Thank You, Trump

Thank You, Trump

by Thomas J. Feliciano

Published in Visions Newspaper | November 2015

Trump

Imagine a world where the President of the United States stands at the podium for his inaugural State of the Union Address. He begins: “My fellow Americans, I’ll make this short and to the point. Immigration, you’re fired. Muslims, you’re fired. Foreign Policy? FIRED!”

The above is an example of a hyperbole, sure. Exaggeration or not, these statements reflect some of Donald Trump’s positions in the current bid for Presidential nomination. The only thing missing are the comments on President Barack Obama’s religion and country of origin. To this day, Trump simply refuses to accept that President Obama is a Christian American. But that’s beside the point. In Trump’s world, he’s speaking the truth. That’s one reason he deserves to be thanked.

What Trump has done these past few months is expose the framework of the current American political system; one that relies more on celebrity than on precedent, on perspective more than fact. In a world where $5 billion speaks louder than even the sharpest political diatribe and the number of followers on Twitter is reflective of your worth to society, Trump is the perfect candidate. Who cares if what he says is true? It doesn’t need to be.

The goal isn’t to prove to the American populous that he’s the image of Plato’s “Philosopher King.” The goal is to get people speaking. To him, about him, positive, negative; it’s all relative. What matters is that Trump is on the tongue, one the screen, and on the page. He’s not speaking to source-checking, self-sufficient American scholars. He’s preaching to the choir of his niche, a fringe on the outskirts of American thought. If the opposition finds him crazy, good. That means they’ll mention his name more than the other candidates. Who else is running, anyway?

The GOP is not short of candidates for the Republican nomination in the 2016 Presidential election. Among potentials who’ve entered the race are: Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Governor Chris Christie, Senator Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Senator Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Governor Bobby Jindal, Governor John Kasich, Senator Rand Paul, Senator Marco Rubio, Rich Santorum, and the aforementioned Donald Trump. Is it a mere happenstance of alphabetical order that Trump is lucky number 13?

The most current polls show Trump continues to lead in New Hampshire. Fiorina is closing in at second, with Rubio on her heels. The rest of the pack is an open race. Carson, Bush, and Kasich are all making their stand somewhere in the distance. The other candidates are mentioned briefly, if at all, and seen even less. Gov. Christie of New Jersey echoes his dissatisfaction on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. On the program, Gov. Christie told the hold he wanted to flail his arms in the air to draw attention to himself during a recent debate.

Such late night television talk shows have proven important campaigning tools. The serious contenders make the rounds, and Trump is an instant ratings booster for any program. His celebrity status, his pattern for making ridiculous off-the-cuff remarks, and the overall controversy that surround him all guarantee viewers. Stephen Colbert, the former host of the Colbert Report and current host of the Late Show on CBS, poked fun at Trump on quite a few occasions since the debut of his new show. Trump thought it was appropriate to appear on the program and speak for himself.

Colbert began the interview by thanking Trump for running for President saying, “I’m not going to say this stuff writes itself, but…” To which Trump only chuckled. As their conversation progressed, Colbert told Trump that he was not surprised by his lead because, “…the Republican Party’s been a big pusher of the idea that money is speech. And you’re a ten billion dollar mouth!”

Therein lies the problem: Trump’s money gives him a freedom not afforded to other politicians. Instead of going through lobbyists and getting the Party’s approval, Trump is financing his entire campaign out of pocket. In the scenario that Trump is not successful in his quest for nomination on the Republican ticket, he has the money to run as an Independent and split the voter’s opinion, allowing the Democratic nominee an easy victory.

At this stage, the Democrats have only two candidates on the ticket: Hilary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders. Vice President Joe Biden has time to announce his candidacy, as expected.

Imagine again, a world where Donald Trump is the President of the United States. A man quoted as saying, “Sadly, the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by Blacks and Hispanics – a tough subject – must be discussed.” American political system: YOU’RE FIRED!

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