April 15, 2011

Why is the punditocracy dissing The Donald?

I just don't get it. Donald Trump (hereinafter "The Donald") uses his constitutional right to express an interest in becoming President of the United States, and after a brief flurry of excitement from the media, the commentariat appears to have settled on the position that his candidacy is a joke, not to be taken seriously, that he is, in some sense, an usurper who has no right to such pretensions.

This is one of the things wrong with American politics, in my opinion. The Donald is entitled to his aspirations. I thought it was a joke when George W. Bush ran for President, a travesty when he was actually elected (okay, appointed, after coming close in the popular vote), and two shams of a mockery of a travesty (for fans of "Bananas" - in joke) in the way he governed. We've also had Ronald Reagan as President, a mediocre actor faking his way through the office, George Murphy as a senator, Arnold Schwarzenegger as a governor, Jesse Ventura as a governor, et al. The point being that in the age of pervasive, saturating electronic media as a substitute for Reality, the populace cannot distinguish anymore why "famosity" is not transferable between any two roles requiring high visibility. Once you're famous, you're famous across the board, and the public ceases with any distinction between your public image, carefully crafted by media consultants and PR firms, and your underlying reality, if any. For these reasons, Richard Nixon seriously considered Vince Lombardi as a running mate in 1968 (Vince would have been more satisfactory, come to think of it, than Tricky Dick himself, and certainly a better choice than Spiro Agnew.)

The Donald has taken some heat for seizing the Birther issue and running with it. Exploiting Barack Obama's failure to produce his original birth certificate is mainstream Republican politics. It's a stupid issue leading nowhere, but the same can be said for nearly everything in American politics, including the wars in Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq, the abortion "issue," gay marriage, gays in the military, and the entire "social issues" agenda. The wars should go away, the "social issues" agenda should disappear entirely from the political scene in favor of simply letting everyone do whatever the hell they want in their private lives, so long as it's not in the street where it might frighten horses or large dogs.

Of course, this would remove about 80-90% of the heat and noise from the political scene, and would leave the Klowns exposed to the awful truth, which is that they have run the country into the ground economically. This is where The Donald "brings" something to the political process. As a serial bankrupt, The Donald knows a little about what it's like to go belly up, as the U.S. of A. has done, and knows how to engineer a comeback. The same cannot be said, for example, of Barack Obama. His life story has been a steady, uninterrupted climb from obscurity to the pinnacle of power. Kind of boring in its American predictability, in fact. Whereas The Donald, as the scion of a real estate magnate who took Dad's empire and first trashed it, then restored it, then branched out into the total cheesiness of Atlantic City gambling and Reality TV nonsense, is far more representative of the historical arc of recent America. With his gravity-defying, marvel-of-engineering hairdo, and his ceaseless bragging and grandiosity, his ill-used, solecism-filled grandiloquence, The Donald is a Man of Our Time. A boor, a braggart, a parvenu, a cheater, a liar, a thoroughly frivolous human being of, by and only about himself.

In short, he's perfect. How can all these political operatives take a cornpone Neanderthal like Mike Huckabee seriously as a candidate and dismiss the candidacy of The Donald? I don't get it. I think it's because the little nerds in politics, and their journalistic acolytes, just don't like the idea that a boast-filled Big Shot like The Donald can simply buy and bully his way onto the national stage without going through them. Yet The Donald did not have to navigate through such vermin in order to establish "The Apprentice" on TV, or memorialize for the ages the phrase, "You're Fired!" He did that on his own, or at least his writers did, leveraging his fame for being famous.

I doubt seriously that The Donald has any particularly strong views on abortion (perhaps this Constitutional right has even come in handy at some point in his checkered love life), gays (he lives in New York, for cryin' out loud), evolution (he's probably for evolution, since he's an infrequent church-goer) or much of anything else, other than his own self-aggrandizement.

I say give The Donald a freaking chance, and don't allow these self-appointed gate keepers to decide the issue before this magnificently-coiffed candidate even has a chance to develop a little Mo'. The punditocracy is scared right now because he's actually leading the pack, not altogether surprising when his competition is clothing store mannequins like Mitt Romney. Maybe he'll win, or buy, the GOP nomination. What fun those debates would be with Barack! Can't you hear it now? At the end of every campaign speech, there's The Donald: "And I have a message for you, Mr. President, from the American people: You're Fired!"

I've got a hundred more like that, Mr. Trump. You know where to find me.

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