Ok, folks, I admit I spend too much time on Donald Trump. I need a 12 step program. Dr. Phil, help me!
And judging from comments to some of my prior posts, my popularity is Trump-dependent. As his approval rating rises, mine drops, and vice versa.
One of the beautiful things about this country is our First Amendment. The other nine aren't bad either, although everyone has their favorites. The ACLU especially likes the First and the NRA is particularly fond of the Second Amendment. At any rate, thankfully here we are all free to say darn near any bone-headed thing we want, which includes Trump-- and even me. Of course, the difference is he's running for election, and I'm not.
The Huffington Post has made a decision to put Trump news in their Entertainment Section. And now there are a few other candidates who probably should also be made to stand in that same corner.
Trump has taken the lead in his ability to dominate the news with his reality TV behavior and publicity stunts. The more outrageously he behaves, the more attention he gets, and the higher his poll numbers go. He never needs to spend a dime on advertising-- he gets all the exposure he wants for free. And they said Reagan was Teflon! Well Trump is downright triple-coated non-stick space-age slippery. He can brag how rich he is, and then claim he's fighting for the little guy. He can yell about Chinese stealing American manufacturing jobs, and make his own line of ties and shirts in China. And even though he avoided the military with multiple school deferments and a convenient medical deferment, he can disparage John McCain's military heroism. He can call Mexicans criminals and rapists, and yet asserts that he will carry the Hispanic vote. Now that's confidence. Admittedly, he is full of-- self-esteem.
Trump appears to have consumed all of the air in the room. It seems the only way any other candidate can get any attention is by either mocking him or by mimicking him.
Former Texas Governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry has gone the furthest in scorning him, calling Trump ". . . a barking carnival act . . . a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued. Let no one be mistaken - Donald Trump's candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded." Yikes! And some people think I am harsh on Trump?
Other Republicans are now imitating the Donald by trumping up some publicity stunts of their own. They will learn an old but true lesson-- you can't beat a man at his own game.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has created a corny video where he is seen attempting to kill the tax code by burning it, throwing into a wood chipper, and taking a chain saw to it. Obviously he has watched too many horror movies. It also appears that he is indifferent to how much violence there is in the popular culture. Apparently there wasn't a recycling bin handy. Here's this nightmare.
I'm no fashionista, but that wrist watch he's wearing looks a little odd with what he's doing and with that "Detroit Republican" t-shirt he's wearing. I think "Detroit Democrat" might have been a better selling garment. And honestly, even he looks a little embarrassed performing in this video. He is not only a US Senator, but also a medical doctor/eye surgeon who has done considerable charitable work around the world, and this is what he has to do to get a little attention?
Destruction and questionable fashion-sense seems to be the theme. A disheveled and uncomfortable looking Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has released a strange video where he is seen using multiple techniques to attempt to destroy his cell phone as a result of Trump vindictively announcing Graham's phone number. Apparently flip phones have Herculean qualities, and Graham is seen taking a butcher's knife to it, dropping it into a blender, taking a golf club to it, igniting it with lighter fluid (kids, don't try this at home), hitting it with a stick, stoning it (very biblical, obviously an attempt to appeal to the religious right), throwing it from a roof top, putting it a toaster oven, barbequing it, and skewing it. The video concludes with Graham pitching it like a baseball and saying "This is for all of the veterans." I'm very supportive of our veterans, but I don't quite understand how throwing your damaged phone is a tribute to them. (By the way, he reminds me of Mr. Burns from the Simpsons.) Here's this excruciating extermination of an innocent cell phone.
At any rate, it certainly was a lot of mayhem just to get rid of an old flip phone. What would Dr. Freud make of Graham's violence towards phones? Could it be a classic case of transference, and was Graham's hostility really directed at Trump? If so, I recommend one of those Trump piñatas to him. Now, I assume Senator Graham is a reasonably intelligent person. But perhaps he didn't know, he didn't need to destroy his phone at all. He could have simply changed the phone number. Just another example of government waste. I suppose Graham could have tried to sell it on craigslist, but I don't think there is much of a market for used flip phones-- particularly if they have a rotary dial.
Both Paul and Graham missed one obvious kill-method that would have appealed to NRA members--the shotgun. Graham could have catapulted that phone into the air like a clay pigeon and KABOOM! The only ringing he would be hearing is the ringing in his ears.
As an aside, generally speaking, I am against telephone genocide. There are a couple of exceptions, such as when one answers their phone in a theater, or when someone is texting while having dinner with me. And certainly texting while driving should be a capital crime for the offending phone.
Even Trump pal Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is now playing "follow the leader," and like Trump, is engaging in name calling. Recently on the Senate Floor, he said Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "flat out lied." Gee, I'm not sure calling your party's majority leader a liar is good for the GOP, but I suppose Mr. Cruz knows best.
Trump's words of choice for his foes, including many Republican candidates and pundits, are "dummy," "joker," "loser," "clown," and "lightweight." Perhaps he should publish a book on trash-talking for the other candidates to purchase--there seems to be an ever growing customer base. My head count is 16 GOP presidential candidates, including the one driving the clown car.
I can remember in 1992 when presidential candidate Bill Clinton received a lot of criticism from Republicans for playing the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show. They called it un-presidential and unseemly. At least Clinton looked hip in sunglasses playing the sax on a highly rated nighttime talk show. Compare that to the visuals Paul and Graham have created. And, as you might recall, Clinton won.
Play it again, Bill:
Note to the GOP: You've come a long way, baby.