Ramona's picture

    The Donald Dilemma: Loves The Crowds, Hates The Presidency

    I've been watching Donald Trump pretty closely (How to avoid it? Dear God in Heaven, how to avoid it?) and I have a theory.  Bear with me now, because at first you're going to laugh.  I know I did.  But here it is:  The billionaire Trump would rather die than be president of the United States.  But then he'd rather die than give up the attention, the fabulous, almost surreal attention.  From the people, from the press, from the Big Guys in Washington, from the world!  It's all his!  Donald Trump's!  He can't give it up!  He just can't!  But, damn, he does not want to be president.

    One day, back in 2015, the showman Trump, the billionaire Donald, ridiculed by many, unliked by most, on a lark, dipped his toe--the most amazing toe in the world, let him tell you--into the presidential pool, and something magical happened.  People--ordinary people--liked him!  They really, really liked him!  Some of them thought he'd make a great president! Not just a great president but the greatest president this country had ever seen!  Maybe the greatest in the world! Him! Donald Trump!

    He came up with a clever slogan.  Such a clever slogan, you wouldn't believe: "Make America great again!"  Word got around that this billionaire with no political ties was going to make America great again.  The crowds came.  They roared.  He roared.  They were hooked.  He was hooked.

    It didn't matter that he didn't have a plan.  It was enough that he agreed to hate all the people they hated, that he spoke off the cuff, that he said the most outrageous things--godawful things--and got away with it.  It became a spectacle and the show began to run on its own steam.  It was better than any juicy, shocking reality show.  It was better because they were all in it, participating, instead of just watching it on their TV screens.

    But then something happened.  Donald Trump began to be taken seriously.  Some members of the fawning press went from enjoying the pure folly of it to asking him the hard questions.  The questions any serious presidential candidate should know.  Questions about the economy, about policy, about world affairs. But that's not what interested him.  Not in the least.

    He saw he would need to attack the press and make them look silly.  And again, because everything he touched miraculously turned to gold, it worked!  Beautifully!  The press, because his campaign was the best copy ever, became his lap dogs.  To his own surprise, they gave him so much free time he didn't have to spend a dime of his own vast fortune to get him to the very top. 

    Heady stuff, that.  Not something a narcissistic egomaniac could easily turn his back on.  So what to do?  He didn't want to be president!  Live in the White House, that tacky old relic?  Deliver him!  Deal with a Congress that wouldn't give him his way?  Not on your life!  Learn the names of all those countries, their leaders, their cultures, and whether or not they liked us or  wanted us dead in our beds?  He was a Wharton graduate--a graduate.  School was over!

    So Donald being Donald, he decided he needed to put an end to it.  The president part, at least. He was enjoying the hell out of the attention--who wouldn't?--so he would have to figure out a way to keep the crowds coming, even though the idea of being president was beginning to seem like a real loser.

    He would be their fearless leader, instead, demagoguing his way into their heads and hearts; he would keep those auditoriums, those stadiums filled to the rafters.  He discovered, to his utter shock, that all he had to do was talk.  He could do that!

    He recognized early on that it was the throw-away, comedic insults that drew the heaviest crowds, that brought the shouts, the laughs, the catcalls. They loved him, not as a presidential candidate, but as an entertainer! Who knew?

    He kept it up and they kept coming.  The press couldn't get enough of the Phenomenal Donald  He could insult them, call them "scum", point at them in their press boxes with a finger that oozed hatred, and still they would come.  What the hell was going on?  He didn't know, he didn't care.  He was Number One.  Numero Uno.  One.  As in O.N.E.

    But, Good God, he might be president!  How could he tell Melania Darling she might have to leave their Park Avenue penthouse?  What to do, what to do?  One day, as he was busy bragging himself up so as to avoid having to contend with real issues,  he told the crowd that his followers were so loyal, "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters."  The press went wild!  The internet went wild!  No way! Did Donald Trump really say that?

    He did.  He did say that.  And even though he hadn't planned it that way (I'm guessing), it could well have been the moment he'd been waiting for.   Who says something like that and gets away with it?

    Donald Trump, that's who.  But so far, it hasn't hurt him AT ALL.  He hasn't moved from the top of the polls, the mighty polls.

    But Trump has just announced that he won't be attending the Fox News GOP debate--the last debate before the Iowa caucuses.  Why not?  Because Megyn Kelly will be moderating and he can't stand her.  At the first debate she was rude to him.  Downright mean. She dared to ask him how he would handle the criticism about the nasty comments he's made about women over the years.  In answer, he began to make nasty comments about her.  Over and over, day after day. He called her a bimbo, a loser, a bad reporter.  He suggested it could have been menstrual flow causing all that meanness.

    When he heard Kelly would be on the moderating panel, he gave Fox an ultimatum.  Megyn or Trump.  He harrumphed that Fox would never give up the crowds his presence would bring.  They would have to cave.

    They chose Megyn

    "Unlike the very stupid, highly incompetent people running our country into the ground, Mr. Trump knows when to walk away," Trump said in astatement. "Roger Ailes and Fox News think they can toy with him, but Mr. Trump doesn't play games."

    Trump can talk like that because he is not now and never will be a politician.  He is a businessman who glories in his ruthlessness, a wheeler-dealer who always wins, a showman more comfortable in an arena than in an oval office.

    He finally gets it: That, while the power and the glory of the presidency could be his, it won't come without four long years of compromise and crushing responsibility.  He won't always get his way.  He'll be required to work hard and give much.  His every action will be answerable to millions of people who aren't among his gushing followers.  The Megyn Kellys of the world will dog his every step.

    He won't be able to stand it.

    I want to help him.  I really do.  I want to make sure he's never president.  Oh, I know he won't be grateful. He won't thank me.  But sometimes it's those thankless jobs that are the most rewarding.  So, how about it?  Care to join me?  Can we put this poor guy out of his misery already?


    Also at Crooks and Liars here.


    There have been rumors that The Donald agrees with you! As do I ... but if he keeps rolling right along, how does he get out and still save face?

    I think he could do it by gradually transitioning his speeches from politics to social demagoguery.  Then he could go on the road with Sarah Palin and wow those haters big time!

    My daughter thinks it's the greatest reality show ever, that he's just going to keep building it up & then pop it at some point. I'd imagine *after* he's won some contests - better that way. Maybe do a "here's Hillary", maybe something else. Maybe just do a Network-style "this has all been a joke, you've all been had - thank you for watching".

    People are thinking he has to be setting himself up for something else, but maybe this is his final David Bowie moment - it's not like he has to do anything, and a permanent meltdown would be historic. No, he doesn't look like the Supreme Court or head of the United Nations kind-of-guy, and a "I was just kidding" signoff wouldn't exactly work.

    Stay tuned - as Hunter Thompson said, when the going gets tough, the weird turn pro.

    Oh, he'll definitely stick around through several wins since his ego wouldn't allow otherwise. If it can manage a loss or two on the way to the nomination - questionable at best - his head might exceed his hair in perceived volume.

    But since Ramona is absolutely right, he won't continue much past the nomination (should the Republican electorate implode). He'll have proven himself to himself, and will find a way out before risking a loss in the general. Me? I see him claiming his business and/or family needs him back on board ... sorry, America, I hate to do it, but I have to put my legacy first. My kids, my wonderful children and their kids, the people who work for me and all their kids who will work for me later - I can't let them down, America. But I'll never stop working to Make America Great Again! (cue cheers)

    The "quitting to spend more time with my families" excuse?

    "His word is  his bond" -Corey Lewandoski, campaign manager, on whether Trump will walk back his debate boycott....Funniest line of the century....

    You dare question this?  The man is a saint!

    "Good for a handshake!"  (We need a new chapter of the bankruptcy code, chapter 14, for the handshake creditors....)

    Interesting angle, Ramona. I do think he would love to be President but in his case, and different from most other candidate, there may be a sizeable personal cost to him losing, in Iowa, other states, or the whole race. .

    I don't think Iowa is a cinch for him, caucus goers being hard to predict. Ditching the debate seems to give him options. The rationale if he loses---see, you have to keep fighting the establishment, they're against me.  If he wins---see, I beat those turkeys, I've got cross over appeal that won't quit.  Maybe he just doesn't want to take any heat---which kind of goes with what you're saying.

    He's not over spending on ads in Iowa when he apparently has the resources to do so, which again supports your take on him.  

    It's obviously a bit tongue-in-cheek.  But only a bit.  I think he's just beginning to realize that being president isn't the same as being king.

    He will get a big bounce out of this in the polls. 

    I agree he never expected to reach this point. And is probably spending a lot of time wondering how to bailt out without seeming a wimp. "Please god send me a heart attack ( a little one,please) so I can get out of this mess."

    Beyond that,"Who knows?"

    .And/or "Who cares?"

    To the extent I'm interested( not much ), I'm just curious to see how he explains why he's backing  out when that happens .Meanwhile he's  huddled in some waiting room waiting to see whether the  "horse may talk"..

    Stranger things have happened. Hope this one doesn't.

    It didn't seem to hurt Sarah Palin when she stopped running for any office.  I doubt it'll hurt Donald, either.  He'll be joining her as the unpredictably goofy but highly entertaining first acts for the GOP.  Not a bad gig if you can get it.

    I, for one, will be glad when Trump finally gets hoist by his own petard. Then we can all go back to watching Jerry Springer.

    Hey, watchit!  I will have you to remember that partner Springer (D) was a helluva mayor for (I think) cincinnatti.

    Your fandom has nothing to do with his bouncing a check to a prostitute, I'm sure. BTW, he also advised RFK.

    I think you've put your finger on it, Ramona. And he's in a real jam.

    You need to have a big ego to be President. But you can't have a fragile ego. It's not a job for narcissists.

    But how to avoid the presidency without losing? And losing in public?

    It's a lose-lose situation for The Donald. And he put himself in it, all by himself.

    Heh. Heh. Heh.

    Yes, he did.  All it took was one packed auditorium and he couldn't turn back.  It'll be interesting to see what he does now.

    I am at a loss.

    How did this ignoramus get this far? ( we are all ignorant, the definition of ignoramus after all?)

    Bloomberg is looking a lot better?

    To me anyway, I wish he were the repub candidate anyway.

    Hillary or we lose!


    I have no idea why this song grabs me right now, but...if the ignoramus wins?

    Ramona, looks like your intuition was correct.

    I can't be second!  I just can't!  Waaaaahhhhh.

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