaign is toast, so progressives should either put their shoulders behind “Bernie-style” progressive Congressional candidates (55%) or work for Jill Stein and the Greens (31%). By the way, you can see all of the surveys by polls)

But Eric Ferguson casts shade on the Jill Stein Green possibility:

Stein is a vanity candidate who runs for president every four years like it’s a hobby and gets nothing done but the withering of the Green Party.

And Michael Noel notes another problem with this scenario:

Trump’s implosion, if it continues, will allow Hillary to move right, where she is comfortable, and the place she will govern from anyway. I see nothing good coming our way when the endless war, corporate whore wins in November.

Indeed, we all had a good laugh during the primary when Hillary grabbed one Bernie Sanders talking point after another, all but tattooing “Feel the Bern” on her forehead as she lined up behind universal healthcare, free college tuition, stopping the TPP, making the rich pay their fair share…

So if Trump does implode and she wins by a landslide—not by wooing Bernie’s avid left-leaners, but instead riding into office on the backs of independents, centrist Democrats, and frustrated Republicans—she’ll owe the progressive community nothing. We’ll get the occasional hand wave but precious little action on progressive social change—not exactly a new experience.

With that backing, she’ll be free to load up her administration with the same hawkish, corporate-friendly neocons that populated Obama’s administration and Bill Clinton’s before that. You don’t sense that will cause her any heartburn

Is Donald Still Dangerous?

Some readers (50%) thought Donald is still dangerous, partly because Hillary is such a weak campaigner and so widely disliked—almost as disliked as Donald himself—and partly because this has been such a weird campaign that caparisons with other years don’t work very well.

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Trump has risen to prominence partly because he knows how to work a crowd better than his opponents, Hillary included, partly because he’s ridden a wave of angry populist unrest mirroring Bernie’s more hopeful tide, and largely because he’s a past master at fear-mongering—against Blacks, against Mexican-Americans, against Muslims, against the media, against whatever group will get a rise out of his overwhelmingly racist white constituency.

Irony of ironies, now fear-mongering is coming back at him, blasted by popular media and insinuated by the Clinton Machine, driving home the point at every opportunity how sinfully unprepared Trump as president would be, how disastrous he would be at home and abroad.

Said Michael Kaufman:

First priority. Stop Trump. Trump has unleashed a horde of new fascist elements. He and his base are dangerous and must be crushed. Only Hillary can do that.

You hear Trump called a fascist often, and his hate-filled comments are certainly evil enough. But Trump isn't a deep thinker. He has no grand plan.

More than anything, he’s like a carnival barker saying whatever will draw a crowd. Does the barker really think “Alligator Girl” crawled out of the Okefenokee Swamp? No more than The Donald thinks all the Mexicans coming across the border are rapists and murderers. Or that he can actually deport 11 million people. No, that’s just what will get tongues wagging—endlessly, it would appear.

Trump has already said that he would turn over domestic and foreign policy to his running mate, Mike Pence—the powerful intellect who thinks climate change is a lie and that abortion should evermore be illegal—leaving Donald free to, what, travel the world, attend fancy-pants shindigs, and run his mouth?

Oh lord, we’d have another George W. Bush administration, with a new crew of Dick Cheneys, Donald Rumsfelds, and Alberto Gonzalezes steering the ship while Donald dithers in the Oval Office. That’s surely a recipe for disaster and no joke.

Melania as First Lady?

A number of respondents felt that Donald is largely irrelevant at this point, that Hillary Clinton’s election is assured—and that’s a good thing.

Said Eric Ferguson again:

If Hillary crushes Trump, she also crushes Trumpism, that white-identity based bigotry that has taken over the Republican Party. There’s a great chance for a wave election, not just electing Hillary, but a Democratic Congress too that will give her progressive legislation to sign.

Yet a few think that a Trump presidency would be a good thing. Said Dick Chase:

Trump is far less dangerous than Clinton. He acts foolishly, but as President he would have Congress and the Court to check has actions. Clinton is a very intelligent sociopath. Congress would fall in line behind her as she ravaged the globe with war, unfettered.

Could Trump in the White House rouse up a progressive backlash that would set the country in a new, progressive direction? Certainly, the almost revolutionary fire that drove the Sanders campaign is still real and strong—and largely unsatisfied by Hillary’s “lesser evil” candidacy. Mirroring that is the nativist revolt fueling Donald. So the desire for real change is deep and not likely to fade away anytime soon.

Social Justice Pioneers

Dick Price

But that’s a dangerous road, too, with potentially dire results falling heavily on the poorest and weakest among us. During the latter part of his administration, Ronald Reagan’s mind was said to be failing, and clearly George W. Bush wasn’t up to the task from day one. But the executive branch’s wheels ground nonetheless, damaging New Deal social justice reforms, vastly increasing wealth disparities, and running us into several utterly pointless wars.

A Trump presidency would be a huge roll of the dice.

Dick Price
Editor, LA Progressive