I know it’s only May, and I know that Rev. Jones is still out there somewhere, planning on burning a picture of Mohammad or making confetti out of the Quran or some other offensive stunt designed to attract the attention of Fox News and sell some tee shirts. I know Allan Grayson can surface at any time, and that Michael Moore is joining forces with Keith Olbermann, which is a good bet to make both of them more obnoxious. And I know Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Michele Bachman and some other GOP candidates for president can be counted on to say or tweet outrageous things in the coming weeks and months. Yes, and Harry Reid is still running amuck, and there are plenty of athletes, singers and actors who will be embarrassing themselves, their profession and their species before the year is out.
Never mind all that. I’m ready to declare Donald Trump the Jerk of the Year.
I’ll admit my bias up front: I think Trump has been a contender for Jerk of the Year every year for at least two decades. Even I, however, never thought he was a big enough jerk to use the developing 2012 campaign for President of the United States—at a critical juncture in the nation’s history, with literally life-and death crises in the nation’s economy, housing market, and job markets, with the Middle East erupting and America involved in three armed conflicts, with a leadership vacuum at the highest levels of the government and with American trust and hope for the future at a record low—for personal ego gratification and to promote his cheesy, freak-show reality program “The Celebrity Apprentice.” But that’s what he did, soiling the news and political discourse along the way by giving aid and support to the assortment of paranoids, wackos and racists who had been denying that Obama was a natural born citizen.
If Trump had ultimately announced that he was running for President, at least we could say that his thuggish, uncivil, silly pre-announcement conduct was in good faith. Instead, he told the media today that he isn’t a candidate, which means that he never intended to be a candidate. He played the media, he played the pundits, he played the nation—all to promote Donald’s Trump, the Miss Universe Pageant, a competition including Meat Loaf and La Toya Jackson, and his tacky properties. When the nation needed new ideas, statesmanship, straight talk, courage and leadership, Trump came to the rescue with snake oil, dancing girls and invisible ink. The country be damned, as long as the Donald gets his People Magazine stories and Nielson ratings.
We all know people like this…shallow, self-centered, and absolutely irresponsible, who don’t care what harm they do or who they inconvenience, as long as their petty needs are served. The jerks in our lives do not have the resources and name recognition of Donald Trump, however, and even some of them would probably make their personal objectives secondary to the welfare of the United States. He is worse than all of them; indeed, he is worse than all of them combined.
I dream, a futile dream, I know, that there will grow a national consensus, in the fake of the fiasco of The Donald’s last 60 days, that he is the Jerk of the Year, and that this consensus will lead to national resolve to treat Trump the way all jerks need to be treated, to give him the treatment that is also the one thing he couldn’t endure. Ignore him.