Listening to and watching Donald Trump talk with Fox News’s Sean Hannity about how rich he is and how smart he is was truly a vomit-inducing moment. The notion that this extremely successful egomaniac would ever be President of the United States is surreal. It’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington on steroids.
Now we learn that he is going to announce whether he is going to run on the season finale of “The Apprentice.” The show is scheduled to air on May 15. Reportedly he will hold a press conference to announce the decision about being a candidate in the Trump Tower in New York “a few days after” the finale.
This is such a naked sham for the purpose of getting lots of viewers for his show that it should be embarrassing to everyone who has, even momentarily, taken his phony “campaign” to gain the Republican Party’s nomination seriously. Hannity was snookered or, more likely, he was using Trump to hype his show’s ratings and vice versa. In a similar fashion, Fox’s Greta Van Susteren has of late used Trump appearances for her show.
Just as I and others cautioned voters in 2008 that Barack Obama was a completely unknown quantity with a totally fabricated life story, it behooves me to warn voters to GET SERIOUS about Trump.
Running the nation requires credentials that go well beyond being a successful businessman. America has coast-to-coast successful businessmen and women, but if a company’s CEO makes bad decisions, the Board of Directors can fire them. You can’t say “You’re fired!” to the President of the United States until the next election.
Let me get the formalities out of the way. I am not jealous of Donald Trump because he’s rich. Much of the population is richer than me and I could not care less. I understand that Trump has exhibited considerable business acumen, but that is not the same as political acumen, nor does it suggest that it prepares him to deal with heads of state and the nasty events that occur; frequently unexpectedly.
Nor has everything Trump has put his name to been a great success. He gambled on gambling in Atlantic City and that was a bad bet. Fortunately he owed the banks so much money he could write his own ticket. In fairness, all the casinos took a bath. Instead of gambling, the few people visiting Atlantic City these days are there to buy its famous salt water taffy.
Trump is a strident self-promoter. He is a bombast. He lacks subtlety which, for his line of work may be a good thing, but for someone to whom we would have to trust the future of the nation, what he lacks most is the experience that a professional politician acquires over time. I hate to admit this, but it is true. The lack of this experience and judgment is blindingly apparent in the current White House resident.
Trump wants to win—all the time. Politicians want to survive with their principles reasonably intact and a fat government pension. It is a whole different mindset. The ones the voters reject tend to become lobbyists.
We have a history of presidents who just stunk up the job because they came to it as engineers like Hoover and Carter or ivory tower scholars like Wilson. For a long time, Americans elected a succession of generals because the president’s job was mostly about expanding the size of the nation, generally by shooting our way to the West Coast, or fending off Barbary Pirates, yet another of Thomas Jefferson’s many achievements.
Presidents become celebrities AFTER they’ve been in the office. Few are celebrities going in unless, like Obama, their celebrity is totally manufactured by skilled public relations professionals. After two years in the job, the only things we know for sure about Obama is that he’s a moron, probably a Muslim, and definitely a Marxist.
If you want business acumen, Mitt Romney has it to spare. True, he’s a bit of a RINO, but it’s hard to find a Republican these days who isn’t. Gov. Pawlenty is a politician and that is not a bad thing. Gov. Huckabee was a politician, but is now a successful anchor of his own show on Fox News. He is going to stay put. Rep. Bachman is the political equivalent of your ex-wife, smart and, like Trump, impossible to shut up. There's a reason we haven't heard from Sarah Palin lately and that's because she's smart enough to not want the job.
I guarantee you that, within one month of his inaugural, you would be kicking yourself for voting for Trump. His incessant need to demonstrate he knows best and is the greatest president ever would be the mirror image of Barack Obama’s crazed ideology.
Right now Trump is a novelty, a distraction, a false hope. There’s plenty of time for the campaign process to sort out who will be the Republican choice. My bet is that Trump will announce he’s not running. If I am wrong, the happiest man in America will be Barack Obama.
© Alan Caruba, 2011