“He Who Cannot Be Named” — aren’t we allowed to report on Donald Trump? The alternative in the American television lineup: Gun TV.
Oh, Donald Trump! What are you doing to us? You seem to have more evil powers than Lord Voldemort, the wicked wizard in the Harry Potter books. The wannabe president lets himself be driven to ever-increasing new depths.
This is exemplified by his great idea to bar all Muslims from entering the United States, the land of unlimited possibilities. He includes, naturally, Muslim students and others who already have been granted visas.
The U.S. under Trump would be a land of limited possibilities. The Constitution’s key phrase regarding religious liberty would be simply suspended. But Trump has been reshaping his world to suit his tastes for decades. Voldemort’s creator, author J.K. Rowling herself, compared Trump to her evil wizard.
The British seem to be especially “not amused” by The Donald. They drafted a petition seeking to deny him entry to the island. By Friday it had already got more than 500,000 signatures. The question was asked in the House of Commons, the lower house of parliament, whether Trump could be declared a hate preacher who would be denied entry on those grounds. And London Mayor Boris Johnson let it be known that he might avoid certain areas in New York to preclude bumping into him accidentally — a cynical comeback to Trump’s claim that London police avoided certain areas of the city out of fear.
Cynicism vs. Lunacy
But can Trump’s lunacy be overcome with irony and cynicism? The Internet is full of that, an eternal stream on the Timeline. There are a few isolated Tweets that attempt to reverse Trump’s success in frightening people, not with jokes, but with pure reality. Tayyib M. Rashid tweeted “Hey @realDonaldTrump, I’m an American Muslim and I already carry a special ID badge. Where’s yours? #SemperFi #USMC.” At the bottom he posted a picture of his U.S. Marine Corps identification card.
Trump finds the idea of forcing Muslims to carry ID cards a charming one while he — the super-patriot — never served in the military himself. Rashid’s tweet has been shared 39,000 times thus far.
Everything Trump has done for months has resulted in a gigantic echo. No other presidential candidate gets as much attention; every provocation he makes is argued back and forth. And after each new outrage, his poll numbers have risen and he currently leads the pack: 35 percent of Republicans would vote for him according to a CBS survey. And Jeb Bush? Fast approaching the unmeasurable zone with a mere 3 percent.
Could the answer be to stop reporting on Trump? Just like “He Who Cannot Be Named,” as Voldemort is called out of pure fear in all of the Harry Potter books? To hysterically follow his every cue really has nothing to do with good journalism. It reveals instead a bit of desperation in the U.S. media — the fear that they may be disappearing along with Twitter and Facebook into total irrelevancy.
Polemics, Provocations and Lies
Ignoring Trump isn’t the answer. In the Harry Potter books, no one defeats Voldemort by ignoring him. Granted, no other presidential candidate currently has Harry’s charms or headline potential, but shrewd news coverage has a good chance of demolishing Trump’s strategy of polemics, provocations and lies.
But demolishing Trump’s strategy? On the Internet, talking animals get all the attention — and get more clicks. The Time Magazine spread planned for Trump being crowned Person of the Year (the award eventually went to Angela Merkel) simply showed a video of his photo shoot.
There he sits at his desk, the pompous boss, and next to him a bald eagle, symbol of the United States. The bird’s name is Uncle Sam — it would be hard to find anything more symbolic. When Trump reached for something off-camera during the filming, the eagle attacked him; Trump recoiled in panic. Animals: They’re always equipped with the right instincts. Great! We hope the American voters are fitted with those same instincts. The first primary voting takes place in January.
Anyone seeking an alternative to the Trump TV show might be interested in a new shopping channel that begins broadcasting seven days a week in 2016: Gun TV. Order your Glock, Beretta or Smith & Wesson right from the comfort of your own recliner! If you order immediately we’ll include the ammunition for it at big, big savings. A world Donald Trump is sure to think is just splendid.
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