As the 2016 high velocity presidential campaign rumbles on—a kaleidoscope of dizzying images which seems to have no central focus but plenty of entertainment value—past presidential races are beginning to look like ho-hum affairs that we might just as well have skipped entirely.

During most of them we knew pretty much who the nominees would be well before the party conventions which have become mainly ceremonial showcases for rising stars and a place for the party faithful to party on national television.

This time around, the contest to pick the next leader of the free world—normally an often repetitive, boring, overly-drawn out but necessary series of primaries with generally predictable consequences has become a sideshow to the real drama which features one mesmerizing personality against the universe.

The skeptical reception accompanying Donald Trump’s decision to run and his even less credible self-coronation as the candidate to beat has given way in just a fortnight to projections of the Manhattan real estate mogul morphing into an actually viable candidate to win his Party’s nomination.

Trump is the only one who does not seem surprised.

While the fear dial rises in GOP chambers across the land—including in Congress where House Speaker, Paul Ryan, has even castigated Trump for his anti-Muslim rants, Trump merrily makes the rounds of late night talk shows more than eager to repeat his no-holds barred diatribes. And the profit-greedy networks are welcoming him with open arms.

As he thunders from one city and event to another, spewing bias and hate at just about anyone and anything, his popularity continues to soar. As the latest incarnation of a deeply held belief that anybody is entitled to run for president who meets the minimal requirements, we are watching a demagogue at work and marveling at his staying power if not his talents.

There is no precedent in recent history for the type of unscripted campaign Trump is waging. At times it seems we have only one actor on center stage with a supporting cast that is periodically brought out for his amusement and to give the audience some relief from the narcissistic chatter.

It is an implausible reality show without any visible connection to reality that makes the TV versions dull by comparison.

The more outrageous the pronouncement, the louder his cheering section. And it is being stoked by a growing media horde attuned to every word unable to get enough of him and a perplexed band of pollsters who likely have little clue as to how this might all shake out.

Here’s a short sampling of the carnage already left in his wake:

He has equated Mexican immigrants with “rapists, drug traffickers and criminals;”75% of all journalists are “scum”; a FOX News debate commentator’s tough questioning was attributed to her menstrual cycle; in an assertion without a scintilla of evidence he suggests that “81 percent of white homicide victims were killed by a black assailant”; he proposes all Muslims be denied entry into the U.S. on the basis of their religious beliefs.

And this is only a brief collection of the non-stop vitriol he is spouting to thousands of like-minded disciples everywhere.

Since Trump is impervious to criticism and even scoffs at the audacity of those who suggest he might want to offer apologies to those he has offended, this is a campaign without any moral boundaries, ethical standards, social norms, political constraints or any rational basis for measuring the impact of his speeches on his spellbound listeners.

Even prepping for the debates is something to be dispensed with particularly since he already knows the answers he will give regardless of the questions. Such certitude that it can be carried off puts any questioner at a significant disadvantage and also renders irrelevant whatever his opponents have plotted to derail him.

Trump has in fact adopted either subconsciously or deliberately his own version of chaos theory as a sensible means of running for the nation’s highest office.

So far, it is having a telling effect among populations of so-called “alienated voters” the term Eric Hoffer coined in his iconic book entitled The True Believer written more than a half century ago.

Hoffer was examining the origins of mass movements which begin with people frustrated with their lives, angry at and resentful of a callous government which always seems to be helping “others” (typically less advantaged) who they blame for their own inabilities to rise higher.

Many he wrote about would have close affinity to the staunch white supremacists, tea party members, hard right conservatives, military hawks and a goodly number of disgruntled blue collar workers and unemployed who are flocking to Trump’s banner today.

This anger has surfaced and is now reaching boiling points in cities across the country such as Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri where law enforcement agencies have had difficulty coping with what many consider racially motivated killings that have spurred clashes between insensitive law enforcement personnel and rioters equally guilty of blatant misconduct.

With acts of mass terrorism now also erupting in U.S. cities, this is a climate ready-made for Trump-style machismo combined with calming oratory offering assurances that we will “make America great again.”

Unfortunately the catchy mantra which now adorns hats and tee shirts in the accelerating drive to merchandize everything Trump may require a bit more elaboration which he seems loathe or unable to give.

Substantive solutions for example to the complex immigration problems have been replaced by senseless platitudes —“it will be a wonderful and beautiful wall”—that conjure up images of a nation willing to forsake its history and prepared to repudiate the inscription on the Statue of Liberty—you know the one—“give me your tired, your poor, your humble masses yearning to breathe free….”

Trump’s vision of a greater and better America will not be achieved by drawing parallels (for which the U.S. government recently offered long-overdue apologies) to thousands of Japanese-Americans who were thrown into internment camps during World War II as a rationale for keeping all Muslims from entering our country.

Back in the 1950s, Sen. Joseph McCarthy, a Wisconsin Republican with similarly distorted views who was ultimately judged psychologically unstable and banished from the U.S. Senate, tapped into the same deep veins of anger which, like California earthquakes, lie just below the surface seemingly ready to burst when conditions are favorable.

McCarthy’s witch hunt to ferret out suspected communists (who never materialized) that eventually reached into the highest levels of the American government remains one of the most inglorious episodes in our history.

However, McCarthy was not the only demagogue in our political heritage preaching racism, white supremacy, distrust of the elites, and xenophobia.  There was Andrew Jackson, and of course George Wallace, the strident segregationist who ran unsuccessfully for president.

Yet, Trump has managed to push on, apparently rejoicing in his new-found celebrity and beholden to none for financial support as he continues to soar in the polls. That is a comfortable place for one who does not mind breaking all the rules and flouting every canon of accepted political etiquette.

If his opponents begin taking pot shots at him which a few seem increasingly willing to do, this might simply arouse his followers to even greater fervor for their hero. It could also pull them down into the same mudslinging mosh pit that has separated some of the more credible GOP candidates from Trump who has turned the ad hominem attack into an art form.

Whether Trump’s antics will wear thin over time remains to be seen or if he has launched a grassroots movement that can withstand the mounting efforts within his own party to dislodge him, and if so would it compel him to run as an Independent?

That was last tried in 1992 when Bill Clinton had to contend with Ross Perot’s third party insurgency and the GOP knows how that turned out.

Regardless, this is an anti-politician who has put his thumb up and finds the winds blowing in his direction. If things should change and the early primaries deliver bad news he will still find a way to spin success out of them.

If at the end of this giant ego tour he should lose, Trump being Trump he will probably care less and simply return to whatever he was doing before, continuing to revel in his own greatness.