THE TRUMP SHOW: The Surreality of Politics as Reality TV

I’m beginning to tire of Donald Trump, but not of the process that has made him a wrecking ball to the campaigns of other Republican candidates.  Not true of all those candidates – Ted Cruz, for example, always says nice things about the man while positioning himself just close enough to siphon off fall away voters later.  Like Nascar drivers, Ted is drafting behind the Donald in good position to make his move when (if?) the frontrunner falters.

The others, though, seem on a tight rope, careful to show how they are both like him (to attract his supporters later) and not (to also attract his detractors).  Sometimes these lesser sorts dare cross from the prick of wit to the sting of insult in Donald’s eyes, which prompts a verbal whack, such as his pointing to Carly Fiorina and asking:  “Would you vote for this face?”

This, I surmise, in response to her saying that in dealing with foreign policy it is important to have some sense of the major players, playing off Trump’s confusing the Quds Force of Iran with the Kurds of Iraq in an interview.   If you criticize the Donald better expect a pie in your face.

Under normal circumstances I would suggest Carly produce a poster of Trump with the caption: “Would you vote for this face?”   But then I fear Trump would hold it up in some mass rally, and his fans would cheer wildly “yes.”  It’s not politics as usual since the Donald hit town.

I happen to know one of these fans who just emailed me:  “The more he takes cheap shots, the more popular he becomes.  Amazing. ”  Like so many others, he likes Trump’s unfiltered side, a sign of how mind numbing our politics have become that anything that actually seems unscripted is cheered no matter what it matters.   There must be some limit, right?  He can’t say something like “stone them to death” and still get cheers can he?

Well, perhaps.  Afterwards he could say he didn’t mean “stone to death” literally, as later he said he wasn’t criticing Carly’s looks but her “persona,” and later still that his comments were made “as an entertainer,” ….which means exactly what?  Is he saying his comments shouldn’t be taken so seriously, for after all, he’s just entertaining us.  Who knows but the not knowing further fuels interest as if it really matters what comes out of his mouth.

That we might further ponder the issue is evidence of his wiliness.  See how much coverage he gets from saying something contemptible and then changing what he said and then getting coverage for that and prompting fools like me to further ponder?

That’s the joke folks.   What he says doesn’t matter.  It’s his jabbing politicians and the politically correct police that matters to his fans, not exactly what he says.  It’s the rest of us who don’t get the joke.

People like me need to kick the habit (addiction?) of wondering out loud what Trump is up to now?   I have high hopes I can, and even think many of Trump’s fans will tire of his act or think more seriously about whether they actually want a person for president whose “primary” goal is to entertain us.

But my Trump-fan friend indicates I may be wrong.  When asked whether he would actually vote for Trump for president, he said he would if he got the nomination..

While typing I’ve been thinking of Bette Midler’s singing:  “Let me entertain you.  Let me make you smile.”