Is there anyone who hasn’t heard of Donald Trump? I’m pretty sure that is the question that Trump was asked immediately before deciding to run for President of the United States of America. Never mind that the question was rhetorical. You can just picture his eyes narrowing in doubt. And with that, he endeavoured to “Make America Great Again.”
Oh, I’m sorry. I meant that Trump began his self-promotional, ego-driven mockery of a political campaign. Because make no mistake about it: this campaign is not about America. It is about Donald Trump, and about how often you hear his name. He’s the Kanye West of politics – at least until Kanye West actually gets into politics. (And after this spectacle, we really should be counting the days. It will happen.)
It’s not even just the crazy things that come out of their mouths that make those two similar. It’s the fact that each of these men is singularly driven to be the biggest, loudest, most well-recognized jerk in the room. They will continue their campaigns to do that no matter what the cost. In the case of Kanye West it’s at the cost of common decency, common sense, and a few rival musicians. In the case of Donald Trump, it may be at the cost of the world as we know it.
That’s not to say that Trump, if President, would have the power to extinguish every light on the planet. I’m sure that power appeals to him though, as a sociopathic hatemonger. A friend of mine once suggested that Bernie Sanders didn’t have a hope of winning, but was attempting to move the discussion to the left, while Trump was in the same situation and trying to move the discourse to the right. Oh how I long for those days.
Now Trump has gone from being a catch-phrase spewing joke of a host on a moderately popular television show to being the best thing that the Grand Old Party has to offer in terms of a candidate. And they hate him. And Trump hates them. And Trump inspires hatred for all sorts of subjects, from political correctness, to Mexicans, to educated people, to lovers of facts. And no matter how often he insults Americans and demonstrates his inability to compromise, change, or even admit to the slightest bit of fault, he can’t help but win.
America has fallen under the spell. Only two days ago the third-place candidate, Marco Rubio, lost to Trump in Rubio’s home state of Florida. (And anyone wondering which way that vote was going to go clearly doesn’t follow @_FloridaMan on Twitter.) But Trump is a parody of the things that America holds dear and no-one seems to notice, or care.
The Trump name, more than The Donald himself, is celebrated for symbolizing many qualities that America holds in high esteem: success, strength, confidence. But his success is founded on the victories of his father, and his many failings are well documented. His strength is in dividing people and making everyone around him weaker. His confidence is misplaced and built upon lies and the blind faith of his followers.
Yet despite these facts, Trump is almost certainly going to be the Republican candidate. If he’s spoken one word of truth recently it is this: Block Trump from his place on the ballot, disenfranchise his supporters, and you will see riots. There will be fire, and there will be blood.
Perhaps that is all a bit grim though. Maybe it will all work out. Remember when we thought a guy named Mitt was going to possibly be president? A man who fastened his dog to the top of his car (in a carrier) for cross-country trips? Perhaps you thought, “What a monster!” Oh how I long for those days.