I was happy to learn that Donald Trump was considering a run for president. And I wasn't surprised when I saw the larger-than-life real estate mogul and reality TV star — who hasn't even announced his candidacy — leading Republicans in a recent poll.
Why? Because I believe America deserves "the Donald" as president. An egotistical jerk-in-chief would match our pompous, arrogant attitude and approach to foreign affairs, the environment, health care, the budget and taxes.
America digs simplicity when it comes to political discussion. We love uncomplicated phrases, especially when it comes to complex problems. Rather than have a discussion over health care policies, Republicans attacked the measure framing it as "Obamacare." Trump's calling card of "You're Fired" is perfect for a country that branded its military attack "shock and awe." Never mind that more than 100,000 civilians died as a result of shock and awe, the phrase is catchy.
By choosing the birther brouhaha for the centerpiece of his platform, Trump chose the easiest possible issue to reach the dumbest possible people. (And as his poll numbers reflect, it worked.)
When President Obama finally produced his long-form birth certificate, Trump arrogantly congratulated himself — "I'm very proud of myself," he said. How perfect for a country that starts a war based on false information and then calls itself the defender of democracy and freedom.
An overblown, shameless self-promoter and billionaire who builds skyscrapers and casinos and then slaps his name on them seems like a great fit for a country that not only proudly spends more than any other on its military, but spends more than the next 20 biggest spenders combined — and six times more then the next biggest spender, China.
And how fitting that Trump would seek to represent the Republican Party, which in tough economic times advocates continuing to raise military spending while cutting health care for senior citizens and cutting taxes on the richest Americans — including Trump, who claimed in an interview with BusinessWeek to be worth more than $7 billion. Republicans fight for the military budget to continue to rise while $600 million disappears from the budget for community health centers, $1.6 billion is taken from the Environmental Protection Agency, $1 billion is to be cut from HIV and disease prevention funds, and $390 million is cut from low-income heating assistance.
We treat politics as if it were a spectator sport — or some reality TV show with clearly defined heroes and villains, depending on our political leanings. So why not cast someone well-versed in the genre to the nation's highest office? After all, most Americans seem more focused on reality TV than reality. During the "American Idol's" ninth season (!), 624 million votes were cast while only 58 million people voted in 2008's presidential primaries. (According to the New York City Board of Elections, Trump didn't vote in primary elections for more than two decades. He's just like us!)
We believe in style over substance and words over actions. We favor simplicity even in regard to complex issues because we have the attention span of infants as our focus is diverted from text messages to television commercials to sound bites. And worst of all, we don't care.
Recently, the U.S. Post Office issued a stamp featuring the Statue of Liberty. Only after the stamp was already in circulation did postal officials discover that the image was modeled not from the Statue of Liberty in New York City, but rather from a replica erected in front of a Las Vegas casino. When asked about the screwup, postal officials said they were quite content with the faux version.
America deserves Donald Trump.
Joeff Davis is CL's photo editor
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