I can’t believe how angry and riled up people still get about Donald Trump. A large part of it is owing to the fact that Americans have grown to accept and drearily expect that Presidents are mild-mannered, obsequious Tools of the State, dressed in proper suits with proper hair, and ultimately, most importantly, resounding of proper enunciation and gravity. A President must act “Presidential,” whatever the hell that means, but most assuredly, it is what the civilized White class would define as such. Understated and cruelly calculated in a very elegant and smart manner. An American psycho. This is certainly the expectation that the POTUS’s role has slowly morphed into in a multi-generational march over the past century.
So Donald Trump bursts on the scene.
He eschews all our smart behavioral expectations of a Presidential contender and hell breaks loose. He begins to garner popularity and acceptance and suddenly, the trivial buffoon is no longer trivial, nor is he a buffoon. In fact, the only buffoons left standing are those who now still dare to allege Trump’s buffoonery, which we all know is a calculated and strategically deviancy mimicked in order to polarize and instigate those who never considered a President could be anything but what America has been hypnotized into expecting.
And most hilarious: Trump keeps playing them, and they continue to bite. It’s become a rather sordid, monotonous affair this Peanutsian set-and-kick (before the ball is pulled away by Lucy Trump every time) exercise.
Donald Trump is not only a Presidential candidate. He is a showman. His egregious extroversion and psychic manipulations are part and parcel of his character. It’s about time Americans learned to adjust their Presidential expectations.
When Donald Trump is behind a podium, not only is he an emissary of the United States Federal government; he is also an entertainer. A circus barker. Politics happens to be his entertainment venue, something he apparently savors with a gusto.
That dramatic ejection of naysayers from his rallies and press conferences is becoming the stuff of legend.
His political rallies and other public speaking events have mutated into performance art, each representing a dazzling, spotlit display of antagonism playing against heckling overwritten with stern warnings and physical theatrics of intimidation and lukewarm violence. It’s a shtick!
Donald Trump’s show is on the road and coming to your town soon. Forget that wrestling mayhem for a bit. Hunker down, pull out the popcorn, and enjoy some Presidential action, brought to you by Donald Trump and his band of merry marauders. Soon protesters, starved for attention, will begin to relish the spotlight that can predictably be acquired at any Trump rally, and they will show up in all their glory and the unwritten script will commence. Get off my stage! You’re outta here, go back to [fill in blank].
Oh, speaking of which, Trump’s enemy-of-the-stage clearing theatrics reminds me that famous (OK, not that famous) conservative talk-show host from local Los Angeles television back in the 1980’s – Wally George.
He was a firebrand, part right-wing basket case, part P.T. Barnum.
His show was called the Hot Seat and the ploy was that Wally George hosted guests who did not see eye-to-eye with his conservative views. This made for great entertainment. In many cases, the guests overstepped their bounds of propriety just enough to trigger a Wally George tirade which inevitably ended with him shooting up rapidly from his chair, waving his arm in a gesture of violent dismissal, and yelling at the guest, “Get off of my stage!”
It was a shtick, much like Trump’s, and the audience ate it up every time.
In fact, we looked forward to it. I suspect much of Donald Trump’s crowd/security antics feed off the same type of rapt amusement, and I don’t foresee such displays stopping anytime soon. In fact, the audience is clamoring for more.
Here is a clip of a Wally George patented show banishment. It takes place at the 5:15 mark and includes all the trademark Wally George (even Donald Trump) ejection motifs: histrionic gesturing and exclamations, security escorts, good stuff!
America, this is our new future. Old media meets the new.
The staid is dead, cried Socially Extinct!