If you were conspiracy minded — and who among us doesn’t have a touch of that lurking somewhere in your personality? — you might swear that Donald Trump’s shenanigans were part of a plot to boost the viewership for the first Republican presidential debate.
This past weekend, I heard a lot of talk about the Donald and the first Republican debate. The Republican folks, regardless of whether they think Trump is great for “telling the truth” or consider him an oddball gloryhound, will be watching, and at least one diehard Democrat conceded that he probably would tune in just to see what kind of weirdness the Trumpster might produce. Why not? It might be good TV. As one of the people who talked about Trump kept saying, “he’s entertaining!”
And I suppose he is, in the same perverse way that a train wreck or a messy public divorce of Hollywood celebs might be viewed as entertaining.
What does that mean for the other Republicans? It means that you hope that your poll numbers are good enough that you get to share the stage with the guy who’s getting all of the press. The ratings for this first debate probably will get the highest ratings for any debate, ever, that isn’t between the two nominated candidates, and you sure as heck would want to be present to have that big audience checking you out. And if the Donald implodes — which inevitably will happen, if it hasn’t happened by then, anyway — and you can come across as an appealing alternative, so much the better. If you’re not on stage, you don’t get any of that crucial face time before a national audience.
Could Trumpelstiltskin have concocted all of this hullabaloo as part of some devious political strategy to command as much attention as possible and suck all of the oxygen away from the Ds? Who knows? But it’s a pretty good conspiracy theory, isn’t it? In fact, it’s just the kind of conspiracy theory that the Donald himself would likely latch onto.