Atlanta, GA – Donald Trump recently said “I am running for president!” And, predictably, everybody is smirking. We shouldn’t be.
A couple of years ago, at a Christian Summer Camp in Wisconsin, a group of us were sitting round at night talking about a strange subject somebody had brought up: Who is the most annoying and laughable American National Figure?
Although I gave my vote to Alex Jones, and somebody said Rush Limbaugh, (I disagreed strongly) the overwhelming consensus was that the person who took the prize by a long shot was Donald Trump. Only one girl in a far corner of the room backed up Trump.
I must confess I never thought he would run. And I always hoped he wouldn’t. Politics is a serious business, and the guy who ran Celebrity Apprentice, has hair that has become a national joke, and has a famous ego taller than the Statue of Liberty really isn’t the sort of person you want joining an already overcrowded Republican Field.
But while it is true, Trump has no chance of winning outside of something more unforeseen happening than an attack from Godzilla on Atlanta, don’t laugh. Really, don’t laugh. Trump won’t win, but he could do a whole lot of damage.
Donald Trump is the kind of guy the media loves to cover. He’s has a massive mouth, and when he opens it, headlines are created. And he doesn’t need anybody’s money, so he doesn’t care what anybody else says. So while a nomination race should be a serious and rational thing, (although they often aren’t) The Donald could make things even worse than usual by opening his big mouth, putting both his feet and hands into it, and causing even more turmoil among the already disturbed GOP.
And then there is that little matter of independent or left leaning voters. The Grand Old Party need em’, they won’t get em’ if Trump makes our whole party look dumb, or if he just turns off everyone by screaming nonsense.
And one last thing. If Trump does well in the primary which he won’t win, he just might find he enjoys his favorite pastime of self-promotion so much that he runs on a third party ticket.
Someone with Donald’s ego and Trump’s power is not the sort of person we should make fun of too much. Its’ easy, and yes, I know it’s fun. There is already an internet meme out with an image of him, saying “We shall overcomb.” But we should avoid laughing at him like we avoid chocolate. It’s good for our taste buds, but not our waist lines. And if we do have to eat, (and sometimes we do) we should eat it in a back room, not our in public. Because if Trump’s ego is hurt, if he finally realizes what most people think of him, then he might just run on a third party ticket.
Anybody remember the last time a billionaire did that? Ross Perot? He cost George Bush the Presidency, and the Republicans the White House, in 1992. And while Trump, who is currently at about 5% support, does not have enough dedicated supporters to give him the oval office, (although, tellingly, he has enough to make it into the FOX Debates) there just might be enough people in far corners of rooms all across America to help Trump to enough votes that he cuts the GOP’s tenuous numbers down so far they don’t win.
So please don’t laugh, its Donald, and he just rocked our world.
Andrew C. Abbott