I hate Donald Trump.
Like, I really hate him. I hate his arrogance, I hate his dismissiveness, I hate how he killed the USFL, I hate how he destroys nature in the name of golf courses, I hate how he sought out Barack Obama’s birth certificate. I really, truly, 100-percent dislike the man.
And yet, over the past few days, I’ve come to love him.
As you surely know, Trump is a candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Do I consider him a real candidate? Like, do I think he truly aspires to be president? Um, no. I’m pretty sure he digs the buzz, laps up the spotlight, enjoys being the center of the universe. However, many Republicans are clearly taking his candidacy seriously, because he either leads or is in second in many of the national polls.
I digress. I love Donald Trump because, in a world of political fastballs, he’s a screwball. For example, Rick Perry, the former Texas governor and one of the 7,512 Republican contenders, recently ripped Trump over some of his inane, xenophobic immigration comments. So did The Donald respond with a tightly constructed political statement? With wording along the lines of, “While I respect the governor’s opinion, I …”
Nope. This is exactly what Trump said: “Rick Perry — I mean Rick Perry, give me a break here.”
When Trump suggested that John McCain isn’t a hero (again, a really stupid take), the other GOP candidates pounced. They called Trump awful and horrible and unfit to be president. All of which is certainly true. But instead of doing what politicians do (meek apology), Trump basically told the others to fuck off. Why, I even agreed with (gasp!) Rush Limbaugh’s take on the matter: “The American people haven’t seen something like this in a long time,” he said. “They have not seen an embattled public figure stand up for himself, double down and tell everybody to go to hell.”
The reason we, as a people, so dislike professional politicians is because it always feels like they’re pandering. It’s eternally “[So and so] owes the American people an apology” and “What the American people want is …” It’s the annoyingly robotic adherence to polls and servitude toward handlers. In short, those running for office tell us not what they believe, but what they think we think we want them to say they believe. It’s why I feel the same way about Hillary Clinton as I do Jeb Bush and Scott Walker: Unmoved.
Look, Donald Trump is awful. Horrible. Gross. And—despite outward appearances—he’s pandering, too. But watching the exploding heads of his opponents has been a serendipitous joy. They can’t figure him out, because he’s not playing by their rules.
I dig that.