Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Donald Duck(ed) and things I hoped we learn

At least that farce is over: listen, Donald Trump never was going to run for president....never. That's why he jumped in with the birther nonsense. It was a sure way to get publicity and it was a sure way to make sure he wasn't going to win because he would never make it in the general because of his comments.

I think he was surprised when he shot up in the polls - of course, I am wary of polls - I think pollsters tend to ask the folks where they are most likely to get the answer the people hire them to get want to have. So they asked a bunch of people who didn't like the president if they liked Trump and they did.

Lesson 1: Realize we live in a 24 news cycle and that means where there is no news, someone will create it. Even if it means interfering the second cousin of the the niece's daughter's son daycare nursery assistant to get it.

This also means if someone is sitting on a pedestal it is not news that people like them. It's news when people want to knock them off.

That's why Barack Obama got great news coverage when he was running. Not because he was the great hope, but because he was the great hope running against Hillary Clinton. Raise Obama to knock off Clinton. Unfair to both, but hey, it's news.

He wasn't going to run because it meant revealing information: like his finances. For all the talk about his billions - he doesn't have that much money. Oh, he has a lot, his bankruptcies protected his wealth and added to it while discharging income for other people. But he's not a billionaire. He's Paris Hilton with bad hair. Family money combined with appearance money makes him rich. But that claim he was paid 2 million dollars for his 'genius'? Really? Is that the going rate for genius - 2M a year? The cast of Friends was paid a million an episode. Joey must be a freakin' Mensa candidate.

It also meant pulling his family back into the spotlight, including Ivana and Marla; just what we need, Dynasty 2012. I don't think he expected it to have the impact on his son and his son's charity work. His daughter, Ivanka would have been tormented as well. It's what happens and he would not have been able to stop it. Tiffany would have been hounded and seeing she's a teenager who has stayed out of the publicity that would have turned her world upside down.

Lesson 2: Know a showman when you see one. Seriously? When have you ever heard of anyone in any presidential administration calling DT to Washington for business advice? Don't you think that kind of genius would have been tapped by now? Buffet gets called. Gates gets called. Jobs gets called. Whenever you hear of the great, billionaire business minds getting together, and they do, you never see that name. But it could be because they're intimidated.

He definitely wasn't going to run after the release of the birth certificate. He was so proud he got it released. Sure, how much you want to bet someone in the White House went up to the President and said, 'Release it now and we can use the Correspondents Dinner to our advantage.' The timing was just too coincidental. People were running all over themselves saying he got the certificate released as if that was the goal. The goal was to see if there was something on there and it turned out there wasn't. Though some news outlets said smudges and lines made it suspicious. Not only did Trump get his ass handed to him by the president in front of a live audience where he dare not get up and walk out, it was handed to him spanked and with a brand new diaper.

For the past few years we've seen nastiness like never before and it all starts with us. We need to be a better informed electorate with higher standards for ourselves and those who work for us. We have to stop being so easily moved one way and then the other. We also have to stop defending ground just because someone is a Democrat or Republican or a Liberal or a Conservative as if that has any value at all. It doesn't. We don't even know what we're defending half the time. We're defending ideas and we don't always care if the idea is good. Sometimes if the idea is good but the other guys says it then the idea is bad. We bring this madness on ourselves.

I don't know how we walk back from the precipice but maybe the first step is to stop walking towards it.

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