President Trump is a nightmare
Monday, May 16, 2011
Category: Opinion > Op-Eds
So I'm sleeping peacefully one night until a dark thought pops into my mind: what if after what seems like the 30th season finale of "The Apprentice" Donald Trump wryly declares, "Barack Obama, you're fired! Today, I am happy to officially announce that I'm running for president of the United States." If you were wondering, I did not sleep very well after that bombshell.
To be clear, the crucial problem with Donald Trump is not his hair, outright arrogance or even the fact that his business career has consisted of some wild ups and downs.
Those are all reasons why anyone should not be president.
But Trump is indeed a unique man with a special set of skills. He is a successful TV host and populist - which in truth are not too far apart - with little respect for the political opinions of most Americans. Yet somehow he's still on top, leading Republican contenders in some polls.
In any case, there is a telling saying that "a politician's words reveal less about what he thinks about his subject than what he thinks about his audience." Assuming politicians indeed pander to voters by saying what they think voters want to hear, what are we to make of Trump's interview from April 14 with Fox News conservative pundit Sean Hannity, who asked what qualities make him a "conservative person?"
In reply, Trump blithely said the following: "Well, I think I have great values. I think I really have a great solid strong value. I love this country. I feel so strongly about this country. I love people that work."
Really? Not even a single word about your stances on either social or fiscal issues when defining conservative?
The obvious implication of his remark here is that a liberal is someone who dislikes this country and dislikes people who are employed.
Even staunch conservatives ought to find such a response as falling somewhere in between idiotic and childish.
But perhaps that's why he is best known today for being the host of "The Apprentice." Ironically, it's his job to pander to his audience. In fact, he seems to be quite adept at giving people exactly what they want to hear and see, as he will almost surely let you know. In just about every interview over the last few weeks, for instance, Trump has made a point of telling the host how high the ratings are for his show. "It's a great show", he repeatedly says, "and it's got phenomenal ratings."
Such showmanship points to one undeniable fact: Trump's job has never required him to answer any serious questions with even a tinge of honesty. Instead, he gets to pick who wins and loses and critique others without ever worrying about such criticism being returned.
This bossy television role, in turn, is likely what made him the most fitting and outspoken "Birther." He explicitly stated that there was good reason to believe the president was not born in this country, despite the fact that all serious politicians, regardless of party, rejected this lie long before the long version birt certificate was released.
But since such ridiculous remarks invariably attract media attention, as the Charlie Sheen phenomenon has illustrated quite nicely, Trump is presumably under the delusional impression that people wanted to hear it.
But the truth is most Americans do not want to hear this garbage. And yet, his words and actions suggest that he thinks we like such populist and unfounded claims.
Simply put, Donald Trump clearly does not think very highly of Americans.
He apparently believes ridiculous messages, such as a conservative is somebody who really loves the country or the president may not be an American citizen, are going "to sell" and win him votes. Unfortunately for him, this marks the latest big mistake in his already tumultuous career.
One might rightly say Donald Trump is in his "happy place" when he sits comfortably behind a vintage oak desk and screams, "You're fired." Now let's just hope he stays there and gets nowhere near the resolute desk in the Oval Office - alas, that would be a nightmare that trumps them all.
Brit Moller is a UC Berkeley alumnus.
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