The new national pastime seems to be analyzing The Trump Phenomenon. We seem unable to just leave the subject alone. Everyone wants to proclaim a definitive last word and be done with it, free to resume our regularly-scheduled programming. Then someone says or writes something which we just have to attend to, unable to turn the dial or refrain from clicking the link, and we rise up to comment again. I've had my hand at it a few times, even when swearing I will go no further.
Here is an early prediction of mine that is already coming true, and I think will continue. His critics will add to his power. When people level criticisms against him which are untrue or crazier than anything he is saying, the natural response, perhaps even the automatic response of observers is to see him as more credible when those fall away. People throw ten things at him, six are unfair, and one is perhaps downright insane. The net result is that the four reasonable criticisms are forgotten. His critics try to keep them in the public eye, they swear that the next blow will lay him low, but he has moved on.
Lots of public figures are like this, especially politicians. Reagan, the Teflon President, was noted for it. Bill Clinton and Obama certainly have that quality, and Hillary has some, though not as much. They make their opponents act crazy, then get to raise their hands in exasperation as if to say that all the complaints against them must be similarly crazy. Interestingly, those who seem invulnerable to even reasonable attacks are often remarkably good at making their criticism of others stick, even if wildly unfair. The abilities must be related somehow. As a counterexample, everything stuck to Bush 41, even the ridiculously untrue, and I recall no stinging criticism of an opponent he ever made stick.
When anything upsets me, my second thought is to step back and look at the big picture. If that doesn't work, I step to an even bigger picture. I'm already a few steps back on this election. It was not so long ago that monarchy was the best government available for prosperous, rights-of-man, enlightened nations. Many of those kings and queens were not at all skilled, were pathological in some way, or downright stupid. We have also had tyrants and buffoons in many decent places. So long as they don't get into large-scale killing of their internal enemies, the countries seem to have muddled along. The history of the American presidency includes some pigheaded men.
I also ask myself who I would wish to have as president if some absolute catastrophe came upon us - not one caused by same, of course. My answers surprised me on that one, enough so that I played it backward over the last few presidents, just for amusement.
Of the five people left standing for the presidency (unless a brokered convention brings another to the fore), four of them will be unable to govern. Each will be entirely hated by the opposition party and only have about half of their own on board. (The fifth, Rubio, will only be as divisive an average amount. Which is still terrible, but good by comparison.) We may learn that the presidency is far less important than we thought, mostly a symbolic expression these days.