Guest MINDSETTER ™ Chris Westerkamp: The Trump Show - A Guilty Pleasure

Sunday, August 30, 2015


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Donald Trump

I confess. I am watching the vaudeville show known as the Donald J. Trump presidential campaign in a guilty state of wonder. I have that feeling many have with car accidents. I’m trying not to look but my resistance is weak. I look. I read about the daily adventures in Trumpland; then the guilt sets in as if my looking and reading is giving Trump the fuel necessary to keep the show rolling.

Saying that Trump has an outsized personality is a gross understatement. However, it doesn’t account for the magnitude of the interest in his candidacy. I’m confident that the underlying attraction of his gaudy show is the knowledge that it’s going to cause an awful crash.  Someone is going to get hurt.  Badly. And part of the attraction is we don’t yet know who or how many.

Super GOP pollster Frank Luntz said he was physically shaken after talking to a focus group of Trump supporters. Explaining their interest in Trump, people didn’t care about the voracity of his policies or the soundness of his ideas, like deporting eleven million human beings or getting Mexico to pay us to build a giant wall to keep out, well, Mexicans. These ostensibly conservative republicans didn’t particularly care if the views Trump espouses conflict with conservative dogma or make any practical sense whatsoever.

That made me realize that the Trump crash has claimed its first victim; the republican establishment. As I write this, Trump’s image does not appear on the home page of  Don’t go there to check if he’s still running. I checked the daily campaign blog. No mention of Trump. Just those Hillary emails!

Trump has made Republicans and everyone else keenly aware that the GOP (and as likely the DNC) has been rigging the presidential game for so many years we stopped noticing what was going on. They find a bunch of candidates that they can pigeonhole into the conservative narrative. That way they avoid questioning whether the ideas and beliefs conservatives hold onto are actually true.  Without Trump the parade of GOP candidates would all swear that lowering taxes on the rich stimulates the economy even though there is has never been any evidence to prove it.  In fact, George W. Bush proved the opposite to be true.  This week Trump complained about hedge-fund managers not paying enough taxes. “They’re getting away with murder.” he said. “They just move a bunch of paper around.” “They don’t make anything.”  Can you imagine Jeb Bush suggesting such a thing? He’d have to call and apologize to the many paper pushing hedge-fund mogul contributors who helped him build his $150 million campaign war chest.  

GOP Chairman, Reince Priebus must be experiencing has own shaky leg moments every time he turns on his favorite cable news channel (FOX?) to see the next episode of the Trump show. Mr. Priebus could probably go on vacation until the Trump crash crashes. There is no indication he saw the Trump mania coming. I suspect he’s a little depressed. It’s understandable. I would be depressed too if I lost control of my political party to America’s billionaire narcissist in chief.

Although I’m not especially a fan of Carly Fiorina, I find it disappointing that CNN is balking at including her in the next debate with the top ten so-called leaders. As of this writing, she’s solidly in the pack according to the latest polls. Yet there is some monkey business going on at CNN (and perhaps the GOP?) Don’t they know that Donald Trump is not going to stand for that kind of inappropriate behavior? He’s huge with woman.

What is obvious so far is that Trump’s campaign with all the clownishness and noise has people questioning the political establishment. The GOP has been hawking the same tired baloney year after year since Ronald Reagan. Are there republicans in the world that don’t think we need to increase our bloated the defense budget? Are there republicans that think we should lift the cap on Social Security taxes and expand the program or consider expanding Medicare into a single payer system? Are there republicans that know CO2 is changing climate on the planet? There are. But you’d never know it listening to the GOP establishment candidates. Makes you wonder what else you’ll never hear or worse what other ideas are not being considered or debated. It’s the GOP that should be feeling the guilt because of Donald J. Trump. So now I can watch the Trump show without the guilt - at least for another week.


Related Slideshow: 2016 Presidential Candidates by Net Worth


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