Every politician in history has intuitively grasped the importance of kissing babies and sympathizing with the grieving parents of young veterans who died in the service of their country.
So either Donald Trump is a new kind of politician--or he's not a politician at all.
Many of us are betting on the latter option at this point because Trump does not appear to be trying to win.
Instead, his role appears to be to distract as much attention as possible from the glaring flaws of Hillary Clinton's candidacy by making one outrageous political blunder after another. The nonsense isn't even limited to Trump. It extends to his supporters (such as Rudy Giuliani, who conveniently forgot the 9/11 attacks in a recent speech in which he contended that there were no successful terrorist attacks in America during the presidency of George W. Bush).
Trump has already won the GOP nomination, so at this point he should be working to build a coalition with independent voters outside his party--if he is trying to win.
But he isn't trying to win, so he's focused strictly on shoring up the support of voters who are already behind him (the evangelical Christians, homophobes, and anti-immigration zealots who were never going to vote Democratic in any case).
As I've observed previously in this blog, Trump has already gone over as a heel with the American electorate, but Clinton has yet to go over as a face.
What I haven't fully appreciated until now is that the DNC doesn't care whether Clinton goes over as a face or not. As long as Trump is sufficiently repugnant, the Democrats expect voters to settle on Clinton by default.
Considering the stranglehold the two-party system has on Americans, this strategy from the DNC will probably work.
The only thing that can stop what appears to be a scripted coronation of Clinton is a sudden surge by a third-party candidate. so the Democrats are (predictably) dedicating themselves to smearing the candidacy of Jill Stein. They don't really care if they offend left-leaning voters by wrongly accusing Stein of being opposed to vaccinations.
What a lot of people concerned with social, economic, racial, and environmental justice fail to see is that the Democrats don't care if they alienate us in 2016. They don't need friends as long as Trump has a sufficient number of enemies.
For a sample of how deaf the Democrats have become to the cries of their own progressive base, please treat yourself to this analysis of how a purportedly progressive talk show host (Thom Hartmann) bullies and berates a caller who dares to express how tiresome that Democratic deafness has become:
My favorite bit is when Hartmann claims that Clinton "isn't half bad" as a candidate.
This is the same Clinton who just appointed Ken Salazar to head her transition team for the White House, which is only a red flag for anyone concerned about the habitability of our planet. Salazar has contended that "there's not a single case where hydraulic fracking has created an environmental problem for anyone."
Hartmann would never serve as an apologist for the Trump campaign. How could he associate himself with the likes of Giuliani, who claims that there were no terrorist attacks in America during the Bush presidency?
But Hartmann is eager to serve as an apologist for the neoliberalism of Clinton. It's not "half bad" for him to be on the same team as a politician/lobbyist who denies that fracking poses any danger at all to the environment.
Wise up, progressive voters.
Clinton doesn't need to be your friend. She only needs to turn folks like Trump and Hartmann into your enemies to persuade you that there's no place left on the political spectrum for your point of view. If Trump is your enemy and Hartmann is also your enemy, then you and your movement don't exist. And now that you realize progressivism doesn't exist, you should find something better to do with your time than to oppose the TPP, the carceral state, perpetual war, and the fact that Americans are dying every day because they can't afford medications that are readily available to ordinary citizens throughout the rest of the industrialized world.
Game. Set. Match. Inevita-Hillary.