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Monday, 13 July 2015

The White House a.k.a. Trump House

In my June 17 blog, I mentioned that Donald Trump was entering the 2016 U.S. Presidential race. I gave this outsider a (very) good chance in case he would not join the American Political Correctness Attitude. Similar to Pim Fortuyn, who could - and most likely, would - have become the next Dutch PM if he had not been assassinated by a Dutch left wing vegan on May 6, 2002.

I must admit that Donald Trump took my advice to heart, as his political incorrectness is well beyond imagination. Since several days, Donald Trump is now even ranking as a clear #1 in the Republican primary with 15% of the Republican votes compared to 11% for Jeb Bush ! (Vox, The Hill). No surprise to me, as Donald Trump is the only candidate who is not utterly boring.

Maintaining his current rhetoric does not stand him any chance to win his prize: the White House a.k.a. Trump House. Even his - Republican - voters acknowledge this. In order to win the Republican primary, and the White House, Donald Trump again needs to do something which has never been done before in many decades: he needs to cherry pick on the Democratic agenda.

In his capacity as employer of thousands of (retired) employees, Donald Trump would be able to strive for the improvement of their lives with adequate sincerity (e.g., paid vacation leave, paid sickness leave, mandatory health insurance for all - legal - employees and retirees). Obviously, this would catch nearly all other candidates by total surprise. No other main candidate could or would dare this. Only a political outsider would be able to pull this one off.

Obviously, the far left and far right in America would criticise Donald Trump for doing so. That fact alone would even increase his chances as the victory lies in the middle voter segment, and not at the extremist sides. A convincing political agenda which combines the cherries from left and right, and which is delivered by someone with charisma, is unbeatable. You don't even have to like the guy as long as you are convinced that he will deliver on his promises.

Donald Trump may mark the end of an era (or several) in which high likability - and shallow content - is no longer a ticket to the White House. The perception about the likelihood of delivering on political promises may finally prevail. Not being a politician himself, that should and would work in Donald Trump's advantage.

In my view, Donald Trump's biggest risk is running a similar fate as Pim Fortuyn who was assassinated by someone who considered him too much risk to become the next Dutch PM. The current success of Donald Trump will create a similar threat from the American far left and - much more likely - the American far right.

The clear and quite unexpected success of both Donald Trump and of Bernie Saunders, a self-described democratic socialist, as 2016 Democratic presidential candidate in the opinion polls, makes it very clear that a Bush-Clinton race is far less obvious than anyone would have predicted.

Donald Trump may never become a great 45th President but he has the ability to fundamentally change the American political landscape and create a huge legacy of his own.