Republicans in the United States who are shaking their heads over the Donald Trump phenomenon, can trace these events to their allowing the party to be hijacked by extremists. For the third election in a row would-be Republican candidates are being forced to tack sharply to the right during the presidential candidate  selection process and then try to re-cast themselves as moderates in order to appeal to the electorate during the subsequent election. It didn‘t work for John McCain and Mitt Romney, and it won’t likely work for whomever emerges as the Republican candidate next year. No wonder some observers are derisively referring to the 17-candidate Republican field (16 plus Trump) as a “clown car.” Trump has broken the mould for candidate behaviour, making all sorts of outrageous statements that would be fatal to a traditional candidate; but, whether it is his bombastic delivery, or a public sense that he really doesn’t give a damn; he gets away with it. Should Trump ultimately fail to capture the nomination he will have nevertheless reduced the rest of the field to breathing in his exhaust.

John Best has had a lengthy media management career, in television and radio and now print. As Vice President, News at CHCH in Hamilton, John oversaw a significant expansion of the news operation. He founded Independent Satellite News, Canada’s only television news service providing national content to Canadian independent TV stations. John is a frequent political commentator on radio and television, a documentary producer and author of a book and numerous articles on historical and political subjects. John is a past recipient of the New York Festival’s award for writing in the International TV category.

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