<em>“I only have the power of persuasion.”</em>
The first time I ever knew of the entity that goes by the name of Donald Trump, I had an instant dislike for him. It was 1984, and Trump was the owner of the New Jersey Generals—a football team in the United States Football League. His arrogance and unbridled bombast regarding the National Football League was jaw-dropping in its shamelessness.
Within a year, Trump browbeat and buffaloed his fellow USFL owners into moving the league’s schedule to the Fall in direct competition with the NFL. The USFL folded, a lawsuit followed and the USFL was awarded damages to the sum of $3.
It was in this time period that Trump set his sights on making Atlantic City, New Jersey the world’s most desired tourist destination. By the start of the 1990’s, Trump had branded his name on numerous casinos up and down the Atlantic City Boardwalk. When he set to open the Trump Taj Mahal in 1990, he boasted that the “Taj” would be so popular that he would turn the Atlantic City Expressway—the main highway leading into the city—into a parking lot.
A quarter of a century later, Atlantic City is in financial ruin. Trump bailed out years ago; and to be fair, much of what happened to that city was not his fault. Still, he got payed before leaving town; and his revisionist rhetoric regarding Atlantic City lately is quite different than what it was when he pretty much owned the town.
This is Donald Trump. He blows a hot wind and what is left in his wake is usually nothing more than empty promises and unfulfilled prophecies.
It is difficult not to be entranced by the Cult of Trump. No one single human being should exude his level of megalomania. His hyperbolic bluster is a cacophony of vanity and self-absorption that is nearly unparalleled. No college class on the subject of public relations should omit a study of Donald Trump.
And yet there is one arena in which Trump fails to understand the audience he wishes to sell his unique brand to…overpriced and infertile as it may be: Politics.
Or does he?
A man that insults John McCain as failing to be a war hero because he was captured by the Viet Cong–and suffered torture during his five years in captivity–should not be on or near the top of the polls for the Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire and the caucus in Iowa. But Trump is that.
A man that has been married three times should not be liked by social conservatives who claim to be outraged by the affront to traditional marriage that they see in the recent legalization of gay marriage. Yet, Trump leads.
A man that bankrupts his own companies to make every last penny he can before running from a losing business, makes hyperbolic claims about his ventures that rarely pan out and seems to be more successful as a television personality than a legitimate businessman should not be the the voice of reason when it comes to the American economy. Still, Trump is The Man.
And anyone that doubts the validity of President Obama’s birth and makes wild generalizations about immigrants should never be taken seriously by an electorate that wants to have its voice heard and respect. And with that said, on August 6th Donald Trump will most likely be on a stage with nine other candidates for the GOP nomination for president.
Donald Trump: attention whore. And we simply cannot stop feeding his ego.
All you need to know about the public relations brilliance of “The Donald” is that every four years he talks about being a presidential nominee—and the media screech with delight. Every time he expounds about his compulsion to save the country, we affix our eyes to his rather bizarre face and listen to what he has to say. And then he changes his mind.
But, maybe…just maybe, he is serious about running for president in 2016. He may be serious, but he should never be considered a serious candidate. The cascade of asininity that spews daily from his mouth should barely make him eligible to be the awkward uncle at family events who spouts off curt remarks when drunk to be noticed. And Trump is supposed to be running for president. And he is polling high.
Show me an easy path to victory, and I will show you Republican primary voters.
My intellectually snobbish Democratic friends should temper their level of gasconade and sneering contempt. Their three main candidates for the presidency are all near or 70 years old and have enough baggage to fill O’Hare Airport 10 times over.
And that is what really upsets me about Trump being legitimized. The GOP has the high ground…for once. There are very impressive candidates that are in this massive field of contenders. Some have no prayer. But most of the Republican candidates are serious people worth discussing. And when the first “sanctioned” debate takes place on August 6th in Cleveland, only 10 of the announced 16 candidates will make it to the main stage.
That is an exorbitant amount. Even if debate host Fox News gave the candidates three hours, it would be hard to truly sift through the soundbites to separate who are the better choices for the nomination. Add the calliope of organ music, jugglers, and circus clowns that make up the minstrel band who herald Donald Trump’s entrance on to the scene, and he will eclipse any earnest debate of issues and ideas that could spring forth from Cleveland.
Just by being on that stage, Trump disqualifies the other candidates from purposeful contemplation. Trump taints the well.
The answer is simple. The GOP field should, as a unified voice, insist that Donald Trump not be allowed to stand at a podium on that stage. They should consider him nothing more than a carny trying to lure the inane and uneducated into his sideshow circus.
There is a precedent for this that came to us from television. On the TV show <em>The West Wing</em>, an unknown U.S. Congressman is unable to get into a Democrat presidential debate. He is to appear at a forum across the street from the main debate. One by one, the other candidates bolt to the secondary forum until that event becomes the debate.
Reality will not parrot fiction. Nine people who deserve, at the very least, to have their political ideology heard by the masses will be drowned out by the blistering noise that will come from the Trump-apalooza rock concert they agreed to appear in and be a victim of.
The GOP should duck Donald Trump. They should shun him with a Javert-esque vigor. And if the Republican electorate continues to be hypnotised by Trump’s Svengali antics, they deserve to be the circus clowns with pie on their face, heading directly into the ominous destiny that is a Hillary Clinton presidency.