Donald V. Watkins
Donald Trump's Hold On GOP Politics
Updated: Aug 15, 2022
By: Donald V. Watkins
Copyrighted and Published on August 9, 2022
An Editorial Opinion
Donald Trump owns today's Republican Party in America. Despite Trump's narcissistic personality, erratic behavior, documented lawlessness, and insatiable appetite for attention, diehard GOP voters love him.
The only reason Trump is not President of the United States today is because he grossly mismanaged America's response to COVID-19. The ensuing COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans ended any realistic chance of Trump's re-election in November 2020.
Trump lost his re-election bid by more than seven million votes. There was no massive voter fraud, as he claims. Nobody stole the election from him. Trump fumbled the ball on COVID-19, and lost the game. Yet, Donald Trump remains the Godfather of Republican politics.
My 2015 Prediction of Trump's "Shocking" 2016 Victory Remains Relevant Today
I wrote and published an article on August 2, 2015 that explained why Trump would win the presidency in 2016. The article is titled, "Donald Trump's Newest Art of the Deal --Winning the American Presidency." I was the first journalist to openly predict Trump's victory in 2016. At the time, political pundits thought I had lost my mind.
By revisiting this 2015 article today, my readers can better understand Trump's hold on the Republican Party. Here is what I wrote seven years ago:
"Donald Trump is chasing his biggest deal yet -- the presidency of the United States. Trump, a successful New York real estate entrepreneur and multimedia owner, knows a lot about the art of the deal. He lives and breathes corporate mergers and acquisitions, and his business empire spans the globe.
Trump has brought these business skills and his intellectual acumen to his pursuit of the American presidency, and they appear to be working very well for him. As a result, Trump is surging in the race for president.
For decades, America's super-rich billionaires have controlled the political scene in this country. This group includes Sheldon Gary Adelson, Charles and David Koch, Paul Singer, Donald Trump and scores of other power players who have poured billions of dollars into national political elections to influence the direction of American politics and policies. They have contributed heavily to political candidates, PACs and super-PACs. They own or control mainstream media organizations like FOX News, the Newhouse family national chain of newspapers, and many other news outlets that run political endorsements designed to influence our opinions about political candidates.
In recent years, this class of billionaires has lost faith in the usual "political hustlers" and career politicians who run for and hold national political office. These "political hustlers" are responsible for the across-the-board deterioration in the caliber and stature of candidates who offer themselves for Congress and the presidency. The pool of candidates is increasingly comprised of weak, financially broke, lazy, and marginally intelligent individuals who memorize soundbites, specialize in photo opportunities, and need to be told what to think and do on a daily basis. For the most part, these candidates have no backbone, character, work ethic, self-determined political agenda, or vision. They are just hustlers looking to make a career and living out of politics.
Trump and his billionaire friends have decided that enough is enough -- no more government through weak surrogates. Trump is leading the charge by seizing direct control of the political process for electing a president the way he would do it within a private business empire. At first blush, Trump's campaign style and tactics seem extremely bizarre to the multitude of journalists, new analysts, commentators, and talking heads who cover presidential elections. Remember, none of them is a billionaire. None of them has orchestrated a corporate merger or acquisition or has led a corporate takeover initiative. None of them has practiced the art of the deal in real life. Trump has, and he does it on a routine basis.
Once Trump entered the race for the purpose of winning it, the first thing he did was to show his strength over all of the other candidates. He made himself directly accessible to the media and does not engage in scripted interviews. Trump speaks his mind on every issue and is not concerned about political correctness. His private views are expressed in public. Whether one likes him or not, Trump is a strong leader with a demonstrated record of creating dynamic economic growth for his businesses. He does not apologize for expressing his political views, which is a rarity in today's world. Trump has not backed down when the expression of his political views cost him money in his private businesses.
Next, Trump took the iron club he routinely uses to browbeat his business competitors and quickly bludgeoned his fellow Republican candidates with it. He nullified them as competitors in record time by showing America just how weak and pathetic these candidates are. All of them are little more than political pack mules who were created by rich Republicans and who are tasked with the job of carrying the political water of America's super-rich individuals and corporations. None of them has ever built anything of significant economic value.
The Republican billionaire crowd has decided that starting with the 2016 election cycle, political surrogates are "out," and rich principals are "in" for the national political offices that matter the most.
Trump made a direct and strong appeal to what really scares white America -- the browning of America. Trump regularly uses campaign rhetoric about illegal immigration of Mexicans, the need to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, and the unwillingness of young black males to work as a way of signaling his willingness to stem the tide on these issues. Trump has shown white America that he is their candidate of choice with the backbone to 'make America great again.' In turn, they have catapulted Trump to the top of the national polls in the race for the Republican nomination.
Knowing that most white Americans see President Barack Obama as a nice guy who is a weak president, Trump has made his strength in business the centerpiece of his campaign. Trump works at projecting the toughness that he believes is necessary to effectively deal with world leaders in Russia, China, North Korea, Mexico, Iran and other tough spots for America around the world.
Trump is implementing a winning game plan that the other Republican candidates for the presidency would never have the grit to implement. Trump needs no campaign money to get his message across to voters because he enjoys the media coverage of a rock star. Unlike the other candidates, Trump has global name recognition. Unlike other candidates, Trump does not have to pretend that he believes in 'family values.' Trump does not have to kiss babies or act like he loves his cheering crowd of supporters. He just has to be the 'Donald Trump' that America already knows.
Trump flies to campaign events on "Trump One," his very nice private jumbo jet. The other candidates are hopping rides on Delta, Southwest, American Airlines and other commercial carriers. Upon arrival, Trump is treated like he is already president, complete with Secret Service protection, a motorcade, and an army of reporters following behind him. The other candidates are praying that a crowd is waiting at each stop. Trump's campaign events need overflow rooms. The other candidates are lucky to even have a room for their events.
Trump is spending his own money. The other candidates are begging supporters for their money. Everybody is talking about Donald Trump. Very few people are taking about the other Republican candidates.
The Trump campaign is a reality show in real time on the art of the deal -- winning the American presidency. It is being masterfully produced by Trump himself. This show is a hit with Republican voters. The latest national One America News Network poll shows Mr. Trump with 30.8 percent support among Republican voters. His nearest competitor is former Florida governor Jeb Bush at 13.3 percent.
Trump will likely win the Republican nomination for president. No other Republican candidate has the political muscle needed to stop him.
In fact, Trump is already running against Hillary Clinton, a highly intelligent woman with a distinguished track record of public service to America and the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee for president. Clinton seeks to make history by becoming America's first woman president. Clinton's biggest flaw is her inability to be likeable on the campaign trail. Obama used this weakness to defeat Clinton. Trump will likely defeat her too.
The Trump campaign is a perfect blend of entertainment prowess mixed with passion, intellect and a big dose of business acumen, from a man who has played all of his adult life. Trump knows the art of the deal and his ultimate prize -- the American presidency -- is within his reach."
Trump is Running for President in 2024
Donald Trump is running for president again in 2024. He has no viable competitors in the Republican Party. The field of potential GOP candidates in 2024, including Florida governor Ron DeSantis, is as weak as it was in 2016.
Yesterday, FBI agents raided Trump's home at Mar-a-Largo in Palm Beach, Florida and retrieved documents pursuant to a search warrant. FOX News claims the raid evidences that the FBI and Department of Justice have been weaponized by the Joe Biden administration.
It will be interesting to see whether Trump's base of supporters will follow his lead and attack the FBI and DOJ, as FOX News did Monday night.
As a political prisoner myself, it is fascinating to see far-right Republicans finally wake up to the realization that federal law enforcement agencies use their vast resources to protect political friends and attack political enemies. This trends goes back to the COINTELPRO era (from 1954 to 1971) to the "Good 'Ol Boys Roundup" (from 1980 to 1995) to the present. Numerous Congressional reports and independent media investigation have documented this fact.
The most famous political prisoner and COINTELPRO victim in history was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights icon and 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover personally approved of a surreptitious plot by the FBI to force King to commit suicide. This plot failed. Yet, the FBI headquarters building in Washington is named after Hoover.
Trump has labeled the raid of his home "prosecutorial misconduct." I will comment on this claim and Trump's future as a presidential candidate in an upcoming article.