So, in a resoundingly idiotic performance premiere, Donald Trump descended to earth via shopping mall elevator to announce his aspiration to be the Republican Presidential nominee in 2016. Trump, who is mega-rich and media savvy, has almost been a candidate in the primaries previously, close enough anyway to secure the headlines he so richly seeks and simply gains. This time--2015--he's in.
He slings around some dingy remarks, glories in his own grandeur, spits out vitriol at those who don't think him a cultural blessing, then blasts Mexicans, and he's off and running. John Stewart can barely contain his glee. His writers will have no problem with material for as far as anyone can see on the horizon. Trump is a billionaire bozo whose shoot-from-the-hip gunslinging is going to create untold collateral damage. Just watch. Take cover, but stay tuned.
But he's Donald Trump, so he doesn't make mistakes--it's that simple. When the world thinks he's an idiot, he just bears down because Donald Trump is Donald Trump, don't you see?--he can't be wrong. Look at his empire, for pity sake. He's as rich as everyone wants to be in America. Just look what he's done in Vegas, man. If he says a whole ton of Mexican illegals are rapists and you say that's bigotry, hey!--you're some kind of butt-kissing idiot. If he says that gay marriage erodes the sanctity of institution, he should know. He's on wife #3.
Okay. He'll be great on-line, where it's easy to read little more than sentences. Right now, it's early in the morning, but if he hasn't already, he'll certainly say something in the next few hours that'll earn him a soundbite, something shocking, something Hillary the wuss never would.
Okay. He's Donald Trump, one of the most recognized names in America. Okay.
But in a matter of 48 hours, what happens is "the Donald" skies. In just a day or two he moves from class clown to number two in Republican Presidential candidate polling, second only to Jeb Bush, the Jeb Bush he skewers unrelentingly on his way up the charts.
Seriously? Among Republicans he's #2, passing Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Chris Christy as if they were standing still, which they are. Passing Ted Cruz who really ought to filibuster him. Running over a whole host of vastly more legitimate candidates as if they were quack grass.
Who likes this guy? You're serious? Are these people idiots? There are moments when I honestly question the legitimacy of American democracy. If people are that stupid, they shouldn't be allowed to vote.
I'm not alone, of course. Conservatives question democracy too. After all, they've passed significant legislation, gerrymandered bizarre voter districts with a dog whistle that doesn't say but most often implies or suggests keeping the ballot box away from voting blocks they know never vote Republican. Why not? Because, well, those people are idiots.
Seems to me we all sometimes wonder about democracy, especially when the line in the sand is what it is today, a political Royal Gorge.
Even the founders drew lines, for pity sake. Even the writers of Constitution of these United States--Franklin, Jefferson, et al--never considered enfranchising slaves. Horrors! unthinkable! Or anyone from this country's First Nations. Or indentured servants--'t'would be inviting chaos, would it not? Or, for that matter, half the populace--women! Who on earth would believe that women have the right to vote? Idiots.
The government passed the historic Voting Rights Bill only fifty years ago, for heaven's sake, twenty years AFTER World War II.
Most all of us would love to keep those people with idiotic opinions out in the back forty somewhere way-the-heck-away from a ballot box. After all, you don't give this precious American right, the right to vote, to plain idiots.
You know the old story. As he emerged from the constitutional convention, some eager beaver asks Ben Franklin what kind of government he and the rest of the signers gave us. "A Republic," he says, "if you can keep it."
No kidding. Democracy is still an incredible, revolutionary experiment. For the last eight years we've suffered through a bout of bitter paralysis brought on by factors no two of us would likely agree upon--Republican recalcitrance, socialist Democrats, an outlaw President, Elmer Fudd tea-partiers. Choose your banner.
Democracy, it seems, is still very fragile, relying as it does on thoughtful voters unified primarily by their desire and ability to manage a country by getting along with people with whom they sometimes vehemently disagree--a government of the people, for the people, and by the people.
A dream really. An experiment. An ideal. A government sustained by idiots all.