This is the third in a series of articles on the Trump revolution. In the first article we established that Trump was a revolutionary, that the American political process institutionalized the processes of revolution, and that Trump was headed down the revolutionary path.
In the second article we set down the following requirements for a successful revolution:
- Become King of the Hill, the only candidate still standing
- Master the Game of Thrones, compel all foes to bend a knee
- Control the Will of the Convention, harness the RNC or become harnessed to achieve unity
- Run to the Center to cause the election opponent to lose
So, where are we?
King of the Hill
It is now May 4, 2016, and both Cruz and Kasich have suspended their campaigns leaving Trump as the de facto King of the Hill, the only candidate still standing. Difficult tasks are still ahead. The Game of Thrones begins in earnest.
Game of Thrones
Previously, Christie and Carson quickly bent a knee to support Trump. Today, Jindal bent a qualified knee. His position is that, given a binary choice between Trump and Clinton, he chooses Trump. Jindal has set the stage for at least a perfunctory bending of the knee by all former Trump foes.
Those who do not bend a knee are consigned to oblivion in this election cycle. At a minimum, Trump will simply ignore those who do not make at least the Jindal pledge. Therefore, Trump will approach the convention with at least the illusion that he has unified the opposition.
Will of the Convention
Bending of knees aside, the real battle of wills ahead is that between the Trump vision and the RNC vision of the future. As that battle looms the RNC would do well to remember from whence came Trump.
Trump has consistently played all sides against the middle. He will continue to do so. Trump is a republican of convenience. As a revolutionary he had two paths to the general election. He could have entered the primary battle as either a democrat or a republican. He chose the clearly weaker path.
What’s not to like about a field of battle divided into fiefdoms by 16 other contenders, as opposed to a field of battle dominated by a single individual?
Interestingly, that other field of battle brought forth its own Trump doppelganger, in the person of Sanders. Both Trump and Sanders are revolutionaries. Both share a common vision, only one has a path to victory, at least so far. The other battle has not yet been decided.
Let the conventions begin to set the stage for the general election.
Running To The Center
Here’s the fundamental factor. Politicians run as close to the center as they can without significantly alienating their base. For revolutionaries there is no center. Agendas of base, left-right, liberal-conservative have no bearing. Why? Because revolutionaries bring their own agenda to the table and that agenda owes no allegiance to conventional wisdom.
This should be a heads-up warning to the democrats and to the democratic candidate. The Trump revolution laid waste to the republican party. Given the opportunity, it will do the same to the democratic party. If successful, there will be a new day. There will be no going back to previous conditions. They will no longer exist.
The final Trump challenge is get his democratic opponent to lose. Regardless of how the run-up to the general election unfolds, neither Trump nor his opponent get to decide.
Successful revolutions rely on assured behavior from the populace. Nothing about the American populace is assured. The populace will take the measure of the candidates and render a decision. At the end of the day the will of the people will prevail.
“Government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.” (Abraham Lincoln)