Sunday, July 12, 2015
Charles Dickens would have loved Donald Trump as much as he loved Mr. Taulkinghorn, the unscrupulous lawyer to the Dedlock family or Esther Summerson a very loving and affectionate heroine in "Bleak House," or Mr. Murdstone the nasty second father to David Copperfield's mother (see link below.) The Great Master, Dickens was, of course, known for often naming his characters in Dickensian fashion describing the character traits of the person in the novel and what could be a more Dickensian name describing the egotist supreme Republican who wants to be king of the world, president of the United States, Donald Trump.
Trump surely can blow his own trumpet but our American narcissist supreme is, I believe, not to be underestimated. He is gaining traction in the Republican Party of white racists as there are plenty of them and Trump, ever the businessman, knows it. The Republican mainstream, once dismissing him as a side car comic relief act in the overflowing field of Republican wannabe presidential candidates now seems to be the main attraction pushing Jebby Bush to number two giving Republican moderates (what is left of them) heart failure.
Democrats are salivating, jumping up and down with glee as the Republican Party seemingly is committing suicide. Jon Stewart had the absolute funniest segment on Trump's unveiling of his candidacy as he is sliding down the escalator in Trump Tower announcing it. Stewart was thanking God for delivering the best comedy ever at a time when Jon Stewart is wrapping up his career. What a gift, pardon the pun.
Trump's speeches, mostly the same, are filled with look at me, look at me, look at how rich and successful I am and I want to make America great again by building an impenetrable wall to keep the bad old immigrants out -- you know the Irish ooops, wrong century, I mean the Mexicans, Central Americans or heck anyone with darker than lily white German (Trump's ancestry) Anglo skin. He is talking to the right Republican crowd.
Which crowd though is he talking to? I am the most progressive and the strongest Democrat I know and yet, part of what he said struck some positive notes even to my Democratic liberal musical nerve. Which part? Well, NOT the anti-immigrant racist part to be sure, but the part when he talks about the insanity whopper of a foreign policy George Bush blunder that was Iraq complete with its 6 trillion-buck-and-counting-debt and its Middle East fracturing result.
Oh yes, there is another part -- the trade deals and an economy that have created the 1% mega rich on the backs of the American middle class sending jobs to China and a million other places just not here in America. Why when I place a call for support do I get a non-English-speaking contact in India with whom I have trouble talking? Why can I not speak to someone in, well, Peoria? I cannot because all the trade deals passed by politicians here under the radar screen of the average know-nothing American have sent low paying jobs overseas and created the largest disparity of wealth between the 1% richest and the middle class since the age of Teddy Roosevelt's robber barons at the turn of the 20th century.
Trump touts, of course, his book "The Art of the Deal" which by his standards is the best book ever written. He, by his own admission, went to the best business school ever, got the best grades ever which allowed him to be the best deal maker ever and he married three of the best women ever (viva divorce) who gave him, naturally, the best children ever. What a guy! Is there anything this egotistical inflated blowhard balloon cannot do? Everything he touches in the world according to Trump turns to gold. He wants to make everyone else in America turn to gold too and can do it, he says, by building that impenetrable great wall on the Mexican border that will make the Chinese wall look anemic by comparison.
He gives a shot of steroids into the arm of a nation that since World War II has seemingly felt old, decrepit and that it has lost. He makes us feel we can be young again and through his leadership regain a hegemony that seems to be coming apart perhaps like older empires have.
But Trump does not have it all. Trump trumps himself because he appeals to the most dangerous human proclivity -- the inability to see things in shades of gray. He does not take into account our Founders greatest gift and that is a division of power. He, if he becomes president, must work in the milieu of two other branches of government. It means he may know the art of the deal but he seemingly fails to know the art of compromise. Trump may be a dictator in his own company but he cannot be the dictator of this nation. Like Sampson his real hair will be shorn and Trump, if president, will be trumped by forces beyond which even his power will wax weak. Still, do not sell him short as many here love to be led and if we do not vote (Democratic, hopefully) in the general election the Donald, if he wins in the Republican primary, just may be chosen to do it.