What the Trump?
Am I seriously going to do this? Really? Am I actually going to pen a column about Donald Trump and give that self-involved blowhard more of the publicity he craves like an Albuquerque meth head hoarding cough syrup and lighter fluid (I apologize in advance for not knowing much about meth and thus having to actually look up some of the ingredients and stereotype that everyone who makes it is a high school Science teacher from New Mexico)? I’m beginning to think that by the time I am done writing this, I am going to need a shower to cleanse myself of the stench. Not a relaxing steam bath, mind you- I’m talking one of those industrial hose downs they give convicts in every prison movie ever made. I’m feeling just that dirty.
But in my defense, this is not so much an article about Trump as it is about the current state of the American voting populace. Call me blithely ignorant, but I honestly don’t believe he has a chance of being the next President of the United States. Yes, I recognize that more and more of you have become convinced that he has a real chance of winning this thing as he continues to lead in the Republican primary polls despite continued blunders, combustible moments and a series of racist or sexist rants that would make Archie Bunker’s jaw drop. Like a greased pig with deke moves better than Stephen Curry, nothing seems to stick to this asshole, even my own personal favorite in which he said about folks from Mexico: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” Because, you know, at least a couple of them are good people. But they’re not going to vote for you jackass. And that’s where Trump’s real problem lies. That shit may fly amongst a majority of people who define themselves as Republicans, but in the general election, where Latinos and women are allowed to vote, that kind of blatant bigotry simply has to come back to bite him in the ass. He may be leading over nutters like Ben Carson and Ted Cruz in his own party, but every poll conducted outside of the FOX News bubble shows him losing to either Bernie or Hilary by a comfortable margin.
So why does the Donald bother me so? What concerns me is that there are actually people, and a fairly considerable number of them at that, considering voting for this giant, bushy eye-browed windbag. Trump has run before, but he has never garnered higher than an estimated 7% in general election polling. So what is it now that has everyone blowing Trump bubbles out their rectums?
Some suggest that his draw is that he is an outsider, divorced from the inertia and inefficacy that has marred modern politics. I get it. These people suck, so let’s find somebody else….ANYBODY else. But in what other profession do we consider experience a negative value? “You know, Martha, I’m so annoyed by these medical professional lifers that I’m not going to let some doctor perform my brain surgery. I’m going to hire a plumber to do it. The principles are pretty much the same thing.” (Actually, this might be how Ben Carson got started in the medical field!) I understand everyone’s frustration with the whole lot of Congress, but could we please not throw out the baby with the bathwater?
After all, how would Trump’s business knowledge and acumen really translate to a job that requires foreign diplomacy, compromise and tact? Part of what people love about Trump are his bombastic diatribes about how he would handle foreign policy the same way he has always handled his business deals. But believe it or not, the leaders of other nations are not going to be bullied and coerced like some pathetically cowering contestant on The Apprentice. To get deals done on a global scale, one needs to assuage egos, not break them. But Trump doesn’t get that. This is why he can say something as preposterous as suggesting that he is going to build a wall on the Mexican border and get them to pay for it. Buenos suerte, señor!
And wait, about those business deals….wasn’t it his deals that caused his interests to file bankruptcy on three separate occasions? I haven’t filed for bankruptcy even once, and I didn’t start with the 40 million Trump inherited from his father in 1974. Does that mean I can be president? In fact, had Trump simply invested his father’s money in a regular index fund such as the S&P 500, he would be worth about the same as he is today, and a number of creditors who had the unfortunate pleasure of doing business with this schlep would be wealthier and far happier. But it’s his business acumen and knowledge that would be his best assets as president? Could we at least see if Warren Buffet wants the job first?
And that’s what really scares me- the sense that there is an increasing number of the Americans who have become so braindead and uninformed, either through complacency, a feeling of learned hopelessness in the political process or the brainwashing regardless of fact perpetrated by FOX News that they actually believe Donald Trump is a viable candidate for President. No, I don’t think he will win, but I am concerned that the fact he is even still in the running suggests that there is a growing latent racism in America that is accompanied by a desire to hear the kind of over-the-top rhetorical gibberish Trump is spewing.
Then again, maybe I should buck up and accept this new America. After all, I too make my living spewing out rhetorical bullshit.
Steven Craig is the author of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, as well as numerous published poems, short stories, and dramatic works. Read his blog TRUTH: in 1000 words or less every TUESDAY and FRIDAY at www.waitingfortoday.com