The most benign thing about a Donald Trump presidency is that the man is uninformed, uneducated, and totally unconcerned about the minutiae of running a Republic.
The most dangerous thing about a Donald Trump presidency is that the man is uniformed, uneducated, and totally unconcerned about the minutiae of running a Republic.
My best guess as to why Trump even pursued the presidency is twofold:
First, I think he is financially struggling. Struggling, for someone like Donald Trump, means that it is increasingly difficult for him to maintain the veneer of opulence and luxury his finely tuned branding narrative demands (first articulated in The Art of the Deal) with diminishing sources of revenue.
Donald Trump does not really build things. He markets his name to anything and everything from steaks and bottled water to high rise office buildings and hotels that other people build.
The reality show, The Apprentice, and its spin-off, Celebrity Apprentice, continue to fade in popularity after too many seasons on network television. Serial dramas are regaining their place of prominence in prime time slots these days. Consequently, the monetary value of the Trump name has waned. When the steak is no longer sizzling, it’s difficult to charge top tier price for ten ounces of average. One night in a Trump hotel proves this point. Despite the garishly opulent visuals like gold plated bathroom fixtures, the service and experience is no more than what you would get at a more moderately priced stay at Holiday Inn Express.
The fact that Trump refuses to release his tax returns is evidence of this theory. Why else would someone who routinely brags about his tremendously, yuuuge wealth not want to have the evidence on display for all to see?
Secondly, I think Trump ran because of the humiliation he felt when President Obama justifiably teased him during the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. It was at the height of Trump’s “birther” campaign against him. Here’s what President Obama said to a room full of reporters and Washington elite:
“I know that he’s taken some flak lately. No one is prouder to put this birth-certificate matter to rest than the Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to the issues that matter, like: did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”
His famously thin skin is evident in those late-night tweets in response to Saturday Night Live comedy sketches, or any other casual observations he might perceive as an attack, which is why many believe this was the night Donald Trump made up his mind to run for president.
It was shortly after this event that Trump began appearing regularly on talk radio and their television counterparts like Fox and Friends, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly where he would weigh in – often; rather clumsily – on political matters of the day.
Is it possible that Donald Trump is so shallow that he would nurse a grudge for five long years, culminating in his preposterous run for the White House?
I don’t know for sure, but the evidence is convincing.
Couple that with a need to re-brand his stock and trade – his name – and, you have the most unusual presidential campaign in the history of the United States.
The good news in this possible scenario is that it means Donald Trump isn’t really that interested in ACTUALLY BEING the President of the United States – at least not on a daily, nose-to-the-grindstone manner. This means that he probably won’t “build that wall,” deport 14 million undocumented workers en-masse, ban all Muslims from entering the country, or bring back the coal mining industry.
The bad news is that he is letting other, more serious-minded demagogues do some of that for him.
Even before he takes the oath of office, Donald Trump is stoking fear in the hearts of many with his cabinet picks.
His Housing and Urban Development pick’s only qualification, it appears, is that he’s the one black guy. In Donald’s mind, this must mean he should be an expert on inner city housing, even though earlier, Dr. Ben Carson publicly decried his lack of qualification to run anything, because – well, because he’s a MEDICAL DOCTOR.
For Education Secretary, he selected a billionaire who would like nothing better than to dismantle public education in America; Besty, “can I sell you some cleaning products,” DeVos.
Rick Perry, who couldn’t even remember the name of the cabinet office he wished to abolish – the Department of Energy – is now set to run it.
For Secretary of Treasury; Steve Mnuchin – a Wall Street hedge fund manager nicknamed the “foreclosure king.”
Climate science denier, Scott Pruitt, is his selection to head the EPA.
Fast food business magnate (Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr.), Andrew Puzder, who thinks minimum wages are TOO HIGH, has been selected to run, you guessed it; the Labor Department.
Carl Icahn, activist investor and corporate raider, is his selection for Regulation Czar. Another billionaire, Icahn is famously anti-regulation where business is concerned, and despises the Securities and Exchange Commission. Those damn, pesky rules!
It seems that in every cabinet position, Donald Trump has positioned a person who is staunchly opposed to the very institution he or she has been put in charge, and in some cases; has publicly called for their elimination.
What could possibly go wrong?
The most disturbing, however, is who he selected as his Chief Strategist; Steve Bannon. Bannon was Donald Trump’s campaign manager (remember those circuses disguised as campaign rallies?), and former CEO of Breitbart, a fake news website that embraces and serves as propaganda minister to the White Supremacist movement in America, now euphemistically referred to as the “Alt-Right.”
Finally, the man who is a heartbeat away from the presidency, and who will take over when The Donald becomes bored with being president, Mike Pence, is a climate science denier, a homophobe who believes that gays can be “converted” to the straight and narrow, and a religious bigot who believes that Islam is fundamentally evil.
The sad truth about this whole thing is that we kind of deserve it. We didn’t take Donald Trump seriously in late 2015 and early 2016 when he could have been stopped. If real reporters and investigative journalists had awakened prior to the first televised debate, I don’t think he would have prevailed over more moderate, normal (read: sane) Republican candidates like Marco Rubio and John Kasich.
I’m not convinced that Vladimir Putin was as much FOR Donald Trump as a presidential candidate than he was AGAINST Hillary Clinton, who knows how much of a bad guy Putin really is.
I’m not sure Secretary Clinton would have survived the barrage of fake news and damning e-mail leaks even if she weren’t up against the fake-tan Wurlitzer of a man that is Donald Trump, what with the double standard we apply to powerful women in this country. But, had Clinton lost against a more normal politician, I don’t think there would be nearly as much angst as there is in the world today.
Will our Republic endure the next four years?
One can only hope that Donald Trump continues his Twitter war with Alec Baldwin instead of showing up to work.