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The Flummoxed Watch Rise of Donald Trump

Admit it. A few months ago, the thought of Donald Trump as the GOP presidential nominee was unthinkable. Now it is not just thinkable, it is becoming a given. The only thing between Donald Trump and victory over his Republican rivals is a last ditch forlorn hope of stopping him with convention tactics.

Trump's answer to that plan is chilling - there will be rioting if it happens.

Kentucky Republicans have already chosen Donald Trump as their standard bearer. While Ted Cruz won western and northern regions of the state, it was not enough to overcome the appeal of the charismatic Mr. Trump to voters in Eastern and Central Kentucky.

Theories on the phenom abound. Economists opine that the current stagnation in middle and lower income worker salaries create dissatisfaction. Historians compare Trump to Nixon and George Wallace. The more hysterical compare him to Adolf Hitler because his supporters raised their hands in a pledge that looked a great deal like a Nazi salute. The usually politically averse Christianity Today weighed in with an article on his appeal to evangelicals. The Theology of Donald Trump

The dissection of why American Republican voters and an unmentioned and little discussed segment of Democrats and Independents who took advantage of state law to cross over and vote for Donald Trump will go on until the election of 2016 becomes a chapter in a high school history book.

Donald Trump is a master of manipulation who has for many years used celebrity to stoke his ego and fatten his wallet. He is not a politician. As one pundit phrased it, he is P. T. Barnum.

The cult of celebrity that has been part of the American fabric since Cotton Mather took the pulpit. We are addicted to the famous. Highbrows may sniff at that - but they are as addicted to astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson and physicist Micheo Kaku as lowbrows are addicted to the Kardashians and Justin Bieber. If we can't be them - we want to see them.

Celebrity has worked well for Mr. Trump. What he sells is his name and his fame. Trump is an expert in this form of marketing. He's been selling his image for longer than many of his voters have been alive.

The rise of the news as media has played right into Donald Trump's hands. Donald Trump drives ratings. Ratings make money. Media companies like money. Media companies like Mr. Trump. Journalists who are trying to do their job get plowed under if they come between the money machine and their bosses. Melissa Harris-Perry has left MSNBC. Breitbart lost reporter Michelle Fields and editor Ben Shapiro because management took the Trump line of "I did not touch that woman" over multiple witness reports that Trump campaign manager certainly did touch that woman.

Donald Trump can be shown to be a liar, a blowhard, a misogynist and a racist. As long as he keeps making money for the monster maw of the media, his career as candidate will march on undeterred.

The rest of us remain helplessly flummoxed.


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