The best story I’ve heard about Donald Trump explains both his triumphs and his inevitable political failure.
Trump, I’ve been told, was walking down the streets of New York during the chill of a Big Apple winter and an even frostier cooling in the world of commercial real estate. Turning to his bride-to-be, Marla Maples, tucked warmly at his side, “The Donald” explained life’s circumstances. “You see that bum over there?” Trump said, as he pointed to a homeless man. “Today, he’s worth a billion dollars more than I am.”
Donald Trump has helped build New York City and it has helped build him. Both are brassy and insuppressible. Our attention is Trump’s oxygen. Perhaps he is the next evolutionary stage for homo sapiens in the communications age, when we exist only as “brands”.
With neon recklessness, Brand Trump has repeatedly climbed, crashed, and fought its way back to the center of America’s consciousness. His self-told tale of success, as the chair-throwing wrestling champ of the business world, is what our careworn country would like its story to be. That story, in fact, is Trump’s brilliant campaign slogan: The man who says “I’m really rich,” promises to renew the rest of us and “Make America Great Again.”
Trump’s wrecking-ball of a campaign has occasioned a panic in the GOP. Practitioners of canned politics from both parties, with their well-rehearsed “spontaneous” lines and Marquis of Queensberry responses, don’t know what to do with this mud-wrestler who gouges their eyes, kicks them in the coconuts, and thrives on saying what would make other politicians road kill.
Trump does not give a happy damn about sipping GOP tea with the rest of the boys or observing the 11th commandment. Republican Presidential contenders are shocked to find that, in Trump’s unsparing eye, they, too, are merely elite, ineffectual politicians.
Trump’s recent assault on Senator John McCain, who might meet most definitions of a “war hero”, would destroy any other Republican’s candidacy. It won’t even ding Trump’s. That, however, is not good news for “The Donald”. Instead, it tells us how unserious voters think Trump’s candidacy is.
“It tells us how unserious voters think Trump’s candidacy is.”
Donald Trump could slay a baby seal on an electronic billboard in Times Square or pat Nancy Pelosi on the tush and call her a babe and Republicans would hoot and howl for more from the Donald – and then drive his survey numbers through the ceiling. Not because Republicans want him as President, but because they loathe the political establishment. Trump’s campaign is not a campaign for President at all: It is a rare opportunity for working-class Republicans to teach elite, GOP politicians a lesson.
The wonderfully focused Salena Zito explains it perfectly: “Americans are just tired of it all. Tired of no one speaking honestly to them, tired of being told they cannot speak honestly…. Trump and Sanders are reflections of [populist] unrest, not the leaders we are seeking.”
Donald Trump is sticking his thumb in the eye of the politics that has left Americans voiceless and frustrated at their inability to arrest the decline of their country. They want to wake their politicians up. They want their politicians to do something.
So Republicans are rooting for the drunk in a bar fight, hoping he’ll get the establishment’s attention.
That’s a long way from saying they want Donald Trump in the Oval Office with his manicured finger on the nuclear trigger.
“So Republicans are rooting for the drunk in a bar fight, hoping he’ll get the establishment’s attention.”
It is revealing that the less Presidential Trump’s behavior becomes, in fact, the better does The Donald. Outrageous behavior helps, not hurts, what passes for his candidacy, precisely because because Trump isn’t a serious contender.
If a serious candidate for President was one-tenth as outrageous as Trump, he’d be carried from the field on a stretcher. Trump is the joker in this deck, not the king.
Donald Trump could run for President, but he does not know how.
Perhaps he understands how to manage, negotiate and, certainly, sell, but he cannot do what politics uniquely requires. Donald Trump does not know how to lead.
Trump confuses rousing people’s anger with getting people to trust him with their future. He believes running for president is about getting people to voice their rage with him, not getting people to follow him. Yet, this we’ve learned above all else about The Donald: Even when he is running the wrong direction, the man will not admit regret or quit.
Trump is a venting steam pipe, releasing the Republican base’s frustration at a stagnant economy and a government that does not work or care or listen. But he will not be the GOP nominee.
Which means everything he absorbs, all the blind anger that is being sopped up by the black hole that is Donald Trump, will leave our heavens with him when he is extinguished. Trump will facilitate a cleansing the GOP needs desperately. And the anti-Trump nominee he leaves behind will lead the new generation of Republican we deserve.
So thank you, Donald, for helping us laugh at the politics that plagues us. We are having a great time and you, sir, are a riot.
We’ll let you know when it is time for you to leave.