We all had that insufferable friend growing up who by virtue of having better off parents always had the latest sports gear. His ability to bring the shiniest new toy paid for his admission into the after school games. In my home state of Texas, tackle football was pretty much all that was played on such occasions, and this kid would always bring the brand new “official” ball of the NCAA. It was an amazing ball, with dimples that made it easy to grip for an imagined leaping catch in the endzone and laces that made it easy to throw. The rest of the gang couldn’t resist the temptation to let him play and thus get access to the highly coveted ball. Of course, bringing the highly desired game ball meant the kid would call dibs on playing quarterback. Inevitably, his slick and fancy ball was not matched by athletic prowess or toughness, and after a few minutes of a lopsided score and a few hard hits followed by writhing and crying on the ground, the kid would storm off in a tempest with the ball, leaving the rest of us bereft of a game to play and irritated that we let ourselves be duped again.
I am sure that a story painted in such light brings to mind a vivid picture to everyone reading this of that particular kid in their lives. Looking back, we may chuckle at the thought of the many different forms of immaturity that we encountered and that we unfortunately also possessed and displayed on some occasions throughout our childhood. Unfortunately, this type of behavior also manifests itself into our adulthood, it is just revealed in a different manner. The great tragicomedy is that such behavior is rampant in the person of Donald Trump, who recently dropped out of the Fox News debate due to the fact that anchor Megyn Kelly will be a moderator and, paraphrasing his words, she treats him unfairly. The boorish and childish behavior does not end there. Fox News trolled Trump a bit by indicating that Putin and the Ayatollah of Iran would likely fail to treat Trump fairly either. Obviously peeved, Trump’s response his been a childish taunt that the Fox News debate rating will plummet without him on the stage. The rant about ratings are the proverbial ball to take home of this buffoonish narcissist.
One great challenge for the Republican Party is that Trump is more deftly politically calculating than many of us initially gave him credit for. In his real life version of the Presidential Celebrity Apprentice, the followers he has cornered eat this type of thumb in the eye action up. His calculation is to always stay in the media limelight with rash statements and actions. The more rash, the better, and the more entrenched his followers, the forgotten white working class, becomes. It is only too bad that many Americans are eating this populist schtick up. It is also too bad that other candidates have failed to paint a more optimistic vision of how principled limited government that adheres to free market frameworks is far better than electing an unpredictable billionaire unmoored to any specific ideology. How long, Americans, will you continue to willingly engage in this dangerous reality show? Time is running out.