Days of our candidates’ lives

I have to admit I was delighted to see Donald Trump declare his run for United States president.  The whole escalator entrance into the crowd, paying actors to be the crowd, the balloons and fanfare made for quite an extravaganza.  This is America after all, and as long as you are 35 years or older, a United States citizen, and have been a resident for 14 plus years, you get to run for president.  Just ask the 16 Republican candidates who have jumped into the fray for 2016.

by Kelli Lundgren
by Kelli Lundgren

But apparently, the ability to run for U.S. president doesn’t mean you must act like a statesman.  I need to only briefly re-hash this month’s insanity: Trump says illegal immigrants harbor rapists.  He rants that Senator John McCain is “not a hero.” He gives out Senator Lindsay Graham’s phone number.  The media drools. Today, Graham smashes his cell phone to show just how he will not take The Donald’s crap.

I’m expecting the camera to zoom-in and pause on each presidential candidate’s tirade-laden expression, then fade to a string of Bud Light, Geico and Fidelity Investment commercials, leaving the audience waiting and anticipating what will happen next.  A major music pounce gets us back to the candidate’s face. “Days of Our Candidates’ Lives” is what we are experiencing. Even Jerry Springer refuses this type of vitriol.

I would bet money at a Trump Casino that once viewers come back from commercials, a just as ridiculous a stunt will happen again, and again.

This is what I don’t get: are we picking an American Idol, or are we cautiously and meticulously interviewing candidates in order to select a person to take charge of this great country?

I’m all for breaking out the popcorn and watching the Republican primaries, but I stop laughing when The Donald is running first in the Republican polls.  This is terrific news for the Democrats, granted. But this is not good news for our country. Have we stooped to reality TV guidelines for selecting a leader?

The garbage coming out of Trump’s mouth is sometimes detestable. He certainly is a spectacle. He aptly uses and abuses the First Amendment.  If there truly is an audience already captivated enough to select Trump for president, is it because he’s amusing?  Or, that he hates? What is it? Is it that he merely trotted through three bankruptcies successfully?  Is it because he yells “You’re Fired!” to bankroll bad real estate investments? Yes, he is wildly entertaining, gossipy even.  Still, polls say many Americans think he’s good presidential material.  How does a United States bankruptcy work anyway?

What happened to statesmanship?  How about Mr. Trump showing Senator McCain some respect in order to gain a smidgen of respect for himself?  How about Lindsay Graham redirecting his phone number to Donald Trump’s secretary, slyly, stylishly?  Now these are brilliant politic moves.

There once were the Bob Doles, Teddy Kennedys and Bob Bennetts of the U.S. Senate who debated, respected, argued, voted, compromised, and then went to lunch together.  Where are these people now?  We need more statesmen like them to run for office once again, especially for the presidency of our nation.

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