According to legendary comedian W.C. Fields there is one extremely important lesson to learn in life: “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.” Donald Trump, a.k.a “The Donald,” has perhaps learned this lesson too well. His run for the Republican party presidential nomination has dominated the 24 hour news cycle down in the States for months, he has made outrageous statements which he cannot hope to back-up with any policy action and he is increasingly looking like a complete fool out of touch with any reality the world can conceive of.
Give him credit for his straight talking ways, his media savvy and his ability to hone in on the most base fears of angry white people. But there comes a time in every over-exposed celebrity’s time in the spotlight when the glowing accolades turn to merciless evisceration. Trump turned that corner this week.
It is funny he reaches this point with two other similar celebrities known for their ability to baffle with bull: Mike Duffy and Charlie Sheen.
Duffy’s long way down hit rock bottom as he took the stand at his own trial this week. Instead of the confident and witty news pundit he once resembled, we see the cloying, pathetic and weaselly heart which beats underneath.
Charlie Sheen not too long ago, like Trump, was a cause celebre for saying controversial things that appealed to angry white people with his “Violent Torpedo of Truth” North American tour. The man who once claimed he had “tigers’ blood” was revealed instead to be a degenerate sex addict who allegedly had unprotected intercourse with multiple male and female partners while infected with HIV.
Trump, Duffy and Sheen have a lot in common. One is a billionaire hotel and casino owner who has blurred the lines between celebrity and politics. One is a former star news pundit who has blurred the lines between celebrity and politics. And one is an Oscar nominated actor who has blurred the lines between celebrity and politics. All three are known for their ability to distort narrative and convincingly recast blatant falsehoods and half-truths for their own benefit.
Of these three, Duffy and Sheen have already taken their falls. One cannot help but think Donald Trump is next.
The world seems to, for whatever reason, need people like these once in awhile to give some kind of social form to a underlying fear and anger. Like in an ancient Greek Tragedy they take those qualities on their shoulders and embody them for the duration of the play at least. Thus the crowd’s fear and anger is given expression through these individuals and eventually dispelled. The crowd leaves feeling better, but the actor always remains behind on stage alone.
It would be very surprising if Trump is actually chosen as the Republican presidential nominee when the votes are finally tallied in the primaries this spring.