If Sarah Palin in 2008 brought Republican politics into the era of reality TV and the constant up and down in the polls in 2012 made the Republican primary look like a reality show then perhaps 2016 will be the year that Republicans perhaps settle on the real deal: Donald Trump, host of his own reality TV show: The Apprentice.
The media loves Trump; left, right or center, they cannot stop taking a hit from that Trump pipe that is increased eyeballs and increased ratings no matter how minor his news announcements may be.
Donald Trump scares establishment Republicans. Why he does so is not so clear to me dear reader. After years of trumpeting the wisdom of the mega-rich, a distaste for career politicians, hate for immigrants and the emerging minority-majority America, and habitually living in a separate universe of facts (Jon Stewart nicknamed it Bullshit Mountain), why wouldn’t Republican voters develop a taste for “the Donald.” Why have a career politician meekly spew these inanities while collecting unlimited corporate money from their billionaire corporate overlords like Sheldon Adelson when you can just vote for the billionaire directly? And no one can say what Republicans want to say (and hear) more directly and crudely than the Donald.
In a once-proud nation of entrepreneurs, independent lawyers and doctors, unionized factory workers, and self-made men, years of corporate consolidation and online shopping have reduced the few of left still working into a cowardly, sniveling, sniffling, salaried underclass. The nation of Clint Eastwoods and John Waynes is now the nation of The Office.
Donald Trump, in the psychogeography of the new America, makes America great! Not because he is one of us but because he is one of the few people left who is allowed to say what he wants when he wants no matter how illiterate, stupid, contradictory, or racist it may be. He reminds America of what Americans used to be: free. Free from the Man (government or corporate). Now this nation of Dwight Schrutes loves and admires a man who will say what a free people would want to say. We’ve had millionaires and billionaires ranting before in the last Gilded Age, but at least the masses still had Mark Twain, William Jennings Bryan, Eugene V Debs, and a Roosevelt or two to kick them around.
Can he win a general election? Given that Mitt Romney won 27% of the Hispanic vote in 2012 which was down from John McCain’s 31% which was much lower than George W. Bush’s 44% in 2004, I find it hard to imagine the Republicans getting anywhere close to 25% with Trump or whoever emerges from the GOP primary bleeding to death. Ejecting Jorge Ramos (the “Walter Cronkite” of Univision) from his press conference only made him and the party look that much more bigoted. When Gov. Pete Wilson (R-CA), went on an anti-immigration spree in the 1990s, he activated the latent power of the Mexican vote in California which has transformed California into a Democratic bastion. Donald Trump may do that nationally.
What is he worth anyways? No one really knows what he is worth (anywhere from less than a billion to $10 billion) because much of it is secret or related to the PR value of his brand (aka his name). And no one mentions that Donald Drumpf inherited his construction business and millions of dollars from his father. So much for 100% self-made.
But like many things in America, it is the myth and the legend that win over the truth. Rudy Giuliani, another New Yorker, was falsely called America’s mayor after September 11, 2001 despite the fact that he didn’t do anything for firemen, bought defective radios that killed many of them, and based the emergency control center in the World Trade Center despite warnings not to by EMS. And that is why I anoint Donald J. Trump the title of America’ Mogul.