Trump 2016!

Thank God for Donald Trump. The tangerine-hued, preposterously-coiffed real estate magnate has stripped the thin veneer of civility from the 2016 presidential campaign and shown the sturm und drang of American politics for what, at its heart, it has always been: pure entertainment.
Trump is the quintessential Ugly American: loud, patronizing, infantile, and arrogant —all appetite, no taste. So there’s really no mystery to why he has surged past his fellow GOP hopefuls, despite the best efforts of FOX News and his seeming indifference to the basic rules of human decency: there’s just something refreshing about a candidate that truly doesn’t care, that has no need to bow down to financial donors or tiptoe around the delicate feelings of his rivals.
Heck, Trump doesn’t even pretend to understand any of the most pressing issues of our day, such as immigration (build a wall and make the Mexicans pay for it); drugs (just legalize all of them); women’s health (he’s working on some policies right now); and the nuclear deal with Iran (Trump’s would be “100 percent better”).
For now, Trump’s most important mission is promoting the brand, by whatever means necessary. In fact, his campaign resembles nothing so much as the media blitzes designed by The Rolling Stones infamous manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, who ran the band’s career when they were competing against The Beatles in the mid-1960s: come up with some fresh outrage to put in the press every few weeks; pump out new product as often as possible to maintain a presence on the charts; project an aura of callousness to the prevailing authorities even as you rake in millions of dollars.
It’s really no wonder he’s riding high in poll after poll, considering the milquetoast dullards that make up the rest of the Republican field. Trump’s mastery of 21st century media has left his opponents looking like street corner buskers gazing on in shocked befuddlement as the Ringling Bros. Circus rolls into town.
What most of those old school politicos have yet to grasp is this: policy issues are now entirely beside the point. The angry American public would sooner throw their votes behind a self-aggrandizing clown than listen to complex ideas about how the most powerful nation on Earth can be most effectively governed. Tuning in to watch Trump call people stupid and generally treat one of the most world’s most important political processes like his newest reality show is a lot more fun.
Of course, a few sad foes have attempted to keep up with Trump in the outrage department. Witness Mike Huckabee’s quote that Obama’s Iran nuclear deal will “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven” or the surreal videos recently produced by Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul (going samurai on a cell phone and chainsawing the U.S. tax code, respectively). Trump has easily swatted these pretenders aside with a series of dismissive Tweets and one-liners.
At this point I’m not sure what The Donald would have to do to offend his supporters. In the not so distant past, calling a certified war hero a loser because he endured years as a prisoner in a foreign country or suggesting that women who breast-feed are disgusting would be enough to seriously damage, if not outright derail, a presidential hopeful’s campaign. But those days appear to be gone. Maybe if Trump were to do something unhygienic with the Confederate flag….?
Of course, all of this is only funny if you ignore what’s at stake. The real question is: What does it say about so many Americans that they are willing to stand behind Trump? The man has learned that the crazier his comments the more support he’ll get and the more he can ratchet up the inanity. It’s a vicious feedback loop of stupidity. Who knows where it will end?
My guess would be not with a front row seat on Air Force One. At the end of the day, Americans can be counted on to go with the safest choice, with what they know. Trump, for all his current popularity, is nobody’s idea of a sane president.
However it ends, the man who once said he would not be adverse to dating his own daughter will no doubt thrive, probably with a multimillion-dollar TV deal based on his “revolutionary” presidential run.
Maybe it’s time Trump changed his motto from “Make America great again” to “There’s a sucker born every minute.”


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