In politics, a stalking horse is a public figure who either tests a concept or mounts a challenge against someone on behalf of an anonymous third-party. For example, Eugene McCarthy served as an insurgent candidate in the 1968 Campaign in an attempt to unseat President Lyndon Johnson’s and keep him from running for a second term.
When he had a strong showing in the New Hampshire primary and proved there was a substantial sentiment for ousting the sitting President, Bobby Kennedy stepped in to mount a bid for the nomination, stealing McCarthy’s thunder. Kennedy was succeeding all the way to the California Primary, until he was murdered by yet another “lone assassin” (sic) in June of 1968.
In the case of McCarthy, he may not have realized he was doing Kennedy’s dirty work in going up against a very powerful sitting President and so his role as stalking horse may have been unwitting. Kennedy operatives had convinced McCarthy to run and the Senator took the political risks while Bobby Kennedy watched on the sidelines; nevertheless, McCarthy was a Stalking Horse nonetheless.
In the present run for the White House, it has long been apparent that Donald Trump since the earliest phases of his candidacy was not behaving like a normal candidate and seemed, in fact, to be doing just about everything he could to be outrageous and get himself eliminated from the running, even as he disrupted the whole Republican primary system.
Before the race began Jeb Bush was Wall Street’s chosen Republican candidate, just as Hillary Clinton still is on the Democratic side. In truth, Bush was eminently electable, not only being a moderate with broad appeal to the general electorate, but with a built-in appeal to Hispanics, a key Democratic demographic. His wife is Mexican and he speaks fluent Spanish; certainly, as candidate he could easily have won against Hillary’s version of Wall Street Corporatism.
Of course, insofar as the billionaires who run our country were concerned, either candidate was acceptable–so long as Wall Street retained control of the political system. However, after eight years of dog-whistle race-baiting and immigrant hating, the GOP establishment had made Bush’s primary run a much harder one, having enabled racists and right wing extremists to speak openly without fear of criticism. So, despite all the money behind Jeb Bush, his candidacy went nowhere. Instead, Trump did not just blow up Jeb’s run, but the Republican Party’s whole scheme.
Out of the blue in comes Trump, all full of piss and vinegar, to upsets the whole Repugnican game. Already a media celebrity, The Donald comes out with one outrageous statement after another and the Great Unwashed eat it all up. Although Donald Trump is a billionaire many times over, he is not, nor has he ever been, beholden to Wall Street or multi-national corporations for his wealth or candidacy. His wealth was the result of real estate dealings, not manufacturing or international trade, which is why he has been willing to call out NAFTA and the TPP for the Corporatist scams they really are.
For all those not familiary with New York City and its rather unique cultural and social mix, Donald Trump, despite his billions, has always been looked down on by the Manhattan money crowd as a brash outsider. He hails from Queens, one of the Outer Bouroughs, which has always been regarded with disdain by the elite, not just of Wall Street, but of Manhattan in general. An oil sheikh with a dozen wives would be more warmly greeted by the Manhattan elite than this Outer Bourough upstart–and that is regardless of whether they are left or right, Democratic or Republican.
In fact, the very large chip on Donald Trump’s shoulder with regards to Wall Street and the Manhattan elite may be a large part of his appeal to all the of blue collar and redneck Republicans who have propelled his insurgent candidacy forward. The fact that Trump has come out solidly against the disasterous trade deals, like TPP, that have cost America millions upon millions of jobs, plus his rhetoric about creating jobs, is also something that resonates with working class voters, just as it has with Bernie Sanders supporters.
That Donald Trump has disrupted the GOP primary game is not in dispute; what some may find controversial is that, at least initially, he was doing so to aid the Clinton candidacy. While this may seem a stretch to some, consider the facts: Donald Trump has long been on friendly terms with Bill and Hillary, donating to their cause (themselves) and it is no secret that the Clintons attended his wedding in 2005 his latest wife. Hardly the actions of avowed enemies, no?
CNN recently posted an interesting video which contrasts Trumps current rhetoric against his earlier opinions of the Clintons dating back not only to 2008, but all the way back to the 90’s. It is clear that his current criticisms of the Dynamic Duo, Bill & Hill, is a recent creation and almost certainly an artificial animosity, of a kind with Hillary’s opposition to the TPP and her alleged taking her friends on Wall Street to task.
While the 1% had the election rigged for their chosen candidates from the beginning, it seems obvious that the Clinton Machine had other ideas in mind. They had no intention of running against a serious Republican contender, such as Jeb Bush, who conceivably have won the election. In steps their old friend The Donald. To him it was not about money–unlike the Democratic politicians they have bought and paid for across the country, Trump doesn’t need the Clinton’s cash. In fact, the Donald has been a generous donor to the nefarious Clinton Machine over the years.
No, Donald joined the Republican primary just for the fun of it, to see how much mayhem and confusion he could cause against the Wall Street establishment that has always looked down on him. Trump’s candidacy resembled nothing so much as the scenario from the classic Mel Brooks movie The Producers. Two con artists decide to produce the worst play they could find, knowing that nobody ever questions the finances of a flop. So they produce “Springtime for Hitler” assured that the play will close on opening night. Well, guess what, like Springtime for Hitler, the Trump candidacy has become a runaway hit.
Trump being Trump, loves being the center of attention and being an egomaniac feeds on being the center of attention. What better forum for him than running for President? Now, with the success of his candidacy, all bets with his old friends the Clintons are off. Trump still spews politically incorrect invectives, but one has to wonder is this just for media attention, or is Trump still trying to sabotage his Republican Presidential hopes? The Donald may well be in it to win it now; only time will tell. But just as the Clintons have pulled every dirty trick in the book against the Sanders candidacy, so too have they sabotaged the entire Republican electoral machine in their avarice and hunger for power.
In their evil genius, one must concede the Clinton’s brilliance, even as one recognizes the massive corruption they have wrought on the Democratic Party. The level and brazeness of the Clinton voting fraud perpetrated in the Democratic primaries far exceeds even Karl Rove’s vote rigging in the general election of 2oo4. As far as the Republican Party is concerned, it was already thoroughly corrupt; the GOP’s only hope is if Hillary Clinton’s Corporatist presidency explodes in her face just as Nixon’s did due to Watergate.