News & Politics

With Fox News Debate Boycott, Has Trump Finally Jumped the Shark?

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Eric Schultz)

Here’s a guy who claims he can somehow “cut deals” with America’s greatest rivals. Here’s a guy who claims that he will somehow “make America great again” through sheer force of will. Yet, when confronted by the skepticism of a 130-pound woman, he turns tail and runs.

That’s the drama unfolding before our eyes as Donald Trump announces that he will boycott Thursday’s Republican presidential debate, hosted by Fox News, on account of the network’s refusal to remove Megyn Kelly as a moderator. “Let’s see how much money Fox is going to make on the debate without me,” Trump reportedly said. The candidate later turned to Twitter to poll supporters as to whether he should attend or not.

Is this the kind of leadership we can expect if Trump somehow cons his way into the White House? How is his handling of Megyn Kelly and Fox News anything other than the fulfillment of a personal grudge? What question might Kelly ask, and how might she ask it, that Trump would not be able to answer satisfactorily? This isn’t MSNBC we are talking about. There’s arguably nowhere in the media that a Republican candidate for president could expect a fairer shake than Fox News.

Trump has emerged as the leader of a personality cult. Like any cult leader, his first and highest priority is denouncing anyone who questions his primacy. He filters a qualitative analysis of any person or institution through one overriding concern: what do they think of me? If they’re for him, he’s for them. If they’re against him, he’s against them. It’s that simple, and there’s no nuance to it. There’s no parsing through actions, words, or character. It’s a package deal. You’re for all of Trump, or you’re his enemy. Such unbridled narcissism has no business anywhere near the lowest of public office. The notion that it could occupy the White House should instill terror in all of us.