This is the man
By now everyone knows of yesterday's eruption about a "database" of Muslims in the US, who would have to "register" and carry ID identifying them as Muslims -- an idea which has prompted even some Republicans to make comparisons with Hitler (example). Another commenter asked if the special ID would consist of making Muslims wear yellow crescents on their clothes. After all his repulsive remarks about John McCain, Latinos, women, various rival candidates, Mexico, Iowa, and on and on, Trump has finally sunk to the depth beyond which there are no further depths to sink. Through every previous outrage he kept, or quickly recovered, his front-runner status in polls of Republicans. If the same happens this time -- and I believe it will -- he's invulnerable. If his front-runner status survives this, it will survive anything.
The kind of people who have supported him so far will continue to do so because the simplicity of broad-brush prejudice appeals to the simple-minded:
On terrorism, as on so many other issues, what sounds outrageous to political and media elites can sound reasonable to large swathes of the American electorate, said veteran New Hampshire-based Republican strategist Dave Carney. "When [elites] sit around and have a wine after work and some brie and they talk about the situation and geopolitics and what's going on in the Mideast they're talking about the Sunnis and the Shia and Alexander the Great and.....what font the f**king French should've used to draw the maps after World War I," he said. "Americans after work, if they can have the time to have a beer and see what's going on, think there are these radical Islamist terrorists who want to kill us."
.....A perfect example of what Isaac Asimov called "the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge'." There's always been that sludge at the bottom of the gene pool which believes in simple solutions for every problem and hates the "pointy-headed intellectuals" who always make everything sound so complicated because they, uh, know stuff.
For four decades the Republican party has cultivated that element and ridden its support to many significant electoral victories. But now it has become such a large and even dominant presence in the party's voting base that the party establishment can no longer control the monster it has created. Especially with the non-Trump vote split among an absurd number of candidates, Trump has stayed on top for nearly five months and will continue to do so. And it's now late November. The February votes in Iowa and New Hampshire aren't all that far away any more.
I don't believe Trump can become President. The general electorate is very different from the Republican primary electorate. But I believe he will be the candidate facing Hillary. Which will make 2016 the most bizarre, and hair-raising, US election in living memory.
[I don't remember where I found the photo above, but I like how it brings out Trump's resemblance to Jabba the Hutt -- a character he's reminiscent of in a number of ways, if you think about it.]