Given that those who trouble to read these blogs are of inordinately high intellect, I’m sure that you not only know the definition of the key word in this title, but also could easily suss out to whom I refer. However, in the off chance there are some small few for whom the word does not ring a bell, I offer the following definitions:
1. A public figure, such as a politician or an actor, who makes outlandish, strident statements on issues, thinking that the average man will care about their opinions.
2. Someone who pontificates about issues of which they are uninformed, yet pretend to be expert.
3. A pompous blowhard who uses their celebrity to speak about topics on which they are totally unqualified.
Yep, you got it. This could only refer to The Donald of which much has been made of late. It’s been suggested by my editor-in-chief, with whom I share a bed, that I should not be writing about Trump for at least two reasons. First, he is such easy pickings that to dis him is far beneath my lofty aspirations not to mention, my dignity. I might even be accused of dog piling. Secondly, given his predilection for legal remedy, he might just sue. The first I reject on the basis that if you can’t pick on someone like Trump, who can you ever pick on. The second I also reject primarily; because if he didn’t sue Rosie O’Donnell….you see what I mean.
I actually know Donald Trump. Well, know might be stretching a point. But I have only supped with him, and during this time at table, I had a lengthy conversation with him about the state of affairs in Trump world. Perhaps, it’s more accurate to say that I listened while Trump talked. That’s what passes for a conversation with Trump. I’m pretty sure though that he wouldn’t now know me from Adams house cat. The occasion was a dinner at his private club, Mar-a-Lago for which he was trying to sell memberships so he could pay the rent. I was accompanied by my darling wife, S. The Donald, or Donny as his good friends call him, was in the company of his second wife, Marla Maples Trump. S. sat at the table with Marla and I was stuck with Trump. I was asked later what I thought, and I replied that I thought someone had really screwed up the seating chart. No, really, I did have one important takeaway about Trump. When he is in full charm mode he is amazing. That, and the fact that he can talk for fully three minutes without taking a breath.
There are those small minded few who opine that Trump, who has never held elective office, is in no way qualified to be president of the US of A. Let me offer some evidence to the contrary. He’s rich, he has built tall buildings, he had his own TV show, and, he has a demonstrated knack for marrying really good looking women. Still not presidential you say. Well, let’s take a look at some of the ways he is qualified. Take foreign policy for example. Unlike Sarah Palin who could see Russia from her kitchen window, Trump actually has some chops in this area. He has (at least he says he has) several hotels with International in the name i.e. Trump International Hotel and Tower (New York City), Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, Trump International Hotel and Tower (Chicago), and Trump International Hotel and Residence in Phoenix. Plus I know he has a hotel with the Trump name on it in Panama City, Panama, as well as a hotel and golf course in Scotland. So I guess you could say so long as we’re conducting foreign policy with the Panamanians or the Scots, he’s our man. And he’s pretty good at working International in to everything else he owns or is associated with.. The topper to his foreign policy creds is much closer to home. His first wife, Ivana, was from the Czech Republic. In fact, Ivana Zelnickiva Trump, who is pretty sharp in her own right, didn’t even become a citizen until 1988. Then there’s the current Mrs. Trump, the former Melanija Knavs who then became Melania Knauss before she became Mrs. Trump 3. She was born in Sevnica, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, otherwise called Slovenia. She didn’t get her US citizenship until 2006. So you can see that The Donald has had close, even intimate, relationships with foreign nationals. Oh, I forgot to tell you that Donald’s grandfather who emigrated to America in 1885 was named Friedrich Drumph, Like many of his era; however, he was determined to Americanize, and renamed himself Fred Trump. Hmm. Just think, if old Friedrich had not been anxious to become more American, at least in name, we might now have Drumph International Hotel and Tower. So you see what I mean, no one can say that The Donald lacks foreign exposure and experience.
Ok, you say. He passes muster on the foreign credentials front. What about the economy? What about budgets? Finance? Hah! This may, in fact, be his strong suit. First of all he’s worth billions. No one can seem to agree on how many billions, but come on, even one tinsy billion is proof positive that he know something about money. And if that’s not enough, what about his four bankruptcies. Yes, I know that they weren’t personal but rather corporate bankruptcies, but they did have his name on them and he did control them at some point in time. Lot’s of business guys have been through or associated with a bankruptcy, but four…that’s the thing of legends. So let’s put this to bed. We can safely claim these were Trump’s bankruptcies, and they, as much as anything shows that Trump can travel in the financial fast lane with anyone. Hell, he can even go nose to nose with another republican candidate, and a woman, who ran a really big company and got fired for it. Some might say that bankruptcies aren’t necessarily proof positive of Trumps’s financial knowledge, but that just shows what the average joe doesn’t know about big business and high finance. Big bankruptcies is how America got built. Look at the evidence. General Motors, American Airlines, to name but two recent examples. Those deals didn’t get done by a bunch of rubes. It took real skills, real vision, real energy and real leadership. Just like we need in Washington to Make America Great Again.
I haven’t looked real close, but I’m pretty sure we would find that The Donald has an equally impressive background in other pressing national issues like Social Security, Health Care, Immigration, and Income inequality. Well, maybe not Income Inequality. He does know what it’s like to be rich, but he may lack a little insight on the other end of the pay scale.
You, of course, know that most, not all, of the foregoing was offered with tongue-well-in cheek. Let’s return to reality and refer back to the definitions above. Is Trump a bloviator? You bet he is? In fact, I was surprised that his picture didn’t appear in the dictionary beside the definition. He targets angry people with great success, and he stokes their anger. Trump can say less, by saying more with no substance and great pretense of anger, but with great panach. Go figure. I wanna know where these people in the polls come from. Who are these angry people and why are they angry? And why would they raise their hand in public for a certified megalomaniac. A friend who has done business with Trump over the years told me that there’s not enough room in the room for Trump and his ego. Look, he’s not stupid, and he’s gotten a lot of complex deals done over the years, and he’s married some really good looking women. But does that qualify him for the presidency? Of course, not. You know it, I know it, and I think that even the people who are raising their hands for him know it. Hell, he probably knows it too.
Why do they do it then? Fawn over Trump that is. Why to they give him standing ovations at even his most inane remarks. Lemme give you a theory. It’s, in part, his celebrity, but the real reason is political anger. Political anger in the raw. It looks to me like about 25-30 percent of our voting population at any one time is so angry about something or everything having to do with (big) government, that they would vote for anyone, regardless of qualifications or positions on the issues if he/she convinced the audience that their anger was shared. The smart guy on the fringe does it by throwing what we used to call “gorilla dust” in the air. Stir the pot, obfuscate with ultimatums, denigrate the status quo, recall the good old days with fervor, speak only in generalities with what passes for passion, castigate the establishment, speak of destroying the elite, ruling class, and while you’re at it, get the socialists too. Solutions aren’t necessary. Specifics are avoided. The undocumented immigrant problem…build a big fence. Secure the border. Never mind that 40 percent of all illegals in the country got here with a legal visa in hand. The threat of ISIL…send more troops to Iraq. Prevent a nuclear Iran…use more sanctions or bomb them and take their oil. And above all, guns. Guns for everyone everywhere. Shoot first. It’s all self defense. The 2nd amendment says so. I wrote about political anger in a post I”m Mad as Hell…on November 15, 2010. In it I concluded that “…anger is closely related to paranoia, it’s the handmaiden of fear, and a first cousin of hate.” The other conclusion I reached that political anger is less useful than it might appear because anger, even political anger is not sustainable over a long period of time. It loses steam at some point even for Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.
The slice of America that has pushed Trump to the top of most polls thinks it’s a good thing that he has no experience in government. It’s good that he’s not “sweating the details”. It’s good he will say or do anything to get attention. The more angry Trump is, the more they like him. That’s why he won’t be there at the end.
I’d be truly morose if I didn’t know it won’t last. Some form of the anger will last, but Trump won’t. Like Perot in ’92, he will sooner or later add up the numbers, and having gotten all of the notoriety he can use, will do the math and figure out that spending large chunks of his own money in a losing cause isn’t worth it. Then he will go back to his more comfortable, normal state of fleecing investors…a truly happy man. A bloviator to the end.