How Come Joe Doesn't Do Reality TV?
So, where does Donald Trump get invited to give a speech? The Chamber of Commerce? Nope. The Heritage Foundation? Nope. The Council on Foreign Relations? Not a chance.
He showed up yesterday to deliver the keynote address at a conference run by the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Nashville, Tennessee. Other speakers who are supposed to be talking include: Newt Gingrich, Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley, Rick Scott, Judge Jeanine Pirro and Herschel Walker. In other words, the usual gaggle of mouths that can be found whenever the alt-right religious movement and the alt-right political movement get together for a couple of days.
You would think that someone like Trump, a confirmed non-religious guy from New Yawk would never be able to make common cause with the Evangelicals, particularly the White, Southern Evangelicals who have been diddling around in the POS/GOP sandbox since Reagan, if not before. You would think.
In his memoir about working for Trump, Disloyal, Michael Cohen tells a great story about a 2015 meeting at Trump’s New York office where a bunch of Evangelical ministers led by Jerry Falwell, Jr., showed up to meet Trump and get involved in his Presidential campaign. The group went through the usual meets-and-greets, then Trump promised to give them everything they wanted, and just when the meeting broke up, one of the ministers asked everyone to hold hands, form a circle around Trump and ask God to bless their new friend.
Trump was visibly put off by this shenanigan, according to Cohen, but he dutifully stood there, nodding, and smiling while the Evangelical leaders intoned their hopes for God’s blessing on their new-found political ally before trooping out the door.
After the delegation departed, Trump turned to Cohen and asked, “Do those guys really believe all that shit?”
This episode, as far as I’m concerned, sums up why Trump won the 2016 election, why he lost in 2020 and will lose again if the POS/GOP is stuck with him in 2024. We have never had a national political figure who is as much of a reality-TV personality as Donald Trump. By that I mean someone whose entire public and political persona is based not on anything he thinks or believes, but what he wants his audience to see and hear.
There’s no reality in reality TV. And while Trump’s show, The Apprentice, was only a mid-level success and never had the audience of, say, Keeping up with the Kardashians or Jersey Shore, it gave Trump the knowhow and experience that he could use to run a national, political campaign.
Is Trump a racist? Not really any more of a racist than other White guys from Queens. Does he get pissed off when he dials a phone number and the electronic voice says, ‘para Español, toca numero dos?’
What was Trump going to do in 2016? Run to the left of ‘soft’ conservatives like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio? The only way for him to break out of the pack was to go hard right and say out loud what other POS/GOP politicians might be thinking but conventional wisdom told them that you keep thoughts about ‘shithole countries’ to yourself.
The reason Trump won in 2016 and lost in 2020 is very easy to understand. You can take a reality-TV approach to talking about Covid-19, but either the number of hospital admissions and deaths go up or they go down.
Remember how Trump reacted when a Reno hospital converted a parking garage into a Covid care center, and a picture of beds taking up parking spaces made it onto national TV? Trump went on Twitter and said the photo was a ‘fake.’ What he should have done was fly out to Reno, take a tour of the facility and promise that help was on the way.
When you think of yourself first and foremost not as President of the United States, but as a made-up character for next week’s reality-TV show, you’re going to try and figure out how to make your show more believable than the other show, even if both shows are fake.
I’m beginning to think Joe could lift his sad-ass polls if he would go out, hire some slick reality-TV producer, and start up his own weekly show. The last time we ate dinner in a restaurant (which was packed, by the way) my wife and I were the only two diners who weren’t looking at our cell phones during the meal.
How about ‘Demented from Delaware’ as a weekly comic show?