Here are ten reasons Trump will run as an independent if he doesn’t get the Republican nomination. (I plan to invest in companies that make antacids. The collective heartburn that this will create for the GOP establishment will require depleting our nation’s supply of Tums.)*
- The Republican establishment, petrified that he might win the nomination or just stay in the race, is finally criticizing Trump. He had been the TV star who boosted their debate ratings. Now they want to fire him. But Trump doesn’t get fired. He fires people. This is his persona in “The Apprentice” and the way that he understands himself. He’s not going to allow himself to be humiliated in public.
- Trump is a professional deal maker. In his mind, to make deals you have to stretch the truth, even lie at times. In this light his pledge not to run as an independent was a convenient story, which can change if the deal with the GOP goes south.
- Trump is an egomaniac who needs to be loved, by lots of people. Trump will not easily walk away from the fanatical “love” that members of the extreme right have showered on him. (The more that he is hated, the more he will need “love” from this followers.)
- Trump may have been making stuff up as he went along, but now it appears that he actually believes a good deal of what he is saying. The salesman has sold himself. He will view it as his patriotic duty to carry his message forward, because no one else will do it.
- Trump is under attack, which in his mind means that the Trump brand is under attack. He will feel compelled, obsessively so, to keep going until he convinces people that the Trump brand remains sterling.
- He currently sees himself as speaking truth to power–yes, bizarrely warped, but real for him. If he loses the Republican nomination, the only way that he can continue to do this on a really big stage is to run as an independent.
- Trump is a media junkie. He needs to be “on the air,” whether in front of cameras or on telephones. He isn’t walking away from this so easily.
- People, his followers, will plead with him to run if the GOP fails him. How can The Donald turn down his subjects?
- He hates many/most of the Republican candidates, or if he doesn’t already hate them, he will by the time that the primaries are over. Currently, Cruz is the only one not criticizing him for his crazed xenophobia. He is not going to do them any favors by bowing out.
- What else has Trump got to do that is as much fun as running for president, given his ginormous ego? Play golf? Build another apartment building?
*I make no claims regarding the relative importance of these reasons, only that one or more may contribute to his running as an independent.