His hairdo fits him, his facts — not so much: Donald Trump starts his presidential campaign with an irritating rant. Welcome to Trump-World.
Losers. The United States is a land of losers. That magnificent nation, leader of the global community with the most powerful military on the planet? All just a daydream of past glories. The United States is getting ready to kick the bucket. It’s a Third World country with a catastrophic infrastructure, no jobs and lousy politicians. Salvation is at hand, but there’s only one savior who can return America to its former magnificence! And that man, of course, is Donald Trump.
Welcome to the world of the most powerful American real estate tycoon and spare-time politician who on Tuesday — after years of flirting with us — has finally announced his candidacy for the presidency on the Republican ticket. From his kitschy swank 1980s Trump Towers. It figures. His name was first mentioned as soon as the country began preparing for another election year — and Trump played along. Now he’s really serious about playing along, and he’s proving it by linking his candidacy to an irritating speech.
In it, Trump tells the story of a nation in the pits. It’s a favorite theme used by Republicans in an attempt to give their own plans a quick surface-shine touch-up. And Trump knows whereof he speaks when it comes to kitschy swank; modesty isn’t part of the billionaire’s vocabulary. Whenever he’s asked why he doesn’t invest in a decent replacement for the ridiculous combed-forward toupee he wears, he merely insists it’s not a toupee.
The hair was back in New York on Tuesday but the speech didn’t go over that well. Aside from the fact that Trump’s plans are a bit more grandiose than those of other candidates in his party, not much was new. Clearly, more money buys bigger imaginary miracles, so under his leadership, President Trump will make America “great again.” Someone decided it would be appropriate to use Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” at this point as a theme. Nobody bothered to notice that the music came from the social criticism milieu and didn’t have much in common with Trump’s world. Young promptly distanced himself from the whole thing, and made it known that Trump didn’t have permission to use the song in his campaign anyway.
But his speech had nothing to do with reality, so back to Trump’s world. He said he wants to be America’s jobs president. More jobs, higher pay, more victories. He noted that there are no more victories over China, and boasted, “I beat China all the time. All the time.” Why are there no American-made autos driving around Tokyo? Because the U.S. gets everything wrong, especially with its border policy. “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they’re telling us what we’re getting.” President Trump, he promised, would have stricter rules.
Jobs being exported from the United States? No problem. Trump knows all the big shots and all the power players. One phone call and Ford would be building its cars in the United States again. That’s how a guy women call “darlin’” and who has a nickname like “The Donald,” as his first wife referred to him in an early interview, operates.
And “The Donald” would know how to handle the Islamic State, too. He doesn’t think any of the other Republicans would have a clue about that. “I can tell you some of the candidates, they went in, they didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work. They sweated like dogs. They didn’t know the room was too big because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS? I don’t think it is going to happen,” he said. He advised Obama to leave early and go golfing, inviting him to play on one of Trump’s golf courses.
For the better part of an hour, Trump presented an erratic picture of America soaring to new heights — heights that Americans can’t see. According to CNN, surveys show that even among Republicans, most have a negative image of the 69-year-old Trump. But he did manage to provide a moment of real entertainment in the Republican primary. Comedian and soon to be late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert couldn’t resist his own parody of Trump’s speech later that evening. The hairdo was perfect and so was the message. “I’m so moved by Trump’s depth of knowledge,” Colbert said. Beneath the election poster for Colbert was the sign “Shut up, dummy!” It was meant ironically. Unfortunately, Donald Trump means it in all seriousness.
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