Damn I miss Jon Stewart.
He would be having a field day with the Republicans. Donald Trump continues to trounce the GOP presidential wannabes, despite his tendency to blow your mind straight out of your ass with his racism, chauvinism, and general disdain for anyone not named Donald John Trump. Hell, even his hair wants out of the race (his head looks like it threw up on itself), yet there seems no levy strong enough for Hurricane Donald.
But given Stewart’s contrarian instincts (when is this guy going to run for office? Jesus, if Al Franken can dork his way to the Senate, what’s to keep Stewart from the Oval Office?), he might have given a heartfelt thank you to Trump.
Not only for the punchlines, which are endless. But also for revealing, like a reality show, what America truly craves: Someone to own it.
Stewart even had a name for the current American political landscape: Bullshit Mountain. But, in all honesty, you couldn’t blame Trump for adding to the pile, currently at new heights thanks to Democrats and Republicans alike.
Listen to contenders in the ’16 field, and they spend more time explaining what they’re not than what they are. Not a racist, not a homophobe, not a tax-n’-spender, not an atheist, not a comin’ for your guns. It’s a strategy of pre-emptive apology, lest they offend and, gulp, go viral.
Not Trump. He’s one of the few politicians to admit wealth, though all possess it. Trump not only will tell you “I’m rich,” but he’ll pull out the checkbook to brag: $8.5 million and change. Ask him about a balanced budget, and he’ll say “I’ll hire accountants.” Foreign’ policy? “I’ll kick their asses.” As him if he’s a racist, and he can’t help but tell you he is, usually punctuated with an “and fuck you for asking.”
The result? The latest GOP poll numbers, if the election were held today, according to the AP:
Donald Trump 28.3%
Ben Carson 11.6%
Jeb Bush 8.0%
Marco Rubio 6.6%
Ted Cruz 6.1%
Carly Fiorina 5.8%
Mike Huckabee 5.3%
Scott Walker 4.7%
John Kasich 4.1%
Rand Paul 3.2%
Chris Christie 2.7%
Rick Perry 1.8%
Rick Santorum 0.9%
Bobby Jindal 0.6%
Lindsey Graham 0.5%
George Pataki 0.1%
Jim Gilmore 0.0%
If you don’t recognize most of these names, you’re not alone. But, for the record, the man in second place is the Detroit-born neurosurgeon who said in a March interview that homosexuality was “absolutely” a choice, explaining that “a lot of people go into prison straight, and when they come out, they’re gay.”
Regardless of your political spin, it’s hard to miss the parallels between Trump and Carson: Successful business men, not weaned on politics, willing to own their positions. Analysts say that Trump could redefine traditional campaigning, because he isn’t dependent on the Koch brothers (or any other lobbyists, for that matter) for cash. At this point, who could blame anyone ready for a slash-and-burn approach to governance?
We may regret that approach.
The polls suggest we crave something else: sustenance. That just doesn’t flourish doesn’t grow on Bullshit Mountain.