Donald Trump: The Guy Next Door
While Donald Trump racks up yet more ratings points for the news media outlets, some folks are wringing their hands and scratching their heads as to why the guy is so popular. It’s simple: we all know a Donald Trump.
No, not the billionaire real estate mogul Trump, but the other Trump, Donnie from Jamaica. Take away Trump’s alleged $10 billion and what do you have left? You have a guy that everyone knows.
He’s your Uncle Charlie, the one who posted 57 pictures of his new Cadillac Escalade on Facebook. He’s your neighbor down the street, Bill who has a wealth of opinions and a dearth of evidence to back any of them up. He’s your brother-in-law, Carl who doesn’t miss an opportunity to remind you that he “once nearly almost dated” Heidi Klum in the 90’s. He’s your co-worker Steve, who calls the IT guys in your office “losers.” He’s your sister’s boyfriend, Tony, who says he’s no racist, but doesn’t get what the big deal is about the confederate flag still flying over a Statehouse building. He’s your dad’s fishing buddy, Jack, who says all doctors think Obamacare sucks because his doctor says it sucks.
All these guys….they’re not bad guys. They’re just you know, a little uncomfortable with, you know, the gays, the blacks, the transgenders, the Jews, the Muslims, the immigrants, the women—not all women–just the pushy manly ones. You know anyone who is not…… like them.
These guys love Trump because he is just like them, only with lots more money. And power. To these guys, Trump included, money means power. Donnie Trump represents all those guys who grew up assuming that being white, male, Christian and straight meant that they would forever enjoy their centuries-old grip on power and privilege.
But that America no longer exists and the Trumps of the world, with or without the billions are incensed. And they will do a great deal to keep what power they still have. Like enacting legislation to deny people basic rights. Or to block legislation that grants basic rights.
Yep, we all know that guy. He wouldn’t intentionally do something to hurt someone. He’d tell you that himself. Loudly. It’s just that his ideas are, at best, outdated and at worst, the kind of thinking that, if used to inform legislation could bar several groups of people from their civil rights.
The significant difference here, though, is that Trump has the billions and the microphone….and the attention of a news media who love bright shiny objects avoid gravitas. And that could make his continued candidacy a dangerous distraction. Because while Uncle Charlie and Bill and Carl and Steve are just as bellicose and annoying as Donald, eventually people stop listening to them. Until we all turn a deaf ear to the seemingly endless Trump-a-thon, the real issues facing us as a nation will be drowned out by all this noise.
Eventually, Uncle Charlie goes home. When Donald is going home is anyone’s guess. From all current indicators, it won’t be any time soon.