Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Surest Bet to be Made Right Now: The Donald is a Dead Duck

If we've learned anything recently it is that Donald Trump is the loosest of all cannons. The national psyche hasn't been confronted by an ego this huge since Dug out Doug MacArthur was running amok in the early 1950's.

Of course MacArthur was a career military man who pushed the empire of Japan from the door step of Australia to the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay, so many gave him a pass. Trump, on the other hand, is a wheeler dealer who has gone from fabulously successful to the abyss of bankruptcy, then back again. He has produced and starred in his own television show, "The Apprentice," and as late as two years ago he was hamming it up for the crowds at World Wrestling Entertainment events.

When Mr. Trump began dabbling on the fringes of politics it appeared he was doing so only in order to keep his name alive during the cable media's 24 hour news cycles and on the internet. Simply put, it looked like he considered the political arena just another venue, rather like the "WWE Raw" broadcasts, to promote himself.

At some point, it isn't clear exactly when, he began to take the business of politics and his involvement in it seriously. His only prior experience has been that of a big dollar donor to candidates of both parties.  He has never held public office and his current campaign for the republican presidential nomination is his first at any level.

So why are we taking this crank seriously by paying attention to him? Let's face it, the late actor Tom Laughlin, star of the, "Billy Jack," films, ran for the office three times and no one would give him the time of day.

Well there is the money thing. Trump has boatloads of it and Laughlin didn't. Not to mention, Laughlin was about as engaging as a tenured professor teaching Egyptian hieroglyphics and Trump--to the delight of everyone from news anchors to late night TV hosts--is so nuts he's worth a million hits a day on You Tube.

Now, abetted by a frenzied media, he has catapulted to at least second in a New Hampshire republican presidential poll and he could well end up in the middle of the first nationally televised GOP debate in less than a month.

Unfortunately for Brother Trump, as an NBC News story points out, there might be only one way for him to go from this star spangled pedestal--and that would be down the drain.

Yes, fads glow brightly for a moment, but then flame out spectacularly. In late 2011 and early 2012, Newt Gingrich made a huge splash, took in wads of cash from people like Sheldon Adelson, but by April of the primary season he was out of the game forever.

Trump has that same feel to him. He's making waves now with his xenophobic ravings, but that act is going to wear thin quickly. Especially in places where the population is less than 92.2% white.

The republicans know it too. The Washington Post is reporting GOP head man, Reince Priebus called El Donald the other night to tell him to tone down the immigration rhetoric. Trump denies Priebus said anything like that to him, then went on NBC and told, Katy Tur he would win the Latino vote during a national election.

Bizarre hallucinations aside he has other problems. NBC notes that in 1999 Trump told the late Tim Russert, "I'm very pro choice." The same year, during a Buzzfeed interview he said, "I'm very liberal when it comes to health care. I believe in universal heath care."

In 2011 he told a CPAC crowd he was, "pro life." Earlier this year he seemed confused by the whole pro life--pro choice definition. When asked by CNN he said, "I'm pro choice." When the question was put to him again, he responded by saying, "I'm pro life, I'm sorry."

As these words are being typed political ads featuring those interviews are being produced to play on television stations from Iowa to South Carolina and all points beyond.

Last month a nation wide poll sponsored by NBC and the Wall Street Journal found 66% of republicans would not support him if he was the party's nominee.

That's not a number you recover from, no matter how many times you promise to build an impenetrable wall on the Mexican border that's paid for with pesos.

Ultimately what we have here is nothing more than a brief fascination with a carnival barker's pitch. As always, after a moment, or two, we'll grow bored with it and move on to something else.

To put it another way, even though he might not realize it yet, there is not a pro out there either in the media, or politics who doesn't know, the Donald is a dead duck.

There isn't a surer bet to be made right now. And that's the truth.

sic vita est


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