We have over a year and a half until the next presidential election, yet prospective candidates are already busy estimating their chances of victory and plotting their campaigns. Team Clinton just leased a campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, indicating as per FEC regulations an official announcement of candidacy within the next few weeks. Senator Cruz officially announced his run just last month at Liberty University—in the front row, a group of students ironically cheered while proudly wearing their “Rand Paul 2016” shirts. Granted, the likely Republican candidates spend so much of their time criticizing President Obama’s policies without providing their own alternatives—in recent weeks, regarding the nuclear deal with Iran—that it can at times be a little hard to tell the difference between them.

One man, however, stands apart—if not in politics, then in personality. Could Donald Trump be the savior of the Republican Party? At the very least, he would make the election infinitely more interesting. Worth $4 billion, lead personality of an incredibly popular reality competition, and backed by one of the most well-known real estate brands in the world, Trump would prove an interesting and powerful candidate. When he spoke at the Iowa Freedom Summit earlier this year, he bashed both Romney and Jeb Bush, later taking credit for the former’s premature drop from the 2016 race. His tweets are a never-ending source of entertainment. The day before the 2012 election, he tweeted: “It’s extremely cold in NY & NJ—not good for flood victims. Where is global warming?” During a weird "Twilight"obsession, he tweeted: “Robert I'm getting a lot of heat for saying you should dump Kristen—but I'm right. If you saw the Miss Universe girls you would reconsider.” Just this Easter, he tweeted: “I wish everyone, including the haters and losers, a very happy Easter!” But before you get too excited about a potential Trump run for the presidency, you might be wise to hedge your bets.

I used to be The Donald’s biggest fan. As an atypical fourth grader, I remember running to the TV every week to join my parents in watching the newest episode of “The Apprentice.” I valued Trump’s wisdom and idolized his achievements. Though he was born into wealth, his comeback from corporate bankruptcy in 1991 proved his success to be the result of hard work and business acumen. To me, he typified the fulfillment of the American Dream and through his show offered the same chance to those lucky and willing enough to take it.

Unfortunately, as the seasons progressed, Trump’s involvement with the show shifted. What started in the first season as a genuinely meritocratic business competition quickly developed into a marketing ploy for any companies large enough to be deemed worth an appearance on the show. During the first season Trump would fire candidates for offering excuses for poor performances, failing to communicate with their teams or inadequately managing their time—after the first season he would fire them for mistakes like including too little light in an advertisement for a new brand of Colgate toothpaste. On the surface, he still offered the contestants their shot at the American Dream, but in reality corporate greed dominated his involvement with the show.

I would imagine that Trump’s political life would echo his business life, that he would start out promising economic miracles for the middle class and ever-esteemed small-business owners, but then would quickly cozy up to special interest groups. Of course, this is pure speculation, in part because every time he offers a political opinion—whether in an interview, a televised debate or a Tweet—he does so with his entire focus on providing an appealing narrative instead of on offering substantive policy alternatives.

On immigration: “People are pouring across our borders, which is horrible, and we have to be build a wall. Look, I built some of the greatest buildings in the world. Building a wall for me is easy, and it would be a wall.”

On foreign policy: “We are a laughing stock. We have been for a long time. [Our foreign policy] is the worst ever . . . The world has crumbled around us. A lot of it has been caused by us.”

On the economy: “Can we say that the economy is booming? No. Can we say unemployment—I mean, unemployment is a totally phony number. Massive unemployment all over the place . . . We don’t make our products anymore . . . And you say to yourself: isn’t that sad?”

Trump excels at persuasively saying nothing. These are not isolated examples of his ideological “platform”—each is representative of his lackluster—or perhaps, depending on your perspective, skillful—political prowess. Check out any interview he has ever participated in, and you will see quite plainly that he never offers specificities to back up the broad, alluring claims he makes. He can do this in part because of his ballooning ego. Who among the anchors of Fox and Friends would dare challenge his assertion that he can make great walls by virtue of his experience as a real estate mogul?

Maybe closer to the election Trump will begin developing policy alternatives rather than inflating his own ego through enticing references. Indeed, to show any form of competence during a presidential debate, he would need to. But even still, if you are still banking on his run, keep your political fantasies in check, for Trump has played the “I’m considering a run” card before. And by the way, he’s also played the “Well last time I wasn’t strongly considering it, but this time I really am” card. While an entertaining political figure, if he announces himself as an actual candidate he should raise eyebrows from both parties. Over and over, he has proven to place a greater value on his own ego than on his alleged ideologies.

Brendan McCartney is a Trinity junior. His column runs every other Tuesday.