Thursday, April 21, 2011

Trump’d Is The New Punk’d

So, earlier this week I’m talking to a conservative acquaintance and he gives me his usual “they’re all crooked sleazebags” line (more on that later) and then he says, I shit you not,
“You know who I’m interested in? Donald Trump. I’d really be interested in hearing more of what he has to say.”

At which point I practically exploded in laughter. In fact, I even said, “How can you support someone whose own casino went bankrupt -- three times!” He replied, I shit you not,

”It wasn’t really a bankruptcy. It was reorganization.”

I mean, just ...oh my God. That’s just... so ... priceless.

Anyway, so I finally met one. You know, one of those Republican voters who have supposedly “embraced a Trump bid.”

Here’s the thing. As I’ve been saying all along, Trump is not running for president. This is absolutely, without a doubt, a hoax to boost ratings for his Apprentice franchise. That’s what I said when Trump first started talking about running. And the only ones to take him seriously have been our stupid mainstream media and political punditry, which never saw a shiny-sparkly piece of political theater it didn’t like. And when Trump announces on the Celebrity Apprentice finale that he’s not running, the media will look like idiots yet again. It’s Balloon Boy all over again. I will be absolutely gobsmacked if I’m wrong about this.

Seriously, look at this:

See, Trump has been "seriously" considering a run for the Oval Office since last October—or, just weeks after season 10 of The Apprentice got off to a franchise-low start.

Of course, the timing could be a coincidence. Or not.

Yeah call me a cynic but I’m going to guess ... not. Seeing viewers lose interest in his reality TV show last fall, the master of gimmickry came up with the best promotion ever for the spring season of Celebrity Apprentice. I mean, when your idea of "celebrity" is Gary Busey, Meat Loaf, LaToya Jackson and NeNe Leakes, no wonder your ratings have tanked. But it’s worked:

The story begins in February, when Trump is a distant, but surprising fourth-place finisher in a survey of Republican voters. He polls at 8 percent.

On March 6, the new season of Celebrity Apprentice premieres, and averages 7.9 million viewers, down 5 percent from the previous spring. 

So, it's bad for Busey and the men of Backbone that Trump is searching for President Barack Obama's birth certificate, right?

On the same day, March 13, that Trump kicks up to 10 percent in a CNN poll, Celebrity Apprentice moves up to 8.1 million viewers.

A few weeks later, on April 3, the show hits a new season high, with 8.6 million viewers. Trump's support among GOP voters, meanwhile, increases to 17 percent in an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.

Okay, there’s more ... Trump’s vocal birtherism has come with a marked decline in the show’s ratings. Who knows if they’re connected? All I know is that this is undoubtedly a ploy to boost ratings. And anyone who buys this nonsense (and near as I can tell that’s pretty much just our news media) has been punk’d.

So back to my conservative acquaintance. We actually agree on a lot of things. He believes money and greed have corrupted our politics, he believes corporate influence is out of control, he thinks corporations and rich people should pay more taxes. He thinks the Tea Party is nuts. But his answers to these problems are not necessarily the same as mine.

But where we most differ is in his steadfast belief that government is inherently corrupt and evil, that every politician is a lying, money-sucking scumbag, that the nation is in a steep decline that will inevitably result in civil unrest of apocalyptic proportions, and that the entire world is headed toward a one-currency/One World Order scenario.

I won’t get into that crackpot One World Order stuff (like, for instance, who exactly is going to take over? Every empire which has tried has failed, including ours). I think the whole disillusionment thing is a feature, not a bug. See, the more people believe that they’re all corrupt and what’s the point of even being engaged, the more the plutocracy wins. Sure, David Vitter was a sleazebag and so was John Ensign but Clinton got a blowjob and John Edwards is Rielle's baby daddy. So let's just wash our hands of them all, right?

Really, what is the point of that kind of thinking? Does anyone believe that the only person worth leading this country is a saint or Jesus Christ himself and until those people come along we’re better off just tuning it all out? Yes, our politics and political process has been corrupted, yes we need clean and fair elections and we need to get the big money out of politics. Do those two things and you will have done a lot to root out the sleazeballs and scumbags.

But no, we now we have a bunch of people who believe the entire process has been corrupted and taken over by sleazebags and slimeballs, getting punk'd by the biggest slimeball of them all. As if getting taken by the Grifter From Wasilla wasn't been bad enough, you folks now think the Grifter From Manhattan is going to be any better? Really, people? Hey I think I know how this movie ends. And hey, with any luck maybe we can get our voter turnout even smaller next election. It’s not like people aren’t disillusioned enough as it is, right?

Anyway, I thought I had posted this here before but if you haven’t seen Lewis Black take down the idea of a Donald Trump candidacy, you are in a for a treat. Maybe what this country needs is a Third World dictator.