Winners and losers, rises and falls, spirited and not-so spirited debates, allegations and innuendo. And now … bobbing for endorsements with Donald.
I have watched the drama surrounding the question of who will and will not participate in the Trump debate with admittedly little interest. I do enjoy the debates, but as that most wonderful time of the year — Christmas — approaches, a welcome reprieve from the incivility and let’s face it, insincerity of U.S. politics beckons me.
Still, and although I find that “The Apprentice” makes for amusing, if not altogether interesting entertainment, one has to wonder at the Donald’s self-aggrandizing decision to position himself as toll collector on the road to the Republican Presidential nomination.
Let’s be honest: there exists a legitimate question of how much weight The Donald actually carries with voters. Trump is undoubtedly a brilliant, and, er, somewhat ruthless businessman from whom any aspiring entrepreneur can learn much. But Mr. Trump has never served in elected office and his political involvement is limited to rampant speculation about a Trump candidacy followed shortly thereafter by an announcement that he didn’t plan to seek office. It is, therefore, unclear what, exactly, Trump has to offer in terms of vetting Presidential candidates.
Trump promises huge ratings for his debate. In concert with the obvious advertising profits for the network on which the program will air, and for Trump’s future marketability as a television personality, the candidates who participate will receive added face time with potential voters as the primaries near, not to mention the opportunity to answer questions posed by a moderator who is friendly to their political leanings.
At the conclusion of the debate, however, Trump plans to announce the grand prize winner to whom his endorsement will be awarded, effectively proclaiming that all but one lacks sufficient mettle in his estimate. The rest, in Trump lingo, will be “fired” from further consideration in his book. It doesn’t take genius to realize that “failure” is probably not the last lingering impression that candidates would wish to sear into the minds of voters just days before the primary season officially begins.
Further, if Trump is truly interested is finding and endorsing the best contender to unseat the current resident of the White House, must he really have and host his own debate in order to do so? Can’t he, like the rest of us, learn what he needs from the several dozen or so debates already on the schedule? And most importantly, is participation in Trump’s own personal debate truly a measure of Presidential qualification?
It seems that as far as Trump is concerned the answer to the last question is a resounding “yes.” In expressing his surprise at Romney’s declination, Donald was quick to point out that the former does desire Trump’s endorsement after all. The obvious implication of course is that only to a debate participant will Trump’s endorsement go.
The man who brings us “The Apprentice” and its siblings has amassed an enormous fortune over the years as he has played the strings of America’s free-market system like a master harpist. In doing so, he has never failed to express his belief in the greatness of our nation’s economic system and of the country herself. Like so many others who hope to see America regain and retain her majesty and place in the world, Trump recognizes that in 2012 we must elect a president who will true up our country’s course so as to align with her founding rather than “fundamentally transforming” her according to a personal ideology.
As such, Trump must rise to the occasion, find a shelf sturdy enough to withstand the weight of his sizable ggo, set the latter upon it, and keep sight of that which is required of all of us. Specifically, he best proves his worth by putting aside self-serving interests and instead, wielding his influence to support and put forth the man or woman who stands the best chance of winning come November. And that, regardless of whether that man or woman sees fit to veer off the well-trod campaign trail to one Trump Tower for this month’s premier episode of “The Candidate Apprentice.”
To whom much is given much is expected. America stands precariously perched on the rim of the abyss. Will the real Donald Trump now step forward? Behind Door #1, we have the spoiled child who takes his ball and goes home when the game doesn’t go his way; behind #2, the ruthlessly capable businessman who knows better than most that when one door closes, another opens and through that door countless more.
However true it may be that Trump would make a great debate moderator, it is equally as much, if not more so the case, that this level of noise and drama is not beneficial to either the party or the slate of candidates. These are serious times that need to be treated seriously. Consideration must be undertaken with the weight and gravity that a decision of this magnitude — the selection of the next potential President of the Unites States — warrants, TV ratings notwithstanding.