Fox News owes Donald Trump a bazillion dollars. He has single-handedly transformed their broadcast of the first Republican presidential debate on August 6 — normally a routine event almost a year and a half out from an election and of significant interest only to political junkies — into a coup de television equivalent to Caitlyn Jenner appearing nude on 60 Minutes. Who wouldn’t want to watch?
Trump has become a kind of Rorschach test for all of us. He certainly has for me. I end up changing my opinion of him about every twenty minutes. (I don’t call this site “Diary of Mad Voter” for nothing.) Like a Rorschach ink blot, sometimes he’s a monster hurtling toward me, moments later a smiling pussycat with a wink. (Well, not quite that.) Again, as with Rorschach tests, much of my reaction is really me projecting. We project on The Donald, who is, after all, a prototypical American character ripped from the pages of Sinclair Lewis or Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby running for president. He is the object of our secret dreams, marrying ever younger while making billions and living as large as anyone could imagine. Who will play him in the movie? (Bring back Jack Nicholson in a carrot top!)
Not only does he suck all the oxygen out of the room, he sucks it out of the galaxy. He makes all the other candidates vanish. Only Walker and Bush are registering in the latest polls and they’re double-digits behind Donald. Did you know John Kasich declared today? (Who? What? Zzzz….) The real news of the day was Trump giving out Lindsey Graham’s personal cell phone number after Graham called him an idiot — or was it the other way around? With The Donald it doesn’t matter. Hold on a moment and the opposite will happen.
What do I think of him now, at this very moment, typing this, subject to change as that is in the next thirty-eight seconds? I say — bring it on! Why not Donald? We could do worse. Indeed, we have much worse. To say I’d prefer Donald to Madam Rodham doesn’t mean much (I’d prefer anyone in the phone book), but just imagining a Hillary-Trump head-to-head makes me giggle. Has there ever been a spectacle like that in American politics? Not during the television era. My dream mano-a-mano (or should I say mana-a-mana?) would have been Hillary-Carly, but if I’m not going to get that, Hillary-Donald will more than suffice. Indeed, it may prove to be the greatest reality show ever made and I wouldn’t bet against Donald winning. And I wouldn’t bet against him running as a third party candidate either should he not get the Republican nomination.
My greater concern is that he would get bored being president and go off to build a hotel in Macao. But then, he wouldn’t be the first. Obama seems bored half the time — and the other half of the time he’s playing golf.
So, it’s been thirty-eight seconds. How do I stand on The Donald now? Up? Down? Sideways? In between? Hedging my bets? Eeny-meeny-miny-moe?… Okay, yes. He’s fine for now.
Tomorrow is, of course, another day. And another scandal.
UPDATE: This is amusing, considering how The Donald has been dissing Rick Perry today….Who was it who said “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds… “? That “Self-Reliance” guy. Onwards Trumpian soldiers!