Ah, Donald Trump.
Donald Trump, the man who proves that only in America can you inherit $200 million from your father, file for bankruptcy four times, and then be hailed as a successful self-made man. The land of dreams.
Donald Trump who, with his fake hair, fake face, fake bank account, fake ideas, and fake life, is pretty much the embodiment of everything that ails America today.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Donald Trump, presidential candidate.
Yes, I realize that, even by complaining, I only make things worse by just mentioning his name.
But still — how did we get here? More importantly, who do we blame?
Well, I'll start close to home: I'll blame my fellow conservatives. There are actually some movement conservatives who've fallen for the Trump scam — who actually take his PT Barnum show seriously, who actually believe the man could one day become president, or (perhaps even worse) would make a good president.
But what's even worse in the conservative camp isn't these few deluded souls. It's the money-driven conservative organizations who give Trump a platform, knowing very well that they're playing a game where everybody gets suckered and the world gets worse, but they get to pocket a few extra dollars by giving Trump a speaking slot. So many of the people on the money and organizational side of the conservative movement are dedicated and tireless activists. Yet there are also many crooks who are just mooching off the others, and we need to do more to get rid of them.
The other culprit is also close to my home: the media. Trump could be a successful, or bankrupt, real estate developer. But does he have to have a reality TV show?
More importantly, why does the media cover Trump's pretend presidential runs? Journalists officially write stories about his run while privately snickering that he is just doing it to promote his TV shows. (Or he might just be in it because of megalomania — who knows.) Journalists are stewards of a public trust, of the commonweal (though not as much as we sometimes like to think). It's ridiculous for the media to cover Donald Trump as if he's a legitimate candidate.
Mind you, he's not illegitimate because he's never held elected office. (We need more candidates who haven't been politicians. I'm still holding out a smidgen of hope that Ben Carson will get serious about policy.) Nor is the problem that he's rich or a reality TV celebrity. It is the fact that Trump clearly has no interest in the job and cannot be bothered to come up with a single credible policy.
It's ridiculous for the media to cover Donald Trump, period, as I am doing right now. Shame on us.
And finally, just shame on all of us. Underneath all that hairspray is almost certainly a fearful little man who must be so extremely sad because of an enormous need to overcompensate for some flaw. But we use him for our entertainment. Some of us honestly, and some of us the way we watch a trainwreck. We gorge on his BS because we find it entertaining and we enjoy mocking him, and so we build up monsters like Donald Trump. Don't we have anything better to do?
As I said, Donald Trump exemplifies everything that's wrong with America. And the people responsible for that is not him, it's us.
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.