I don’t want to write this.
I really don’t.
The Captain is so tired of all the media coverage of Donald Trump. He’s sucking all the oxygen out of the news feed and is so overwhelming the other candidates with his bullying tactics that I didn’t even realize some of them were still in the race.
But, mates, this is getting serious. The Iowa caucus is on Monday and Trump is still the front-runner!
How in Hell is that happening!?!
And he is growing more cocky about it.
This week he bragged that he was so popular he could “stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I would not lose a single voter”.
It’s off-handed comments like these that keep me awake at night!
This is not presidential material!
Do you remember in 1984 when President Ronald Reagan was testing a microphone and quipped, “My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”
That shit’s not funny!
Especially when tensions between the U.S. and Russia were high!
The Captain can imagine this happening on a daily basis with a Trump presidency.
Do you remember a couple years ago when everyone was worried about campaign finance laws and how the PACs and Super-PACs would ruin our democracy? Do you remember how everyone was concerned because the Koch brothers were building a well-funded political machine to put their candidates into place?
None of that apparently means anything in the current presidential race. The Koch brothers' political machine and their billions of dollars are impotent. Even the well-funded and highly-connected Jeb Bush can’t get any traction in this campaign.
For what it’s worth, the Captain is polling only 2% lower than Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul, running neck-and-neck with Rick Santorum.
And now, with the Iowa caucus just days away, Trump is throwing a tantrum – carefully orchestrated to keep his name in the news – trying to manipulate fellow billionaire Rupert Murdock into replacing Megyn Kelly as the moderator of tonight’s Republican debate. Trump says he won’t show up if she stays.
He’s still mad at Kelly from a debate five months ago when she asked him to explain his previous misogynistic statements.
Sadly, he actually thinks FOX network is going to lose money if he doesn’t participate in the debate.
He obviously doesn’t realize that television networks make money through ad sales, not tickets sales.
In retaliation, Trump plans to host a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project to compete with the Republican debate.Huckabee and Santorum are joining him there after their "undercard debate".
Ironically, the Wounded Warrior Project has recently come under fire for its lavish spending. Begun in 2003 in a basement to provide backpacks for wounded war veterans, it has grown into a fundraising behemoth, taking in $372 million in donations in 2015.
Just the kind of project Trump would support!
But WWP spends some 40% of that for administrative costs – which includes marketing (to raise more money) and expensive trips like in 2014 when it flew its 500 employees to Colorado Springs for a corporate retreat and celebration of a record-breaking fundraising year.
Many other agencies supporting veterans keep administrative costs below 10%.
WWP employees have admitted to flying first-class for business-related trips, and staying in $500-per-night hotel rooms.
Again, just the kind of project Trump would support!
But like his mind-boggling statements on the campaign trail thus far, his antics are not hindering his progress toward Iowa either. He is still the front-runner, with equally-cukoo challenger Ted Cruz hot on his tail.
And he continues to gain endorsements: right-wing harpie Ann Coulter, TV wrestler Hulk Hogan, reality TV star Tila Tequila, outspoken Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and – of course, VP-wannabe Sarah Palin.
His entourage is starting to look like a Clown Car!
|*With apologies to Ringling Brothers Circus.|
Even the gun-totin’ president of Liberty University, Jerry Falwell Jr., has declared Trump to be the Evangelical Christian candidate of choice.
Despite the fact that Trump's attitude and political positions are far from both Evangelical and Christian!
Captain’s Note: The Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Executive Director, Ralph Reed, has endorsed Ted Cruz. Now what will Evangelicals do?
It is important to note, however, that Trump has received no endorsements from a sitting member of Congress.
So what’s really going on here? Is Trump really serious about being President?
The Captain sees two possible scenarios here.
First, hopefully, Trump is filming another reality show. Unfortunately, the other Republican candidates don’t know that they are the contestants.
But here’s a more likely scenario.
Did you ever see the 1983 movie “Trading Places”? It stars Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
So you know the Captain has seen it many times!
In that movie, Wall Street investors Mortimer and Randolph Duke make a bet with each other – for one dollar – that they can ruin the life of one of their up-and-coming managing directors (Aykroyd) and replace him with a poor street hustler (Murphy). As this “nurture-vs-nature” experiment unfolds, Murphy overhears the Duke brothers laughing about their bet, and he teams up with Aykroyd to get revenge and make things right.
Jamie Lee Curtis plays the beautiful and kind-hearted prostitute who helps Murphy and Aykroyd get their revenge.
So here’s what the Captain thinks. You know Trump has long entertained the idea of running for President. You might remember this quote from 1998:
|It's almost like he predicted 2016!|
So somewhere in a back room at one of Donald Trump’s casinos, one of his billionaire cronies made a bet with him – perhaps for no more than a dollar – that he would never be elected President! To make it interesting, the rules would be that Trump would have to campaign while wearing a stupid baseball cap and making the most outlandish statements any candidate would ever dare to make.
Unfortunately, his antics are dragging down the other candidates – and the Republican Party – as they strive to keep up with this apparently new style of campaigning.
With his anticipated absence from tonight’s debate, perhaps real substance can be discussed and the Republican Party will find a better candidate around which to rally.
We can only hope.