In 15 months the citizens of the United States will elect their 45th president. Between now and then we will be subjected to a seemingly endless series of commercials, debates, arguments, discussions, campaigns and mailings. Billions and billions of dollars will be spent, by dozens of candidates in both parties. Friendships will be lost, families torn asunder, and there will likely be a murder or two somewhere. The trappings of a presidential election are as constant as the northern star, and this year they are an incredible waste of time and money, because one man holds the key to the presidency in his hand, and that man is Donald Trump.
Trump is currently the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. He could win the nomination. It's certainly possible. If he does, it will be in spite of the greatest opposition from the establishment of a political party that the world has ever seen. Trump's popularity rests solely on the fact that he's running as a big FU to elitist government types. If he survives that gauntlet, and the establishment will throw EVERYTHING they have into the fight to stop him, it's unlikely that anyone the Democrats can produce will be effective. The only one who would have a shot is Slow Joe Biden, and however horrifying the idea of a Trump vs Biden election is to thinking Americans (because it implies a Trump or Biden presidency), it would at least have one upside: Putting their debates on pay-per-view instead of broadcast TV would likely generate enough money to retire the national debt.
It's more likely, however, that Trump will fade over the next few months; historically the early flavor-of-the-month candidate tends to do just that. As Trump-mania fades, look for him to suspend (not end) his campaign and retire to wait for round two.
Round two will commence early next summer, after each of the respective parties has chosen their nominee. June 2016 looks likely. The Donald will stir from his hibernation, test the lines in the web that he has spun around both parties and, feeling the struggles of each candidate, he will ask for two meetings.
First he'll meet with the Republican nominee. It doesn't matter who the Republican nominee actually is, they will all be acutely vulnerable to the threat Trump poses. After pleasantries are exchanged, Trump will lead with this gambit: “I'm thinking of running third party.”
Trump as a third party candidate would absolutely doom the Republican. If it's an establishment type, like Bush or Rubio, they would have no chance of overcoming such a run. Even if it's conservative stalwart such as Cruz, the dynamic would still hold. A third party candidacy by The Donald would (heh)....trump any hope the Republicans have of winning. Trump on a third party ticket would be Ross Perot II, Electric Boogaloo. The Republicans will do anything to keep Trump on the sidelines.
A week later a similar meeting would take place with the Democratic nominee. There is nobody on the Democratic side who wouldn't be an underdog to the Republican. Voter dissatisfaction is at an all-time high, and unfortunately for the Democrats, they are the party in power. Dissatisfaction works against the incumbent party. As desperate as the Republicans would be to keep Trump out of the race, the Democrats will be twice as desperate to get him into it. Who knows what they would offer him to run?
And so the decision as to who will be the next President of the United States will rest with one man, and one man only.
Not bad for a bombastic reality TV star with a toupee, is it?
Nobody knows what Donald Trump might or might not want in order to decide if he runs or doesn't, but one thing is absolutely certain. Both parties will be willing to sacrifice their first born sons on the altar of The Donald in order to ensure that he does/does not enter the race. Frankly, barring an extreme game changer such as Trump's death or a major scandal, there is nothing anyone can do to stop it either. By boldly staking his claim early and refusing to back down to establishment opposition, Trump has cast the die. They may come up snake eyes or roll lucky seven, but however they fall, Donald Trump will get to decide who is going to be the next president.
And that, my friends, is YUUUUUGE.