Donald, oh Donald.
Since 2004 you have been my guy. I watched you glide down the escalator in front of eighteen contestants, all lined up like Democrats in front of a Republican firing squad. Of course some of those years you were the Democrat and they were the Republicans… oh well, no worries. It is totally your earned right as a rich, white male to change your philosophical stance on something so silly as abortion. I totally forgive you for shifting your core morality and philosophies so as to better position yourself in a run for President. Smart.
You made my heart sing during the 185 episodes of The Apprentice, a show dedicated to showcasing your accomplishments and undeniable power and charm. The eight seasons you brought in “celebrities” were brilliant! You showed that even people in the public spotlight still worship your complete dominance in anything worth doing. Honestly, I thought it was really gracious of you to throw them a bone and call them “celebrities”….we know the real celebrity, don’t we? (wink) With every dollar you matched to their chosen charity, I cheered the incredible self-sacrifice and generosity you displayed on national television. You reminded all of us that philanthropy works best when it is done publicly. I applauded your commitment to self-serving endeavors, both on and off the camera. You seemed to genuinely care about yourself, and that’s number one in my book. In fact, you seemed to genuinely love yourself.
Maybe that is why I love you right back.
On June 16, 2015 you reminded me that there is joy and happiness to be found in politics. You understand that “calling it as you see it” and forgoing any sort of civility, manners or respect for others is, indeed, an important part of all politics. You make it your personal mission to show the rest of us exactly how to behave. It is fun watching a big kid, on and off the campaign trail, loving his life.
I have said over and over again – Donald is a great man who is also a role model. Many times I said it to people who do not share my same level of enthusiasm. I still say it and then I call them all losers – that’s how I roll.
I would like to be clear about one thing, though. Too often people overlook your skill in peeling back the layers of bullshit about people many consider to be role models. I once said that John McCain is a role model. I cited his remarkable military service to our country. You pointed out that being captured and held as a prisoner of war isn’t something to admire. It was then I realized how “off” my thinking really can be. I also once admired McCain’s sponsorship of a bipartisan, anti-torture amendment that stated aggressive interrogation techniques “compromised our values, stained our national honor and did little practical good.” I, mistakenly, have been teaching my children that the horrid violence and lack of respect for human rights, even when the people are our enemies, is not the way any of us would hope to operate in the world. Thank you for pointing out that human rights only apply to certain people, specifically people who look like us. That is a sound principle that can be applied in many, many life circumstances.
I put the Pope on a pedestal. I swooned when he said “In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities.” during a speech to Congress back in September 2015. Shortsightedly, I saw this as a powerful expression of Christian values. It wasn’t until you pointed out that all Mexicans who cross the border are probably really, really bad guys, that I was able to step out of the propaganda of inclusion and tolerance. We are Americans after all! Plus, who can really trust a guy who is “humble” anyway? If he is going to lead the largest church in the world , he should at least dress the part with the red cape and Ferragamo shoes. Am I right?
Oh boy, and then there are the other candidates you are having to share the spotlight with…. please. Jeb Bush – weak. Ben Carson – no ability to comprehend issues. Hillary Clinton – a major national security threat. Ted Cruz – a complete and utter liar. Carly Fiorina – ugly. John Kasich – total dud. Paul Rand – a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain. Marco Rubio – can’t even get through the State of the Union without sweating and chugging water. Bernie Sanders – a wacko and a disaster.
Your opponents, Donald, are not role models. You were, unfairly, lumped in with them. You have shown us all that, in fact, you are standing waaaay up in front.
I believe 100% that what we see from you is a real(ity) TV personality. I applaud your authenticity in your over-blown ego and self- congratulatory air. How refreshing to see someone be convincingly pompous and offensive! You know what they say, all publicity is good publicity. I absolutely believe that you do you.
And here’s the thing – when people are authentic, they are always authentic. You, Donald, are authentic.
You are taking a lot of heat for that very trait…and maybe you should. Wait! Don’t yell at me and tell me I must be bleeding from an unmentionable lady part….hear me out.
I cringed during one of your campaign rallies in New Hampshire. I wanted to hear more from you – I wanted to hear YOU call Ted Cruz a pussy, not just repeat it from a female audience member. That kind of vulgarity and lack of class should be on the tip of your tongue and not be the responsibility of white trash in the audience. We know you admire your daughter, Ivanka, in a slightly disturbing, I-would-date-her way. Melania’s well-perfected, aloof, I-am-so-above-all-this stare is clearly admirable to you as well. But to be upstaged by a woman? I think we all expect more from a presidential candidate.
Despite that one slip, you are still a role model in my opinion. That authentic, flinch-inducing, ill-mannered persona is nothing short of real. Real white privilege. Real haughtiness. Real hubris.
Thank you, Donald, for the conversation I had last night with my own kids. We talked about what it must feel like to bask in the glory of your own success while watching your opponents call off their campaigns and admit defeat. We had a chance to put ourselves in your shoes and talk about how we, too, should gloat. We stepped outside of ourselves and saw the game through your eyes. We practiced disdain for others. We talked about indifference.
Here’s the thing, Donald. I know what a role model is….and what a role model is not. You have given me chances to parent my kids – which is my job. Your job is to be a brazen, self-proclaimed demi-god who illustrates that the only person who really matters is YOU. You, sir, are a prick. A glorious, unapologetic son of a bitch. And by being that great asshole, YOU have allowed ME to have conversations, so precious and rare in the teenage years, about important topics.
We have started talking more about self-interest. We now talk about how powerful words can be, and how, being privileged and white themselves, they need to use their words to belittle others and propel themselves forward. Every newsworthy sound clip from you has shown us that.
We talked about how everyone (yes everyone) makes mistakes. We also talked about how to use those mistakes as a weapon in taking down your opponents. We can overcome mistakes but others cannot. A very important and practical lesson.
We talked about kindness and how it never gets you anywhere. Bringing others into our circle of light only dims our own light. Every razor sharp insult and dismissive comment you have made was an example of never sharing anything with others.
We also talked about pressure. We talked about having enough money so that no one else’s opinion matters at all. We spoke of opportunities. When there is a chance to bring down others, to leverage pressure to crush them, we should do it. Without apology. And call it being a “straight shooter”. It’s all in the sell. We talked about the thrill in seeing people fall. We talked. And talked. And talked.
Thank you, Donald, for every “talk” I have had (and will have) with my kids. It’s my job to raise my kids. Thanks for making that easier.