The media are going gaga over Donald Trump’s potential run for President, almost as much as they do over Lady Gaga. Why are they still giving this guy attention after so many years? “But Nathan,” you might be saying, if you’re the kind of person who pretends to be directly addressing the person whose writing you’re reading, “aren’t you part of the problem by writing about it yourself?” And yes, I’ll freely admit that I am, but I at least HOPE that I’m making a larger point here. When I was growing up, it seems that Trump was basically a living punchline, but I’m sure he didn’t care because he had shitloads of money. In the nineties, he underwent some financial troubles, and we didn’t hear about him quite as much. He didn’t TOTALLY disappear from the radar, especially if you went to Atlantic City, but he wasn’t anywhere near as prominent. Then he made a return to fame through a reality show in which he did what he does best, which is being a rich asshole. He’s actually said he was considering running for president several times, but for some reason he’s being taken more seriously this time. Why? I don’t entirely know, but part of it is his latching onto birther paranoia. I can’t say I really understand the term “birthers,” since it makes them sound like midwives, but apparently it’s a parallel to the “truthers” who believe September 11th conspiracy theories. Like most such theories, the idea that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States makes absolutely no sense if you think about it for more than two seconds. So none of his opponents in the presidential race even bothered to bring this up, but a bunch of illiterate fundamentalists figured it out? Yeah, okay. I think the ancient astronaut people might have more of a case. The impression I get is that the birthers feel they can’t just come out and say they don’t like Obama because he’s black, so they find other ways of claiming he’s different from them. Maybe some of them genuinely believe it, but I don’t think for a second that Trump does. He’s just a pandering jackass, and probably a racist himself, considering his comments about having “a great relationship with the blacks.” Well, maybe he actually means Rebecca Black’s family.
Anyway, the fact that Trump is apparently popular among the Republicans (although, in fairness, he doesn’t have a whole lot of viable competition right now) seems to me to be part of a trend in modern politics, particularly on the right. Does anybody actually LIKE Trump? I thought his fame came from the fact that he’s pretty much wholly unlikeable. You could say much the same about Newt Gingrich, though, and he’s also supposedly considering a presidential run. Fox News LOVES Gingrich, and Trump to a lesser extent. But then, this is the station that employed Geraldo Rivera and let Oliver North host a show. If you’re well-known for having few to no redeeming qualities, the modern Republican Party wants YOU!