Most of you would have seen images of the front page of the Boston Globe newspaper yesterday suggesting what it might look like a year from now in the event that Donald Trump becomes president. You can see it here. It is accompanied by a scathing editorial titled The GOP must stop Trump.
Needless to say, the mock front page is satire but the editorial is real and what it represents is truly extraordinary. The Globe is not some niche partisan political publication which one expects to take sides. It is one of the major newspapers in one of the biggest cities in the country and thus is about as establishment as you can get. Back in February, the Washington Post had already come out strongly against Trump with its own editorial titled GOP leaders, you must do everything in your power to stop Trump.
I find this truly astonishing. What we are seeing with Donald Trump is a full-scale assault on the leading candidate of one of the two main political parties. The media establishment have thrown all pretense of objectivity and impartiality to the winds and declared that he must be stopped at all costs.
There have always been wacky and fringe candidates running for president. What the political and media establishment usually does is either ignore them or treat them with mild disdain until they disappear from the scene. In my lifetime of following politics closely, I have never before seen this kind of widespread and concerted effort to defeat the actual front runner and presumptive nominee.
We talk easily about ‘establishment candidates’ as if they can be defined by the stands they take. With Trump those rules no longer seem to apply because his views on issues are scattershot at best, either made off-the-cuff and then subsequently revised or from a sense of what he thinks the party faithful want to hear or will be popular. The end result is that one is hard pressed to figure out what he will try to do if he becomes president, other than build his useless damn wall.
So what this extraordinary concerted attack on Trump seems to indicate is that what the establishment fears most is unpredictability and uncertainty.