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The Trump Card

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Megalomaniac millionaire Donald Trump’s recent media crusade to find the answers to President Obama’s birth certificate problem certainly have put a bad stain on the reputation of the Republican Party. In a mere ten days Trump has achieved a cult like status in the GOP by touting a long ago disproven conspiracy theory and used brash rhetoric to describe his stances in regards to Libya and China. In fact, he ranks second only to Mitt Romney and in a tie with Mike Huckabee at 17% of Republican primary voters who would support his candidacy for a seat in the Oval Office.

 More or less, commentators and the mainstream media have shrugged off this potential candidate as a publicity stunt not worth covering, for which I partially agree. Although what most miss is not that Americans necessarily support the Donald winning the ultimate prize, on the contrary they support someone like him. What they want is a straight shooter, someone who will not dance around the totem pole for a “politically correct” answer to a question. Ultimately, America has reached the point where reality television has defined the norm of the conversation.

Let me explain. The reason so many people love reality television, particularly trashy shows, is its unscripted nature. Admittedly, it is much more fun to watch the home wrecked lives of young girls on MTV’s “Teen Mom” or watch the crazy party antics of Snookie on “Jersey Shore” than it is watch a traditional sitcom with cliché plotlines and one dimensional characters. Despite the fact that those characters are so far removed from the lives of real people, it is still humanity at its most raw and primitive emotional state. The people on those shows do and say what we can only dream of.

 Sadly, the dryness of politics has brought it to a level of party line statements supplemented by canned talking points. If Barack Obama debates a normal Republican candidate, like a Mitt Romney or a Tim Pawlenty, neither one will say anything truly controversial or realistic to what most Americans feel. If they did their political career and White House chances would be over.

 Donald Trump, on the other hand, has found a way to splurge together reality television and politics. Using his eccentric and hard-edged business personality from the “Apprentice,” Trump can say pretty much whatever he wants. So he can make outrageous claims about the President’s birth certificate or say a crazy plan with China because he will have a “reality show aurora” about him. The best part is, if the press does attack Trump for anything he says, then he can come back to say “Look, I’m not a politician, just a businessman with no shot at winning the White House,” or at least put in a more tactful tone.

 That being said, will the American people support this charade? Maybe. As an actual candidate, Donald Trump will have to answer questions about changing parties multiple times and being remarried several times. He also epitomizes the exact greed in corporate America that many Americans saw as egregious during the 2008 crash.  Having a gold shower hardly puts you in the category of modesty. Not the mention, he has made some bad business deals and has most likely made a few shady deals. He also has never run for public office or held a public office of any kind, not even state dog catcher. 

  Despite all of these negative characteristics, he still has reality show immunity and a way of being a straight shooter, something the American people desperately want. So in a sense, the Snookieness of his celebrity could be a plus.