Donald Trump is a bloated, boastful, blowhard bully. But that’s not why I hope he disappears as quickly as tycoons at tax time.
The fact is Trump makes all 14 of his competing Republican contenders in the 2016 presidential sweepstakes look like Rhodes Scholars and paragons of propriety endorsed by the ghost of Mother Teresa. That even goes for (shudder) Ted Cruz, (wince) Rick Santorum and (choke) Lindsey “I know I’m not married, but John McCain and I are just good friends” Graham.
I watched “The Donald’s” official announcement of his candidacy on June 16 with stunned disbelief as he attacked Mexico for “sending people (here) who have lots of problems and bring crime,” declaring – “They’re rapists.” He also called on Mexico to build and pay for “a great, great wall” along our southern border to prevent the influx of more “Mexican criminals.”
Trump burbled on to offer irrefutable testimony verifying the scientific accuracy of his analysis, boasting, “I speak with border guards.”
Such assertion differs sharply from an acclaimed study by Dr. Bianca Bersani of the University of Massachusetts (Justice Quarterly 2014) that reveals, “Foreign-born individuals exhibit remarkably low levels of involvement in crime across their entire life course.”
Thankfully, the blowback to Trump has been magnificent. NBC/Universal has fired him from their “Apprentice” series. The network has also followed Univision’s lead in cancelling coverage of Trump’s “Miss Universe” and “Miss USA” Pageants as Carlos Slim, Mexico’s richest man and owner of the Ora Television Network, calls Trump “a racist.”
Cristian de la Fuente and Roselyn Sanchez, scheduled to host “Miss USA” have bailed from the project, describing Trump’s comments as “disrespectful” and “a rhetoric of hatred and discrimination.”
Fuentes, added, “It’s a shame that such an important institution as “Miss USA” is now in the hands of a clown.”
Other entities with Trump business connections are reeling away in revulsion. Retail clothing giant Macy’s is cutting all ties with Trump, announcing last Wednesday, “We have no tolerance for discrimination in any form and have decided to discontinue our business relationship.”
In response, Trump trumpeted, “Clearly NBC and Macy’s support illegal immigration, which is totally detrimental to the fabric of our once great country.”
Borrowing from Steve Martin and Dan Aykroid on Saturday Night Live, what a wild and crazy guy. I mean “wild” as in dangerously uncontrolled and “crazy” as in clinically nuts.
Donald Trump has been pandering for political support in his narcissistic campaign by evoking a vile common denominator – time tested by demagogues through the years. It's pure Xenophobia – an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers. Trump’sdespicable diatribes spouting this vitriol are paying off in certain circles.
Donald is now a solid #2 to Jeb Bush in a number of national polls measuring current comparative strength of GOP rivals. For a national political party that declared its desire for substantially increased diversity after danger signs in the 2014 elections, this must present Republican leadership with a devilish dilemma.
Such a quandary was made unavoidable by its Faustian alliance with the rich and powerful - an elite, privileged, legislatively favored, country club grouping that clearly includes Mr. Trump, who became fabulously wealthy the old fashioned way - inheriting a real estate empire from his father.
It’s just four weeks away. Mark your calendar for Thursday, Aug. 6 when the first GOP presidential primary debate takes place on – surprise – surprise – FOX TV. Since participation is promised to candidates finishing in the Top 10 of an average of the five most recent national polls up to that time, Donald Trump’s inclusion based on his current trajectory is now all but assured.
We can count on Mr. Trump to provide the choicest of chuckles. Donald won’t duck any issue placed before him, but the real fun in this first debate will be watching his fellow Republicans as they twist and shout and shake it up baby dancing around the issue of immigration – now at the forefront thanks to the heat of intense media coverage as hot as summer in San Salvador.
Yet - as one with progressive leanings more on the Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders side of the dial - please know I take no partisan pleasure as the world watches with wonder this blustering fool. When all is said and done, we’re in this together.
Donald Trump is a national embarrassment.