Monday, January 25, 2016
Donald Trump likes to call people "stupid." Whether he's referring to President Obama, Congressional leaders, the media or his opponents, the Republican front-runner has so far delighted his supporters these past eight months with an unprecedented flurry of demeaning ad-hominem attacks and inflammatory rhetoric.
But now he's calling these very same supporters stupid, claiming there's nothing he can do to lose their backing, not even if he committed a horrific act of violence.
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, okay, and I wouldn't lose any voters, okay?" Trump said at a rally over the weekend in Sioux Center, Iowa. "It's, like, incredible."
Well, Trump's narcissism is, like, incredible, okay? Think for a minute about what he said, and perhaps the underlying disdain for his supporters. His ego is so gargantuan, his rapacious Id so deprived, he's convinced himself that he's so important and desirable that he could literally kill someone without political cost. The level of "they'll-love-me-no-matter-what" presumption here is astounding.
That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of his supporters' intelligence or ability to reason. It's pretty insulting, in fact. That Trump thinks his "fans" are mindless morons who will blindly follow their Pied Piper like rats into the drowning pool is quite telling. But will they care? Will they finally turn all their "anger" on him? Will this insult--one that's aimed squarely at them instead of one of the bloviating billionaire's enemies--be the long overdue final straw that brings down this vulgar house of cards?
It's one thing to sit at a rally and be entertained by a modern-day Morton Downey Jr. as he mercilessly rips into his opponents. It's quite another to be the target of his contempt.
Monday, January 11, 2016
"I went to the Wharton School of Business," Donald Trump routinely brags at his campaign rallies. "I'm, like, a really smart person."
And I'm, like, really? We don't believe you. We think you're full of it, just like you grossly exaggerate and lie about virtually everything else pertaining to your personal and professional life (note the Politifact study illustrating he tells the truth just 1% of the time).
On paper, Trump's educational background appears impressive. He first attended Fordham University and then transferred in 1966 to the real estate studies program at Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree.
But contrary to his self-aggrandizing over-the-top embellishing, Trump's two years at the prestigious business school, from all public accounts, seem mediocre at best. His fellow students have no recollection of him. No Dean's List, no Honor Roll, no notable extra-curricular accomplishments. A completely unmemorable academic existence, including continuing rumors that his grades were unimpressive.
So is the Republican front-runner--the man who questions President Obama and Sen. Ted Cruz's citizenship, and who calls everyone in government "stupid," an academic fraud? Is his self-purported "smarts" as mythical as the Muslims he claims were dancing in the streets following the 9/11 attacks?
The "Transcripter" movement demands that Trump release his full Fordham and Wharton transcripts. It's time for him to prove just how smart he is, or isn't. Let's see the grades. I suspect his GPA never cracked 3.0, which is why the transcripts remain a hidden mystery.
Tuesday, January 05, 2016
Donald Trump's rallies are true political phenomenons, drawing the kind of crowds normally reserved for rock stars. But the reason why 10,000-20,000 people wait in line to see him isn't because they're hungry for a detailed policy speech by one of America's great thinkers.
Nor are they coming to see him, contrary to much speculation among the punditry, because they're so "angry." MSNBC's Jacob Soboroff interviewed Trump supporters at a recent rally but these 'great American patriots' couldn't even intelligently articulate why they're so enraged. One exasperated woman sighed, saying she's "Tired of all the lies we've been told...and I believe everything Donald Trump says..." I guess she missed the Politifact study illustrating that Trump tells the truth just 1% of the time.
So what is it then that's driving this unprecedented attendance? It's simple: Trump's rallies are as hot a commodity as Jerry Springer tickets. His "fans" are there for the spectacle not the substance. They want the hockey fight, not the game itself. The game bores them. They just come for the brawls and bloodshed. And Trump gives 'em plenty of both. "Don-ald, Don-ald, Don-ald!"
It's the same reason why MSNBC, CNN and the rest of the mainstream media lavishes so much free airtime on Trump, hanging on his every word and covering his rallies live like they're U2 concerts. Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and all the other GOP hopefuls are lucky if they get a 20-second clip, while Trump's on the tube 24/7. He's a ratings bonanza, guaranteed to do or say something so outrageous and offensive that it would make even a train wreck wince. Racism? Sexism? Xenophobia? Bullying? It's all part of the daily Donald Trump Road Show.
To be sure, the media can't get enough of Trump. And neither can the simple-minded citizens of Smalltown, USA, for whom Trump is likely the biggest celebrity they'll ever see up close. Let's face it, when you're in Ames, IA, Hampton, NH or Hilton Head, SC, going to a Trump rally just might be the most exciting thing you can possibly do.
But bracing the November weather to vote, however, is an entirely different commitment. History and statistics show that come election day these fired-up Trumpites will likely stay home, click the remote and simply switch to another salacious reality show.