When losing to the star of a reality TV show, is it really so crazy to resort to reality-show tactics to defeat him?
I'm not referring to
Indeed, once again, most voters voted against Trump, not for him, and that's where reality-show tactics come in.
Not counting "Top Chef" and "Naked and Afraid," I'm not a big fan of reality shows, but I've watched my share of "Survivor," "The Bachelor" and even Trump's own personal propaganda series, "The Apprentice." It seems to me that in many of these shows, the game is played the same way: Groups form alliances. Sometimes these alliances are formal, often they are tacit and voluntary -- but they are all temporary.
At the end of the season, the winner is the guy or gal who was in the right alliance until the alliance no longer served his or her needs. Fans may be happy or disappointed based on who emerges, but it's silly to say that Tiffany stole the Bachelor from Rhonda. That's simply how the game is played.
Well, welcome to the big leagues. Trump has been playing the game all along, and now that he's ahead, he doesn't think anyone should be allowed to change their tactics to beat him.
If this had been a two-person race from the beginning -- as the Democratic race has been since
But there's also nothing wrong with trying to stop Trump. Alliances are part of the game. The delegate system allows for it. And that's why
This may feel like cheating, but it isn't. It's just that conventions have been infomercials for so long, we're not used to the idea that one might actually matter. Also, for the last 50 years, any candidate who could make it past Super Tuesday as a front-runner was acceptable to a majority of the party, and the pressure to coalesce was strong. Things are different this time because Trump is different. His supporters -- many of whom are not Republicans, Trump is fond of noting -- may not like it, but the man is simply unacceptable to many conservatives.
When you say this to Trump supporters, they reply by hurling a word-salad about a shadowy organization called "The Establishment" that's working to thwart the will of the majority. Talk radio hosts rant about this cabal's effort to "steal" the nomination from Trump.
For instance, Romney's speech was denounced by many as an outrageous effort to sway voters. Similar criticisms were made when the magazine I work for,
"How dare you try to tell voters how to vote!" cried countless pro-Trump cable news commentators, pundits and radio hosts. It's a fascinating complaint coming from people who make a living by offering their opinions on how voters should vote.
It's also nonsense. If opposing Trump is now the definition of the establishment, then roughly 66 percent of
Trump is stoppable, according to the rules. And if he is stopped and that makes you sad, don't hate the players, hate the game.