Let’s face it.
The man was right about “that giant sucking sound “ being U.S. jobs heading south in the aftermath of the North American Free Trade Agreement that eventually went into effect Jan. 1, 1994.
With CNN prepared to host the fifth Republican Presidential Primary Debate next Tuesday night (6 p.m. Pacific) from the Venetian in Las Vegas, might I suggest we are about to witness initiation of America’s first serious Third Party/Independent candidacy since 1992. That’s when Texas businessman Ross Perot defied the odds in November and garnered an astonishing 18.91% of the popular vote against 31.2% for incumbent President George H.W. Bush and 43.01% for Bill Clinton – elected to his first term as 42nd president of the United States.
Perot’s performance was all the more impressive when, after running a strong first place in June polling with 39% support against Bush’s 31% and Clinton’s third place 25%, he dramatically announced he was quitting the race in July due to the threat of Republican operatives disturbing his daughter’s wedding ... a discomforting allegation never proven. But this turned out to be squirrely enough to lose Perot significant backing when he decided to reenter the game a short time later.
It’s only a matter of time until Trump makes his move.
As 2016 approaches, there are several factors convincingly established.
After over five months of serious campaigning, Trump now consistently maintains a firm lead over all other serious Republican contenders in poll after poll, no matter what he does, says, exaggerates, fabricates or fanaticizes. His people just eat it all up.
It would appear that this base of committed support represents approximately one-third of potential GOP voters – pretty much hardcore conservatives with substantial evangelical backing.
Although thankfully removed from traditional mainstream thinking, this grouping has sporadically surfaced during transitional times in our common past -- always extraordinarily nativistic and selectively secretive, such as the “American Party” in the 1850s.
The catalyst for this band of belligerents, also popularly referenced as “Know Nothings,” was an increase in immigration in the 1840s, especially the great numbers of foreigners who flooded east coast cities during the years of Ireland’s “Great Starvation.” The American Party particularly despised the poor, blacks and virtually all new immigrants, especially Irish and German Catholics.
While Trump stays convincingly in the lead as currently configured, an overwhelming majority of Republicans – at least two out of three – certainly want someone else. That’s undeniable. Period. Case closed.
So – get ready for fireworks on Tuesday. This could be the last stand for Kasich, Huckabee, Christy, Fiorina, Paul, and even Bush. And Carson, Cruz and Rubio can’t afford pretending any longer that Trump is anything less than a manipulative, maniacal menace.
Trump has no intention of abiding by his agreement to endorse whomever is eventually chosen as presidential candidate of the Republican Party - if it’s not Donald Trump. He’s already signaled such recently with renewed reflections on the importance of “fairness” on the part of the Republican National Committee.
A decision to go it alone would delight his fans, catapult media coverage and electrify the electorate.
Trump has the money, moxie and mania to forever enshrine himself in American pop culture.
He’s hit his popularity ceiling, but that’s not Donald’s “art of the dealing.”
I strongly suspect Donald Trump has never really wanted to be president in the first place – just a prolonged, extended, unavoidable center of fascinated global attention – if not beloved – as least beheld by billions.
MSNBC superstar Rachel Maddow has gone on record saying that a Donald Trump third party effort would be nothing less than a continuing “gift from God.”
That Latin chanting altar boy from my ancient past now springs forth in memory and breathlessly offers this single Christmas whisper: “Oremus.”
“Let us pray.”