The mainstream media and the Beltway pundit class spent much of the weekend trying to write Donald Trump’s political obituary. Talking heads declared his campaign dead or dying, after his confrontational debate performance and his subsequent “blood feud” with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly over the weekend. Voices in the media establishment, on both the left and the right, speculated that Trump had finally crossed the line and that he would pay a serious political price for his misogyny towards Kelly and for picking a fight with Fox.
However, a weekend NBC News poll found that Trump remained resilient after the debate fallout, still holding a double digit advantage over his nearest competitors in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. His sexist remarks may have disqualified him from attending the RedState gathering in Atlanta, but they did nothing to diminish his support with Republican voters.
For his part, Trump hasn’t backed down and inch. On Sunday, he steadfastly insisted that he didn’t owe Megyn Kelly an apology. On Monday, he escalated their feud by mocking her for talking about her breasts in a 2010 interview with Howard Stern.
In their zeal to discredit Trump, the media has kept talking about him. Through relentlessly mentioning his name, they have inadvertently continued to make Donald Trump the dominant political news story each and every day. As long as he is grabbing headlines, he will not go away.
More importantly, when Trump says something shocking, he doesn’t suffer for it the way a conventional political candidate might. His very campaign is fueled by tapping into the real and imagined grievances of angry white voters who believe they are victims and that “political correctness” is the enemy.
In the toxic political environment that the Republican Party has so carefully cultivated during the Obama presidency, Donald Trump is the logical culmination of GOP ideology. The Republican Party’s anti-Obama crusade has been built on hurling insults and crying victim repeatedly. Therefore, it is little wonder that a candidate whose whole campaign is based on whining about mistreatment while he verbally abuses others, has risen to the top of the heap.
A political party that attacked Sandra Fluke by calling her a “slut” and derided Wendy Davis as “abortion Barbie”, can only feign outrage at Trump’s sexist remarks towards Megyn Kelly. Beltway conservatives and Fox pundits can continue to hope Donald Trump will disappear. However, at some point they will have to face the truth that Republican voters have already accepted. Donald Trump is one of them.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.