By Ron Hart
It has been a remarkable month. Donald Trump (“Citizen Vain”) has taken the country by storm. Disgusted with both Democrats and Republicans, voters have found their bombastic, iconoclast mouthpiece. Other Republican presidential hopefuls have gone from condemning him to paraphrasing him.
He is controlling the tone, tenor and tempo of the campaign in showman-like fashion. (Do not tell him I said that; he might get a big ego.) Republican candidates who have tried to confront Trump find themselves on the defense.
Both anti-“inside-the-beltway” presidential hopefuls are on fire. Trump drew 30,000 supporters at one rally in Alabama and socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders got 25,000 to join him at a campaign appearance in Portland, Ore. To be fair, you can get 20,000 people to join you in Portland if you just start a drum circle or begin playing hacky sack in a park.
Room temperature IQ Joe Biden is likely to join the race with Queen Hillary reeling from her lying and all the scandals. Our Chiclet-toothed Veep, who reminds me of a lookout for a massage parlor, smells a Hillary indictment and wants to take advantage. This parade of clowns—Biden, Clinton, Sanders and Trump—is like a government bailout for us political humorists.
Hillary is so close to going to prison that Bill Clinton has already started working on excuses why he can’t make conjugal visits.
Several catchy campaign slogans have fanned the candidates’ popularity. Bernie Sanders’ is “Feel the Bern.” Trump’s could be “Trump: There Will Be Hell Toupee” or “Stump for Trump.” Hillary’s should be “It’s My Turn, Dammit.” Or better, “Vote Hillary—Not Technically Indicted … Yet.”
Trump held his own in the debate. He stood firm on his unbending immigration stance. Just to punctuate it, afterward he had Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio deported.
Politicians who get a lot of press often develop delusions of competence. But it’s really only novelty. Trump is formulating his policies on the run. My sense is that he did not write any policy statements before he ran because he didn’t think anyone would take him seriously.
Trump has not thought through all the issues. His immigration plan would have not allowed his own grandfather to immigrate from Germany. But worry not: A charismatic German politician with bad hair who can draw enthusiastic crowds has historically turned out well. Oh, wait.
Against all conventional political wisdom, he somehow soldiers on—and the country is loving it.
My theory is that, aside from voters’ universal hatred of the political class, Trump is not afraid to be Trump. The other politicians cater to various special interest groups and lobbyists in formulating their focus group-tested opinions. Trump just reacts. It’s refreshing, but politicians and the media don’t know what to make of it.
We have been told for eight years that Americans should be ashamed and lead from behind, that our best days are behind us and we are bad. Obama kowtows to Putin and wears mommy jeans and a Dukakis-style helmet while pedaling his bike on Martha’s Vineyard. He tells us we are in decline; that we should be ashamed if we succeed, make money and think America should control immigration. Trump takes the other side. If you think unchecked immigration cannot change a country, ask Native Americans.
He resonates with young folks in much the same way as rappers. His braggadocio is unapologetic and works because Americans are tired of being conditioned to be PC wimps by liberal Democrats.
On the other side of the spectrum, country music songs agree with Trump. Note the lyrics of a popular song: “I ain’t rich, but I damn sure want to be … I know everybody says money can’t buy happiness—but it could buy me a boat … it could buy me a truck to pull it … it could buy me a Yeti 110 iced down with some Silver Bullets.”
Trump’s non-politician way of exposing the dysfunction of America’s government is working. This is what our country is all about. He is a third-generation, successful American who is now trying his hand at politics. Trump is a great American who can bring to Washington what our Founding Fathers brought in their day: powdered wigs.
(Ron Hart is a syndicated op-ed humorist, author and TV/radio commentator. Email Ron@RonaldHart.com or visit RonaldHart.com.)