Donald Trump set to lose dangerous game

The Republican presidential candidate has lost ground that will be very difficult to make up


Courtesy of Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, Ariz.

Jeremy Beren, Managing Editor, Scottsdale Chronicle

A tense, vicious and often brutal campaign cycle is thankfully almost over, and the writing is very much on the wall for one Donald J. Trump.

The Republican candidate has been at the center of many controversies for many months, each one appearing to be more damaging than the one that came before. But Trump has managed to survive in the face of mounting criticism, borne through squabbles that would have crippled nearly every man who preceded him. All while his opponent continues to rise in polls and other election forecasts.

That isn’t to say Hillary Clinton has been perfect; far from it, as the latest round of WikiLeaks revelations shows. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, forged certain bonds in order to attack Trump as well as Bernie Sanders, and the leaked emails also reveal a peculiar enmity toward Catholics, Southerners and those termed as “everyday Americans.”

However, this columnist believes the exceedingly risky game Donald Trump has decided to play – one in which he seems to make up the rules as he goes along – is about to end. Not because of Clinton’s actions, but because of himself.

At the Oct. 9 debate, the second in this nightmarish trinity, Trump focused heavily on former president Bill Clinton’s sexual escapades in and out of office, deflecting questions on the lewd, graphic tape that the Washington Post published on Oct. 8. In said tape, Trump talks with Billy Bush (now, or formerly, of the Today Show) about how his fame and status allow him to do with women what he pleases. Dismissing the disturbing conversation contained therein as “locker room talk,” Trump proceeded to attack Hillary Clinton on her husband, deflected questions by bringing up the Islamic State and attacked her over her private email server, repeating lines that have energized his base for months but have failed to pick up substantial support anywhere else.

That 11-year-old tape has sent shockwaves through the political world. It has been viewed widely as the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. Dozens of Republicans with their own races to win have withdrawn their support for Trump since the story was published, and several have urged him to drop out of the race. Some, remarkably, have even gone so far as to say they will not vote on Nov. 8.

Maybe this man never wanted to be president. One may be inclined to believe that Trump’s endgame was to land a speaking engagement at the Republican National Convention. But his timing was impeccable, as the GOP is splintered into a thousand little pieces. The flip-flop acts of men like Reince Priebus and Paul Ryan hasn’t helped; their attempts to unify have been met with firm resistance from Trump – who is more interested in tweeting that Alicia Machado really does have a sex tape and insisting that his political opponent should be in jail.

Surely, Trump had to know that skeletons in his closet would be revealed over the course of a presidential campaign. It is hard to believe that someone could be that flippant and uncaring about a past littered with lewd language, indiscretions and poor judgment. But whatever the case, it must be understood the “liberal media” (according to Trump) did not rig this game. Trump is on course to lose the election because of who he is and what he has done.