Not by giving him a reality show. Not by covering his insane behaviors and willingness to say just about anything (hell, he even admitted that Obama is native-born, though he didn’t apologize for his prior foolishness, so maybe he can’t say sorry).
They did it by letting his supporters believe that he can actually change the direction of the country to one they find more appealing. Supporters think he can break the gridlock and create 25 mega-jobs (25 million) and keep the country safe while defeating ISIL and building a wall and repealing Obamacare and cloning Antonin Scalia and aging him up to replace himself in the Supreme Court.
The media has been long on talk of gridlock, but it has offered little in the way of solutions. Just suck it up, they said. Just have to wait for friendlier, more (little-D) democratic times to come around when all the congress will join together in a CareBear® Stare to fix our problems. There’s nothing the people can do but ride it out.
And the problem has only grown worse. So this year a plurality of the Republican constituents have stumbled on a plan: elect the worst thing they can get their hands on, and see what that does. It’s the smack-to-the-side-of-the-broken-machine method. What else are they supposed to do? Be patient? Hurry up and wait?
The weird thing is that it could just work. A Trump presidency might unite Republicans and Democrats against him, if he’s bad enough. He’ll call for the mass-execution of all foreigners, they’ll band together to ban capital punishment outright. He’ll request a war against fruits and vegetables, mandating a new fried-food pyramid, and they’ll expand subsidies to healthy foods. He’ll try to replace Obamacare with a requirement that all doctors simply tell their patients:
[Insert Patient Name], I can tell you unequivocally, you’re the healthiest individual ever.
The Republicans in Congress will probably go along with that one, though the sugar lobby will get them to make doctors give out lollipops at every visit.
Point is, what does Hillary Clinton have to offer? Can she be so divisive that even her allies will abandon her? According to her critics, she’s real bad, but they’ve given no signs that she’s so bad she could unite fierce partisans to oppose her.
After four years, Trump would have to run as an independent, but he would be overwhelmingly reelected because people would like seeing Congress rub his face in it with every single overridden veto and resolution of censure. He would get 95% of the African-American vote, as they would be glad to have a Republican party that actually enacted gun control legislation after Trump tried to require handgun manufacturers to make arms that babies could aim, fire, reload, and also use as a pacifier. That actually reformed policing after Trump aired his “shoot first, don’t ask questions” reform.
Even the statehouses would be united by Trump, as 100% of Attorneys General would have multiple lawsuits pending against his administration. Donald Trump is the alien invasion Ronald Reagan spoke of, saying, “Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. […] [H]ow quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.”
Now obviously this is fantasy. The Republicans would actually support the baby-gun (I’m sure, out there, somewhere, there’s an anti-abortion group that wants to arm fetuses), the war on health, the fried-food pyramid, lollipop stethoscopes and marmalade tongue depressors. The Democrats would not. A Trump-shaped jolt to the system will not overcome the reticence to restore normal governing in the legislature.
There are things that would, but the media hasn’t covered them. So the angry, disaffected people that support Trump (i.e., the non-deplorables) continue to believe that Trump is magic. Criminy.