Donald Trump’s unique achievement has been to turn politics into entertainment by being the most entertaining of the candidates. Tonight figures to be another big show. If it is, I think the Donald’s numbers are safe. Trump’s support will not go down until his fans have become tired of his shtick, just as fans of any popular TV show drop off over time. The novelty loses its magic. The tension now lies in our not knowing how long he can keep the show going.
The curiosity for me is which other candidate or candidates jump up their poll numbers tonight and how they do it.
If I were in a position to ask the Donald a question, I’d ask him to explain what he meant by saying he was an “entertainer” in response to criticism for his comment about Carly Fiorina (“Would you vote for this face?”) Is he implying that an entertainer should be judged differently than a politician?
I think he revealed much with that comment, surprisingly so, like an actor in a movie who gives an aside to the audience and then returns to character. He and the character are not one and the same. Trump’s authenticity isn’t as authentic as it seems.
I think many of his fans see the actor in Trump, but it doesn’t matter as long as they like the script.
But enough of that…… To go beyond the entertainment factor, how should we judge these candidates as presidential timber? According to conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin there are seven things to look for in candidates who are not ready to be president .
Though I seldom agree with her on other topics, like her estimation of Obama (“feckless”), I think she’s an astute critic of her own party. It might be interesting to read the list below and guess who she might be referring to and then go to her column for elaboration and her suggested culprits:
- If you plead on a major issue that it is a hypothetical ….. you are not ready for prime time.
- If you say you will have “advisers for that” in reference to major policy decisions or a basic understanding of the world, you are not ready for prime time.
- If you delight in creating chaos, you are not ready for prime time.
- If you make a martyr out of a government employee who refuses to do her job in compliance with the law (common law, statute or constitutional decision), you are not ready for prime time.
- If you declare you are in favor of a constitutional amendment to address some issue, you are not ready for prime time.
- If you attack the questioner or the question, you are not ready for prime time.
- If you promise to “abolish the IRS,” build a wall along the entire Mexican (or Canadian) border, get rid of the National Security Agency (instead only gather information on known terrorists) or start a trade war with China, you are not ready for prime time.