Donald Trump is not really a member of any political party. He has been, in the last fifteen years, a Reform Party member, a Democrat, and most recently a Republican. Today Trump is locked in a fierce fight in a crowded field to win the Republican nomination, much of the time threatening to run outside the Republican Party if he is not treated "fairly."
If Trump's goal is to transform the calamities our nation faces today, why did he run as a Republican? Why did he not, instead, run as a Democrat? He has praised Democrat politicians in the past, and he has given money to their campaigns. Trump, by his own acknowledgment, is much more socially liberal than Republicans generally, which would allow him room to maneuver in the Democratic Party.
Moreover, considering the absolutely pathetic performance of the only Democrat running for the Democrat nomination and the shellacking she is getting from an old Vermont Socialist, Trump might well be able to win caucuses, the primaries, and even the nomination. Is there any doubt at all that Trump would outperform both Hillary and Bernie in the debates?
With his bankroll, Trump could have guaranteed a first-class campaign, and if Trump had been as brash attacking Hillary's ghastly malfeasance with her email server and the Clinton Foundation malodorous machinations, then Trump could have performed the vital national service Bernie has avoided like the plague: exposing the moral horror of the Clintons in government and politics.
If Trump won the Democrat nomination – and whatever one might be tempted to say, the success of Sanders shows that might be possible – then he might have won the election with a truly broad consensus on issues like immigration, trade, and the national debt. Indeed, as Trump appealed to conservatives while the Democrat nominee, Trump might have gained the sort of transformative landslide that allows great changes to be made.
If Trump did not win the Democrat nomination, he still could have had pressed Hillary hard. Between himself and Sanders, he could have insured that she would lose the election by that same sort of transformative landslide that compels the Democrat Party to lurch to the middle – in the sort of way that would disenchant millions of leftist voters and would make it easy for any Republican to enact radical reforms as well.
Moreover, Trump's threat to take disaffected Democrats by an independent run (as he has done with Republicans) could compel the Democratic Party to treat him "nice," and if Trump had wagged the same constant threats of lawsuits he has raised in the Republican nomination against Democrats when he sought the Democrat nomination, Trump could have pressed Democrats like Hillary, who really are crooks, to run scared.
If Trump had run for the Democrat nomination and not the Republican nomination, it is also likely that a very conservative Republican like Ted Cruz or Ben Carson or Carly Fiorina might at this point be close to winning the Republican nomination, because it is Trump sucking the air out of their campaigns that has kept candidates like Bush and Kasich in the race.
If Trump is a conservative and not something worse than just a RINO, then running for the Democrat nomination could have performed a monumental service to America. Indeed, it is hard to see why Trump did not run for the Republican nomination and also the Democrat nomination (which may, after all, be won by another man who is not even a Democrat) – hard to see, that is, if Trump is conservative and not something worse than just a RINO. He might have won both nominations, or at least run well enough to launch a third-party run, which might, in fact, have gained him the presidency without commitments to either political party.
There is a more rational explanation for Trump's campaigning: he is not a conservative at all, and he is simply trying to cynically tap into the tremendous rage that has rightly caused so many of us conservatives to despair. He is insuring that, whatever happens, no true conservative becomes our next president.
I might be wrong. I hope that I am wrong. But Trump could have run to press Democrats to the wall, or he could have run in both parties. Trump himself freely admits that he is hardly a Republican. So why did he choose to run as a Republican and not a Democrat?