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Name: Mister Rea
Gender: Male
Hometown: Houston
Home country: Moon
Current location: afk
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 48,808

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mostly harmless

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There's something creepy going on in this photo of the Donald among his flock

Look closely

There's an extra arm in that picture, coming over the shoulder of the women in the pink hat, that doesn't seem to belong to anyone in that photo. It's just a disembodied arm, floating out to touch Donald Trump, like the hand of God. It reminds me of that "hand out of nowhere" that's holding the butter knife in da Vinci's "Last Supper".

Also, I'm pretty sure that other woman up front is asking The Donald to eat her baby for good luck. I wish I had a baby to offer to The Donald for his next meal. He hungers... he hungers.

Check in if you're torn between amusement & fear over Donald Trump.

He's always seemed like a joke to me. There are three possible scenarios facing this parallel universe in which Donald Trump becomes a viable political candidate. Either he wins the nomination and loses the election, or he wins both nomination and election, or he loses the nomination and remains the same old shameless publicity hound we've all come to know and shudder about. Not one of these scenarios is actually a laughing matter.

I mean, yes, I get a certain karmic gratification in watching this smarmy huckster turn the merely clownish Republican quadrennial posturing contest into an ugly slosh pit of personal beefs. It's generally recognized that his cult-of-personality campaign and reality-show type bickering with other candidates are just chickens coming home to roost for the Republican Party that's been demagoguing on his pet issues for decades, albeit with far less showbiz pizzazz than the Donald.

He's nominated, but loses

In a word, he's Trumpenstein, the monster coming back to kill the doctor who cobbled the beast together in the first place. So watching the "grown-ups" of the GOP, like Jeb Bush and...uh, any other grownups who might be running... get their asses handed to them is fun. And of course, if the Donald gets the nomination, it'll be a peach watching him pick a VP running mate, since he's managed to call just about everybody else in the party a "loser."

I've always voted Democratic because I think Republican policies are bad for America. But Trump seems to be something new. He's bad for democracy. His outright mockery of political campaigning, his lowest common denominator trash-talk style of avoiding substantive debate. I don't mind him tanking the Republican Party--their fake conservatism and two-faced war-mongering has left them over due for a cataclysmic ass-whooping for a generation. But I think Trump's childish antics could actually damage democracy itself (even more than America's lackadaisical participation rates have damaged democracy so far).

In 1992, 1996, 2008, and 2012, the losing Republican candidates took their microphones on Election Night and walked back from all the personality attacks they'd launched on Clinton & Obama. They spoke variations on "The people have spoken; He's a good man and let's now get behind our new president." Sure, they never get Congress to go along with the 'Country First' rhetoric, but that type of language on the culmination of a campaign with civil-war-level fervor is important for the functioning of a civil democracy. I may not've thought much of McCain's or Romney's policy approaches, but they were experience politicians and I knew on Election Night they'd do the right thing. They knew that in politics, you win some and you lose some.

But can anyone seriously envision Donald Trump making that sort of speech? It's not just that he's not used to losing; I genuinely don't think he understands what losing means. He's never met a "worthy adversary" in his life. Either you fawn over him or you're a loser. Even when he declares bankruptcy in his business ventures, he's not "losing"--he's just winning by a different set of rules. His penchant for embracing fringe conspiracy theories, not because he believes the malarkey but solely for publicizing himself, will come into play if he loses by any margin. The payoff to that on a close election night is pretty frightening. Imagine him telling a pumped up Republican/Tea Party base "The Obama Administration stole this election for the Democrats." Don't think he wouldn't try that if it kept him 'in the cycle' during the post-election cycle. I think he's capable of unleashing genuine post-election violence for the first time in 150 years.

He's nominated and (gulp) wins

More frightening still is the idea of Donald Trump winning. The Republic could survive eight years of Reagan, though we were all worse for the wear. We even survived Dubya and his NeoCon puppeteers, though several thousand soldiers and marines and airmen and civilians in the wrong place at the wrong time didn't fare so well (not to mention hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the potential millions who've suffered as the middle east unravels from Bush's policies). But the international order, the resilience of the American economy, and global civilization as a whole remained intact. Trump's wrecking ball approach to policies is a perfect recipe for trainwreck after trainwreck with negotiating with Congress, with international relations, with any type of military crisis that might come along, with immigration (obviously), and with slowing down global climate change.

He's not nominated, but remains a bee in democracy's bonnet for the foreseeable future

Of course I still think his candidacy is going to burn out and someone else is going to secure the nomination. But for the Democrats, that could be the worst of all possible worlds. As a nominee, even the Donald would be chained a bit by having to get along with the rest of the GOP he needs for the campaign. As an unaccountable mouthpiece, Trump would still hog unreasonable amounts of time on CNN and the Big 3 networks with his brilliantly inflammatory fusillades. He is nothing if not adept at getting attention and redirecting any public conversation back to himself and his wacky worldview. The Democratic nominee would have to not only fight his/her Republican opponent, but also swat away the swarm of mis-facts and personal slurs that a PR-savvy Trump, who will have plenty of free time on his hands (he apparently sits around all day watching Fox News and Twittering most of the time right now, even while he's running for the nomination). And if that scenario troubles you, keep in mind that this is the least cataclysmic of the three scenarios I've described.

So yes, he's fun right now. But he's nothing but trouble for the country. And frankly, I don't see an out. Not until 2020 when Kanye runs to save us.
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