Out of the Blue: Donald Trump — our reality TV president-elect (opinion)
Out of the Blue
One of the major headaches liberals have been trying to wrap our heads around with the mere concept of a President-Elect Trump is that even though he occupies most headlines on most websites on most days, it’s unclear what his true motivations are.
Casual fans of The Apprentice know that Donald Trump loves being famous, he loves being clapped at as a cultural figure, but with something like the presidency, what’s in it for him? Was his whole bratty campaign a power grab? Does this guy really want his finger on the button?
My theory is that he doesn’t. First and foremost, being the leader of the free world is a hard, hard job. Dubya was able to dog-paddle through his eight years nonplussed, but just think about all the late-night TV jokes about Obama’s hair having grayed with worry during his stint in the oval office.
As president, one has to be available all the time for important debriefings, one has to travel almost constantly, and while there are extended vacations to be taken, as a whole, the act of leading the United States is never done. There’s always another task at hand.
Most political theorists theorize that if we’re to take candidate Trump seriously (the jury’s still out), Trump is lazy guy. I know that sounds demeaning (I visualize him barking about how he could never have won the election by being lazy), but of all the candidates who got in the ring to run for president, Trump was the one who did the least amount of homework.
He loves to make big, bold promises, but any kind of legitimate follow-through is anathema to the guy. He wants the spotlight, empty phrases that will drum up jubilant applause, and then a turbulence-free flight on the Trump jet back to Manhattan.
This protocol-breaching phone call Trump made to Taiwan? He likely staged it to rustle the bushes, to make sure no other domestic political shadowed the Donald.
Again, consider the homework that would be implicit to staging such a volatile international issue like this. Do you think the guy took time to analyze U.S./China relations and what the status of Taiwan’s statehood had to do with trade arrangements and governmental respect?
I doubt it. One can imagine somebody in Trump’s inner circle asking, “You know what would really get The New York Times to freak out?” and Donald subsequently acting as he did.
So all this concern about conflict of interest and how it will infiltrate The White House in January — it’s totally unambiguous. Donald Trump wants to make some coin and stay in the spotlight of his choosing for four years.
Many Democrats want to hold onto the olive branch offered to Trump by President Obama when he stated that if Trump does well, America will do well, also, but that assumption unfortunately is a bit convoluted.
A cousin of mine recently sent me a joke about Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump all arriving in heaven.
When God asks Hillary and Barack why they should be admitted, they offer earnest, comprehensive accounts of the good they’ve done for others in office, and they’re of course ushered through the pearly gates.
When it’s Trump’s turn to speak to God, Donald points to him and says, “You’re in my seat.”
Trump wants the acclaim and the prestige without bothering to broadcast a modicum of interest in meriting such accolades legitimately.
As he ushers familiar Fox News talking heads into his cabinet, it’s clear he wants to be surrounded with yes-men, folks who will laud the Donald and champion the Donald while doing his homework for him the whole time. It’s classic bully-on-the-playground mentality.
This big-mouthed bully will continue striving to earn as much cash as he can under the auspice of national progress, and even though his lack of finesse and outright disdain for thorough integrity or the keeping of policies seem like they should be anchors to his success in this regard, he will somehow very likely pad his pockets.
He’ll be first in line to grab cash from newly-formed international deals and organizations and will relieve himself upstream of the country he’s supposed to be working for. He really doesn’t care.
Trump is looking for enough money to buy a few more gold commodes and a chance to turn his presidency into four big-ratings reality TV seasons. He probably couldn’t even find Taiwan on a map — he’d just have somebody in his inner circle confirm that, yes, it’s in Asia somewhere.
Mike Restaino is a writer and filmmaker based out of Incline Village. He is also a Vice Chair of the North Tahoe Democrats. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.