May 2018 This week the Republican party showed without doubt that its 2016 candidate for President of the United States will be Donald Trump. The field began as a large field of rather diverse politicians and others. From the beginning Trump was the most popular, although he never got a majority of the primary votes in any state until his home state of New York voted a few weeks ago. Instead he has built an overwhelming position by winning a lot of primaries by getting more votes than any other single candidate, while not necessarily showing that he ids even considered a viable Republican candidate by many of the majority who voted for others. Add to these limitations the fact that he has not even declared himself a candidate for an elective office until very recently, the total absence of any public service (neither military nor civilian job at any point in his life),and a domestic history that includes three divorces. Oh did I mention Trump has not even declared himself a Republican for most of his sixty eight years.
Trump did declare himself to be too wealthy to need contributions to his campaign from anyone other than himself, although records show he recently received a tax break for which the law states he would be eligible only if he nets less than half a million dollars a year! His tax status is clouded by ongoing investigations into the possibilities of fraud, and these investigations furnish him with the excuse to refuse to release any past returns. This bizarre situation leaves the candidate in the position of being unable to refute any accusations about his real income or wealth, but it also leaves all the rest of us to reach our own conclusions without any hard data. He is free to boast that he is a self-made billionaire, while the rest of us are free to stay ignorant about the realities of his financial successes or failures.
The man reminds me of a personality type I used to encounter in bars back in the day. He would come in with an attractive if somewhat flamboyantly dressed female. His loud voice soon silenced or muted most of the conversation that had been going on while the man would remind us of various symbols of his claimed affluence and influence. Any question raised by any other patron would be answered by the man is bold, blunt assertions that demonstrated the certainty with which he responded to all others’ doubts. Mantle was the greatest baseball player since Ruth and Reagan had restored the American dream. Gold and investment in the man’s businesses were the only safe places to invest your money until a complete change in world business fortunes would come about through a devastating depression brought on by idiots who never would take the man’s infallible advice. Beer was a complete waste of good taste buds that should be nourished by the particular brands of bourbon on the man’s short list of approved beverages. This place needed a different paint job but it was his favorite watering hole because…. You get the idea.
Donald Trump is the self-proclaimed expert on how to make America great again because in his great eyes American greatness is whatever he thinks it is at the moment. He is the best leader this country can have because he always tells it like it really is, except when he has to change what he tells because he is the expert on the subject of when to tell the truth and when to say “what I have to say because that is politics.” You can trust him because he is the only one in the race you can imagine being yourself. You don’t know enough to be much of a President and you know it. But Donald is just as ignorantly opinionated as you are, and you enjoy believing you would make a great President even if you know better. This chutzpah or arrogance that makes Trump so repelling to so many also makes him attractive to all those guys who secretly envied the bar blowhard.