Scratch the surface of any gilded government, and you’re bound to find the promise of collective rule, with elections providing a treasure trove of fool’s gold. Cue the lights, camera, and action — populate a stage with plastic people, then anxiously bet on which one melts first. In this environment, a man like Donald Trump is bound to excel. One-half oligarch, one-half reality star, 100% irresistible to the useful idiots currently devouring the GOP.
Above, you’ll find a Simpons clip from the year 2000. In an episode entitled “Bart to the Future”, Lisa nonchalantly mentions the aftermath of a Trump presidency. No, this does not qualify as evidence of some illuminati-esque plot. Instead, it illustrates the fact that Trump’s lust for the White House has never been much of a secret. Upon close examination, his entire life is revealed to have been leading up to this point.
Insert Silver Spoon
In stark contrast to the blue-collar voting block he currently dominates, Donald Trump has always known a life of wealth and power. Unquestionably, The Trump family has produced over three generations of remarkable capitalists, with the dynasty’s patriarch (Frederick Trump) making a fortune off bars and hotels (brothels) during the Klondike Gold Rush. Then, fearing a crackdown on booze and prostitution, Grandpa Trump decided to cash out and return to Germany. Unfortunately, the fatherland would reject him due to allegations that he evaded both taxes and military service. Not one to be deterred, Frederick snatched up a wife (Elizabeth) and made his way back to the States. Little did he realize that this woman would play an integral role in building an empire after his death.
Shortly before pneumonia took him to the grave, Frederick made the wise decision of investing in real estate; Elizabeth would spend the rest of her life carrying out this endeavor. The couple’s son, Fred, proved to possess an uncanny acumen for the industry. With the financial backing of his mother, he would go on to dominate the housing market in Queens, as well as help conceptualize the modern supermarket. Of course, he also got into the business of striking friendships with key politicians. These relationships would prove crucial to the success of his son, Donald.
Master of Puppets
Upon taking control of the family business at age 28, Donald Trump found himself in possession of two key assets: a governor and a mayor. The latter, Abe Beame, was indebted to his father. For over 20 years, the Trump family had funded the politician, a member of the notoriously corrupt Brooklyn Democratic Machine. He would ascend from budget planner to city controller, eventually landing in NYC’s mayoral office. Within two weeks of being sworn in, plans were already in motion to deliver Donald an exclusive option on Manhattan’s most highly coveted piece of undeveloped land, the West Side Rail Yards. Although others would outbid him heavily, Trump’s political clout ensured only his offer would prevail.
NY’s governor, Hugh Carey, having also been the recipient of heavy financial backing, would return the favor in kind by offering the Donald an unprecedented 40-year tax abatement on the project. Indeed, Trump’s first claims to fame would have never been possible without this backroom dealing. Once Donald got an initial taste of the national spotlight, his thirst for recognition grew insatiable. He would go on to pour $200 million into the construction of his crowned jewel, Trump Tower, attracting scores of high-end retailers to set up shop nearby. At a time when NYC seemed to be going under, such a feat greatly bolstered the prestige of his brand.
Trump can rightfully be accused of a greater number of things, but being bad at marketing certainly isn’t one of them. After gaining the aforementioned fame, he proved to be a master at leveraging media attention to finance his empire. Although his casinos would fail miserably and countless other endeavors would prove disastrous, it made little difference to his bottom line. So long as entrepreneurs can make a quick buck off slapping his name on something, business skills and leadership capabilities are irrelevant. After decades of branding himself as the epitome of success, he’s cultivated a fandom that’s utterly addicted to fantasizing about his lifestyle. But that, in and of itself, isn’t enough to be taken seriously in Washington. Celebrity doesn’t always translate into political success. In order to truly capitalize, Trump knew that he needed to identify and exploit the right niche.
Rise of the Troll Army
It is no secret that anger and paranoia permeate throughout talk radio and the right wing blogosphere, with millions genuinely convinced that their country has been hijacked by gay-communist-Mexican-Muslims. Being unable to openly express their views without risking their jobs or reputation, social media provided the perfect platform for releasing this frustration. These Twitter patriots, with their fake accounts and excessive hashtags, suddenly had an audience — an orgy of like-minded douchebags eagerly jerking each other off with favorites and retweets. Being acutely aware that a significant portion of the electorate resents America’s changing demographics, Trump saw his opportunity and chose to capitalize. By offering his celebrity status to the birther movement, he instantly became a hero to swarms of Neanderthals hell-bent on fighting against the perceived dethroning of the white race.
These individuals are strangled by the stench of their own mediocrity, desperately trying to navigate a world that’s rendered them obsolete. Donald Trump serves as a paragon of their impotent rage. Brash, bigoted and gluttonous, the snake charmer makes them dance with each promise of the American dream. He relieves them of the need to acknowledge their failures, instead providing a wealth of suitable scapegoats. More importantly, when Donald speaks, his supporters live vicariously through his gloating — temporarily escaping their own mundane existence. Of course, this is far from a comprehensive assessment. At his rallies, you’ll no doubt find a few mentally defective Mexicans and star struck youths.
Bend Over, America
Although those who present themselves as saints suffer when their character flaws are exposed, Donald Trump has little cause for concern. By setting the bar low from the beginning, he has become immune to attacks on his character. Indeed, he deserves commending for not hiding the fact that he’s a narcissistic asshole. Unfortunately, this is also what makes him so dangerous. There is no length he won’t go to in order to serve his ego, knowing full well that his diehard fandom will vehemently defend his actions. Geopolitics, however, is a far different world than a GOP primary. When you’re the President, every word you speak has direct consequences.
Donald Trump is not the living embodiment of American success; he is the personification of its immense failures, a by-product of bureaucracy and crony capitalism. Unlike icons of industry such as Vanderbilt, Ford and Rockefeller, Trump has never had to harness blood, sweat and tears to claw his way from the gutter. As if he were a 16th century nobleman, our society has always bent over to give him what he wants. This time, however, what he desires is the nuclear code. Should he achieve this end, no amount of lubrication will prevent the internal bleeding that’s bound to ensue.