Friday, May 13, 2016

A Trump by Any Other Name

Like most other sentient Americans, I’ve been thinking about Donald Trump plenty over the last couple of months. Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: I’m not voting for him.

But I am thinking about how a Trump presidency can best be avoided, so I was disappointed that a judge has postponed the class action suit involving Trump University until after the election. I don’t believe that there’s anything that will convince true believers to do anything other than truly believe, but watching Trump defend himself might have opened the eyes of those who might otherwise be convincing themselves that he wouldn’t be half bad.

Back in the day, when Trump was more a laughing matter than a fear factor, I posted about Trump University a couple of times:

Hey, Donald Trump. Wossamotta U? (2011)

The Donald: still being schooled on Trump University (2013)

But that was back in the day, when Trump was just a blowhard reality show host, not the potential leader of the free world.

I keep thinking that the world would be a safer place if Trump’s family had stuck with their original last name, Drumpf, rather than anglicize it.

How much would The Donald’s “brand” be worth if his name were Drumpf? Drumpf Tower? Drumpf Steaks? Drumpf Vodka? I think not.

Even if he’d had a German name like Loesser, we might have been saved. Loesser Tower? Loesser Steaks? Loesser Vodka? The only thing he could have branded around that name we “Loesser of Two Evils.” Which he most clearly is not.

Instead, in his first bit of luck, he lucked into the name Trump, with its connotation of on top, victory, winner. Sigh.

But, as I said, Trump is no longer a laughing matter. Even if he’s defeated on November 8th – and there’s no guarantee that of this – his candidacy, if he keeps following the same playbook that’s gotten him this far, will foment discontent, animosity, perhaps even violence. I can’t imagine that anything good will come of this…

Pink Slip, over it’s nearly decade-long life has pretty much avoided politics. It might not take a genius to figure out what my politics are, but it’s generally not what I want to write about. But I don’t want to be sitting here a year from now, watching bad things happen to good people – Mexicans roughed-up on job sites, hijab-wearing girls having their headgear pulled off, women who look like they might have voted for Hillary being pushed around  – without having said something.

I’m not voting for Donald Trump, but not in the same way that I wouldn’t have been voting for Jeb Bush or John Kasich.

Trump frightens me. I’ve read way too much about fascism not to be scared of him. Is he Hitler? Not at all. But he does carry with him plenty of aspects of fascism: the nationalism, the fear and loathing of the other, the condoning of violence, the scorn for the media, the lack of respect for opponents, the strong-man-ism, the emotional appeal.

…it is now clear that Republicans will be led into the presidential election by a candidate who said he would kill the families of terrorists, has encouraged violence by his supporters, has a weakness for wild conspiracy theories and subscribes to a set of protectionist and economically illiterate policies that are by turns fantastical and self-harming.

The result could be disastrous for the Republican Party and, more important, for America. Even if this is as far as he goes, Mr Trump has already done real damage and will do more in the coming months. Worse, in a two-horse race his chances of winning the presidency are well above zero…

…Mr Trump’s triumph has the makings of a tragedy for Republicans, for America and for the rest of the world

That’s not The Nation saying this. It’s The Economist, a center-right publication, and a source of plenty of Pink Slip posts over the years.

Anyway, with this, I’m off politics. But I really did have to say something. Donald Trump is no longer a laughing matter. Wish they’d kept Drumpf for their last name. Good marketing move – I’ll give them that. But “the makings of a tragedy for America and for the rest of the world.”

1 comment:

Frederick Wright said...

Mr. Trump's rise and success with the GOP base doesn't surprise me one iota. I am merely disappointed that the media has completely ignored the fact that he's no different than any other GOP politician of the last 40 years, except that he's put down the dog whistle, closed the code book of their words and phrases, and announced in clear, honest plain speech the GOP message of hatred, divisiveness, rancor, ignorance, and nihilism. Anyone with the least grasp of rhetoric has heard these messages loud and clear for decades from the GOP.