He is Donald J. Trump, Super Genius. Except, unlike his fellow cartoon character Wile E. Coyote, Trump’s hyper-complex schemes are working. He set in motion a Rube Goldberg machine that at the end had an anvil hanging by a thread over the head of the Republican Party. The final arrow that shoots through that thread will be his concession speech after the November 8th election. But he’s already accomplished far more than anyone could have dreamed in their wildest imagination.
In early August 2015, two months after Trump announced his run, we presented our endorsement. Nearly 15 months later, our analysis is playing out spectacularly. Nobody thought it would or could last this long. But Trump has proven to be a stunningly bottomless well of rhetorical smelling salts to the nose of a comatose political system. And it is bringing a major American political party to the worst internal crisis since the Civil War. For that alone, Trump deserves a medal—a Police Gazette medal, perhaps.
“Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.” Our editor was living in England when Claudius spoke those words for the first time. I, Claudius was to the English public what Roots was, at the same time, to the American: a mesmerizing miniseries that transfixed the entire nation. Our editor, even at his young age, knew what Claudius meant and took it to heart. In our present context, Donald Trump supporter Don King put it best when he was asked by a reporter if Trump is a divider. King—who knows a thing or two about manipulating the public—replied, “Trump is not a divider; he’s an exposer.”
Donald Trump has set about methodically exposing almost every dirty little secret in American politics, doing it with a gleeful panache and making it look easy. But it’s not easy. Just running for president and securing the nomination of a major party is extremely difficult by itself. Don’t think so? You try it! But then Trump took upon himself the double duty of making an utter shambles of the political process. He pulled out the rottenest blocks in its Jenga tower and let the whole thing teeter while those who like the status quo watched in horror and soiled themselves.
The system is designed to keep exactly this type of person from getting anywhere near a significant position. Yet this barbarian not only reached the gate, he crashed in and took over the party. Watching Trump work over the last year and a half has been an astonishing pleasure. We can only feel it must have been the same when people saw Babe Ruth hit, or Picasso paint, or Jesus preach. Sometimes you just know you’re in the presence of greatness.