“I give a lot of money away to charities and other things.”
“I think I’m actually a nice person.”
“I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”
These smug and self-important declarations bounced off the walls at Trump Tower as the (possibly paid?) audience mindlessly roared at every piece of drivel fired off from Donald Trump’s spit-flecked mouth. The rest of his speech followed in much the same vein: convoluted, often inaccurate and entirely narcissistic.
Donald Trump’s political candidacy is an unqualified farce, as anyone even slightly politically inclined can see. For starters, he has a favorability rating of ― wait for it ― 42 percent among Republicans. To make matters worse, compare the percent of GOPers who feel strongly positive about Trump (11 percent) to those that feel strongly negatively (43 percent). Even if we could overlook his unintelligent bluster and childish posturing, the cold hard numbers spell Trump’s certain embarrassing doom.
In addition, Trump’s kickoff speech showcased how unserious this presidential bid really is. He pronounced blatant fallacies everywhere from citing fictitious unemployment numbers to misreporting the actions of five Taliban leaders exchanged for Sgt. Bergdahl and slandering the new cost of healthcare premiums. Factcheck.org has an extensive list of the many incorrect insinuations and fabricated statistics from Trump’s speech.
However, as absurd and farcical as Donald Trump is, he still has a right to run. This is a democracy, and any old natural-born American citizen over the age of 35 can run for president if he or she chooses. However, there is a glaring difference between Donald Trump and any old American citizen ― and it lives in the neighborhood of $4 billion.
Trump’s very public posturing is only made possible by his extensive personal coffers and a really ugly campaign-finance system. The Supreme Court has ruled that first candidates and then supporters can spend unlimited sums, giving outrageously rich Americans (a la Mr. Trump) more airtime and a buffer during which to conduct this train-wreck campaign exercise.
If only Trump were using this time to bring attention to an issue or to raise awareness about a problem he wants to come up in the real campaigns, then perhaps this charade would be somewhat less of an abject waste of time. But as it stands, we’ll have to watch him strut and boast in the guise of a political candidate until his campaign folds under the weight of public disapproval (and his own massive ego).
Kate Riga is a junior in the College. Panem et Circenses appears every other Saturday.
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