I have to admit that it’s been quite liberating to say exactly what I think of the candidates as they announce, and the more bizarre the candidate or quixotic the campaign, the more fun it has been. Today, however, will test my ability to engage in more than just mockery.
Donald John Trump said stuff today, which isn’t particularly unusual. One supposes that he talks all day whether anyone is there to listen or not—though he may require his minions to sit and listen to his latest bloviation. Today, though, he said something that made the newsmedia pay attention: He officially announced that he’s a candidate for the Republican nomination for US president, even though he’s made it clear for the past four years, really, that he would be. However, for years he’s also mainly been a big tease (sorry—didn’t mean to use a hairstyling term…), so he’s pretty lucky anyone’s paying attention.
All joking aside, I can’t understand why Trump thinks he’s a serious candidate. He’s rich, sure, but not rich enough to buy the nomination, and apart from Mr. and Mrs. Fringey McFringerson, who on earth does he appeal to? He certainly can’t appeal to enough Republican voters to actually win the nomination; as far right and extremist as Republican primary voters often are, there just aren’t enough of the most fringe Republicans to deliver for Trump. What does he expect to accomplish?
Maybe his plan is to say outrageously and bizarrely stupid things, as he so often does, in order to make the other Republican
The list of what’s wrong with Trump is too long to include here. Suffice it to say that he’s a crackpot and a crank, as, for example, his fringe attacks on climate change. He’s also rabidly against immigration reform, and included a tirade against Mexican immigrants in his announcement speech, something that a Republican National Committee spokesperson refused to condemn. In an interview with Good Morning America to be aired tomorrow, Trump talks about his promise to “build a wall” around Mexico, as he said in his announcement, and also how he’ll “make Mexico pay for it”. George Stephanopoulos asks the obvious question, HOW, precisely, would Trump make Mexico pay for it? His answer was that once elected, he just WOULD, because, you know, he just would!! Okay… (See also: “11 bonkers quotes from Donald Trump's campaign announcement”)
Trump has long been a promoter and believer of crackpot conspiracy theories. Most famously, he led a years-long crusade against President Obama, saying he wasn’t a natural born US citizen. Even when a frustrated Obama issued extraordinary proof that he was, something no white president or presidential candidate has ever had to do, Trump still went on about it, desperately trying to get people to buy whatever delusional conspiracy theory he was selling at the time.
It is Trump’s fame, largely from television, that is his biggest strength: People have heard of him. They probably don’t know anything about his politics, but they don’t really know about any of the others, either, polls show. So, as just another clown among may that most people aren’t yet paying any attention to, Trump’s fame will be his biggest asset—well, until people start learning who and what he really is.
But, let's play the game and pretend he’s a real candidate: Donald Trump is 69, and on Inauguration Day he’ll be 70 years, 221days old. Trump is ten days older than George Pataki, making him the oldest Republican
Like most rational people, I just can’t take Trump seriously, but the Democratic Party had fun with that (the image at the top of this post is what they posted to Twitter today). In a media statement, Democratic National Committee National Press Secretary Holly Shulman said:
“Today, Donald Trump became the second major Republican candidate to announce for president in two days. He adds some much-needed seriousness that has previously been lacking from the GOP field, and we look forward to hearing more about his ideas for the nation.“Yes, they’re mocking Trump, maybe even brilliantly, but there’s also a bit of hopeful thinking in there: If Trump does well enough, he’ll be included in debates and that will ensure that those debates are an even bigger circus than they promise to be without him. It would make them much more entertaining, that’s certain.
So, it turns out I mostly mocked Trump. Oops. That’s because I have such contempt for him that I just can’t be bothered pointing out everything he’s wrong about. Actually, let’s just simplify this: Trump is wrong about everything. There—sorted!
There’s still 1 year, 4 months, and 23 days until the US presidential election.