Ross Perot’s passing this month caused a few of my friends to remind me of how wrong I was about the 2016 election. Many many times, I told my friends and family that the Trump presidency was part of a grander scheme. A scheme meant to emulate the circumstances that put Bill Clinton into the White House.
One of the reasons that Bill Clinton was elected in the nineties was the Ross Perot presidential campaign. Perot split the Republican vote putting Clinton into the White House TWICE without winning a majority. Clinton was a plurality president like Abe Lincoln. The odd thing was that Perot seemed to know this and was purposefully targeting an old Texas enemy in George H.W. Bush.
The rumor mill at the time was filled with stories about George H.W. Bush sleeping with one of Perot’s mistresses or otherwise getting frisky with a woman in the Perot inner circle. Later stories that surfaced about HW during the burgeoning MeToo movement would seem to confirm that such a possibility had some merit perhaps.
In any case, Perot seemed hell bent on making sure the Republicans did not get elected. In 1992, Perot ran and then dropped out right after the Democratic convention endorsing Clinton explicitly! He claimed he had to get out, because the Republican dirty tricks squad would ruin his daughter’s wedding. As surprising as that statement was, it was even more surprising when he jumped back into the race during the Fall and guaranteed a Clinton victory.
After those shenanigans, it was hard to believe that he would run again, but run again he did in 1996. He again split the Republican vote, though not as severely. He also did not garner the same number of votes that he had in 1992. Nonetheless, it was enough for Clinton to win a second term.
Fast forward to 2016 and the Trump campaign seems to be playing the exact same role. Super rich, and slightly crazy, the Donald fit the bill to to a T. Donald would split the Republican vote in the primaries sufficiently to cripple them and potentially enough to allow him to run a 3rd party campaign. The utility of the Trump campaign was SO clear to me that I was unable to believe that it was mere coincidence.
Then there was rumor after rumor of the Donald and Hillary having a conversation about “their plan”. It all fit so very perfectly that I trumpeted many many times that Donald was running because the Clintons had paid him to run. I was pretty surprised when first he got the Republican nomination and then actually won the election.
However, I did not ever really change my belief that the Clinton machine got Trump involved. They knew they needed somebody like Perot to get Hillary into the Oval Office. Donald Trump was just too easy to goad into running. There was a miscalculation however. Nobody believed that a silver spoon baby like Donald was going to get elected, especially with the divisive rhetoric he was fond of. Therein lies the miscalculation, Donald Trump’s rhetoric actually has a fan base that is significant. He has a constituency and the Republican Party recognized it fairly quickly. Embrace Trump-ism or lose in 2016.
The Clintons summoned up a demon to do their bidding and then lost control of him. That was what I thought in November of 2016 and that is still my firm belief in 2019.