Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been a disgrace to his party and an embarrassment to the nation. He has consistently demonstrated that he does not have the temperament, judgment, background or humility to lead our country.
For more that a year, the Trump campaign has been run like a reality show. It has been filled with drama, controversy and interesting characters that often mask over the weaknesses of its golden-haired impresario. Despite his many apparent flaws, Trump was able to defeat all of his GOP opponents, every one of whom is more qualified than he to be president.
Trump's campaign road show travels from town to town playing before large crowds that enthusiastically cheer his boisterous rhetoric and divisive bombast. He plays on the fears and concerns of his supporters like Keith Richards plays his Telecaster. "You can't always get what you want," can be heard over speaker systems at the end of his rallies. And Trump has many believing he may be what they need.
Trump needs this adulation and praise to feed his huge ego. He is narcissistic and self-centered. In his mind the world revolves around him. He also thinks he is smarter than anyone else, so he believes he is never wrong. Trump reminds everyone that he studied business at the Wharton School. He prides himself on being the best negotiator, and the outcome of every transaction must result in a big win for Trump. He lives in a cocoon, in a bubble, surrounded by loyal and obedient staff members who tell him what he wants to hear, and who carry out his orders.
His attacks on his opposition are often personal and childish. "Lying" Ted Cruz, "Little" Marco Rubio and "Crooked" Hillary Clinton are names he proudly spends time thinking up. He mocks and derisively brands his opponents much the same as a schoolyard bully. You are either all in with Trump, or you are the enemy and subject to his ridicule. As a result, Trump lives in an alternate reality.
Trump performed poorly at the first presidential debate, held at Hofstra University last Monday. He was unprepared, often uncomfortable, and he seemed to lose his stamina toward the end of his encounter with Hillary Clinton. But he believes he won the confrontation. He cites unscientific internet polls, done immediately following the debate, as proof that he won, and ignores scientific polls by reputable organizations that show Clinton clobbered him.
Then there is the matter of 1996 Miss Universe Alicia Machado. Clinton referred to her during the debate, saying of Trump, "He called this woman Miss Piggy. Then he called her Miss Housekeeping because she was Latina." Clinton got under Trump's thin skin, and he has since been obsessed with Machado. On Friday, in a flurry of posts on Twitter that began at 3:30am, Trump attacked Machado and Clinton. One read, "Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?" This may have been the first time a presidential candidate referred to a sex tape, in fact, one that may not exist.
A former Miss Universe has shaken Trump's alternate reality. His campaign, its staff, the media, and the world have been consumed by Trump's Twitter tirades. Now BuzzFeed News has uncovered a soft-core documentary, entitled "Playboy Video Centerfold 2000," in which Trump has a brief cameo appearance. Meanwhile, Trump has started talking about President Bill Clinton's affairs, and has labeled Hillary Clinton an enabler. Of course, Trump has been married three times.
During his campaign the all-knowing Donald has insulted women, Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants, and African Americans. He refuses to properly apologize because he believes he is right. And he claims he did a service for the nation by forcing President Barack Obama to produce his birth certificate. He refuses to release his tax returns to be fully transparent with Americans, and he uses his charities as an ATM machine. Trump is unprepared and unfit to be president, and unworthy of the office.
Yet most leading members of the Republican Party stand by and defend Trump, even his lies, his distortions, his insults and his bullying. They think that if Trump is elected president they can control him, that he will do what they say, that he will play by their rules. But this is the man who announced to the world, "I alone can fix it."
This past week may have been an important turning point in the national election. It may be the beginning of the end of the Donald Trump Reality Show.