My newterm’s resolution was to waste less of my life following the lives of brash, needy and vacuous celebrities, and instead devote my soul to more stimulating matters: political comment. But it seems that the line between the two has been blurred beyond recognition because at the grand finale of the current series of Celebrity Apprentice, Donald Trump is expected to announce his run for president. Yes, the highest political position in the most powerful country in the world could soon be in the hands of a “reality tv president”.
Luckily there is (almost) no way he is going to win. And it’s virtually entirely for non-political reasons. Firstly, and there really isn’t a sophisticated way of saying this, he’s a bit of a jerk. The average American voter no doubt wants the most qualified man for the job, somebody who will get things done. But they also don’t want somebody who reminds them of their high school tormentor, or quite possibly, the arrogant and obnoxious weirdo with the dodgy hair that nobody wanted to sit next to on the bus. By focusing his campaign on the “birther” issue, hounding President Obama first for his birth certificate then for all his school records from kindergarten to Law School, he has come across, to the majority of the American public, as quite creepy, incredibly petty and just as charmless as the “character” he plays on his TV show.
Similarly, despite his constant bluster about the spare cash in his attic, there is no clear evidence why this would make him a good president. Arguably, America’s most popular president, Abraham Lincoln, was born in a one-room log cabin, held many odd jobs and seemed to do okay. One also has to be sceptical when his fortune seems to change all the time. One moment, he’ll be boasting “Forbes says $2.7 billion, I can tell you that’s a very low number. It’s much more than that…I think people will be extremely impressed” and the next essentially admitting that he makes the number up according to how he is feeling. Would you trust this guy with the lunch money on your bod card, let alone your country?
Unlike the “stupid people” he claims are running the country, Donald says he has never experienced failure in anything he has done. This strikes me as odd for a man who has declared corporate bankruptcy four times, seen his “Trump Airlines”, “Trump Vodka” (he falsely believed that in a few years T&T- Trump and Tonic would be the most popular cocktail in America) and “Trump Monopoly” all crash and burn, had his “Trump University” receive a failing grade by school assessors and who possesses hair that has been described as looking like a “sunken apricot soufflé”.
So Obama didn’t turn out to be the messiah after all. His coming wasn’t really “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal”. But while Trump was shouting for his right to see what grade Barack’s Grade One teacher gave him for his recorder playing, and boasting he’d greet future Chinese delegations with classic Donald hospitality: “Listen you motherfuckers, we’re gonna tax you 25%”, Obama got on with his job and found bin Laden. Will 2012 really be the year Americans give up on youthful optimism and faith in political change and simply vote for the mean guy from The Apprentice?
Alistair Luca Renton