Republican Presidential front-runner Donald Trump signed a pledge on September 2, saying he will not run as a third-party candidate if he fails to gain the party nomination.
Some in the media immediately hopped on his pledge as a capitulation to the GOP hierarchy, and others who really, really want the fast-fading Jeb Bush to be the nominee sharpened their hatchets and ramped up efforts to knock Trump out of the lead for good. But they all are missing a salient point.
First, Trump took the pledge because South Carolina made it a requirement to get on the ballot for the GOP primary there, and other states are saying they will do the same thing. Trump still needs to win primary and caucus votes and even he can't afford to miss being on the ballot, anywhere.
More to the point, it is generally accepted for both the Republican and Democrat parties, that the public is totally disgusted with politics as usual, and the self-anointed "ruling class" that picks and chooses the "political class" in every major election. But the "media class" is slowly coming to the belief that Hillary Clinton probably won't survive criminal investigations into her (alleged) chicanery while Secretary of State and is scrambling to decide which Democrat replacement will bend to its will.
The same media very much wants to believe that Trump will eventually begin to fade, just as other front-runners did in the recent past, so Jeb Bush can reemerge as the anointed leader. Various members of the "pundit class" have pointed to the front-runner status of Rudy Giuliani, Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain in previous elections as evidence that early front-runners will drop like a rock further down the road.
However. In virtually every case mentioned by the pundits, there was one common factor that negatively affected each candidate, that will have no impact on Trump whatsoever. That factor, simply put, is money.
Once the media decided that Bachmann, Cain or other candidates were close to knocking its anointed candidate out of the race, an immediate and relentless series of "gotcha" attacks was launched ridiculing them as not being of the right quality, or right knowledge level to hold the highest office in the land. In each case, the media ridicule resulted in a drop off in contributions, which prevented the candidates from buying ads or doing other communications work to offset the constant negativity.
That the attacks on Trump have already begun is evident in a dust-up that occurred on Friday, Sept. 4, when conservative radio announcer Hugh Hewitt tried to trip Trump up on his knowledge of world terrorist organizations, and their leaders of the moment. As if anyone outside the media cares at this point.
Hewitt asked Trump about the anti-American Quds, a secretive terrorist force within the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that reports directly to the Iranian Supreme Leader. But Trump thought Hewitt said Kurds, an ethnic group in Northern Iraq that is both predominately Christian and pro-American.
Trump was well aware that the Kurds have been begging the US for arms to help them fight ISIS, or ISIL if you are an Obama apologist, but he was cut off by Hewitt who said he said "Quds" not "Kurds." I heard a tape of the interview and frankly, even if you are a foreign affairs expert it would have been difficult to determine what Hewitt said.
That exchange immediately turned into an anti-Trump media frenzy about him not knowing ISIS from ISIL, Quds from Kurds, Hezbollah from Hamas, Houthis from Hutus and Tutsis, or Al Qaeda from the Haqqani Network or Boko Haram.
Trump, in his inimitable fashion, charged that Hewitt was asking loaded "gotcha" questions and is a "third-rate" journalist. He has points on both cases, especially since Hewitt interviewed GOP candidate Carly Fiorina later and asked her the same questions, which she answered, claiming meanwhile that she had not heard Trump's interview. That's her story and she's stuck with it.
Trump told Hewitt later in his interview that the terrorists and their leaders will change by the time the 2016 presidential election rolls around and he has a point. It also is assumed, however, that unlike the current occupant of the White House, the next occupant will and should have a more detailed understanding of terrorist organizations that need to be annihilated.
But all this amounts to a tempest in a teacup when you consider the media and the "elitist class" game plan. The point is to drive Trump down in the artificial polls the media is using to eliminate some candidates from debates and regular coverage, and thus eliminate his ability to buy ads etc. Should Trump drop even slightly in these phony "polls" the media will go crazy proclaiming that his support is ebbing and he no longer is a viable candidate.
But Trump has his own money. Lots of it. He merely has to use it effectively. His supporters don't care that some self-styled media elitists are playing games with his knowledge of today's players on the terrorist stage. They despise the media already and are going to respond by supporting Trump even more ardently, if that is even possible.
Trump should go to the ad departments of the news outlets and buy tons of ads – print, radio and TV. Then he should starting running them all the time, especially around the shows of people who are obviously biased against him.
By doing this he will get the ad departments, which really run the show, on his side, he will make the point that he is paying the salaries of his detractors, and for purely political reasons, he will be offsetting their commentaries every time they open their mouths. Money may not be able to buy happiness but it sure can buy ad time.