1. It’s Tuesday, March 1, 2016.
2. Welcome to meteorological spring. The National Weather Service calls spring the entire months of March, April and May. So by one measure, winter is over. Yay!
3. You’re Donald Trump. You’re 69 years old and getting a little bored with stupid real estate deals and the same-old reality TV shows and putting your name on stuff that doesn’t last such as airlines and universities.
You’ve made fortunes and lost fortunes and you spend so much time answering lawsuits about all the tentacles of your business that you’ve got your own chair in the deposition room of your lawyer’s office.
But you crave attention. Yours is probably a slamdunk case for the professors at Stanford or one of the other top psychology schools. You didn’t get something from either your father or your mother, and so you craved it as an adult. You can’t keep yourself off TV.
And you’re good on TV. You know how to connect with an audience. TV is supposed to be a cool medium. Bullshit! You saw “Network.” The brasher you are, the more people watch. Call CNBC’s “Squawk Box” and say something outrageous about the economy. Call “Morning Joe” on MSNBC and posture about veterans. And then there’s your own show, on which you’ve made “You’re fired!” a catchphrase that people repeat around the country.
But the show ain’t what it used to be, because people get tired of the same old same old. So you need another project as you dodder into old age with the rest of us.
“Hey,” says one of the lemmings who think you’re the epitome of what’s cool and good. “There’s a presidential election. Why don’t you run, Mr. Trump?”
“Why don’t I run?,” you ask. You’re smarter than Obama – the idea that people love Obama even though he never put his name on a casino or ostentatious shopping mall really galls you.
And if you run, you can say whatever the hell you want. Hell, you say one thing one day and one thing the other.
So if one of the people who maintains the lawn on the Palm Beach house leaves the sprinkler system on too long, you can rail about Mexicans and how they’re only sending rapists to the United States. And how you’ll build a wall to keep them out and make them pay up. You’re in a pissy mood, and you say the first thought that comes to your head, and no one’s going to take it seriously anyway.
But they do. The people who’ve been hiding under rocks with their racism and xenophobia have been waiting for someone like you since George Wallace and David Duke didn’t quite pan out. You’re just spouting off – you’ve had to deal with people of different races and ethnicities for years. They’ve flocked to your casinos and bought your products just like everyone else.
Now, when you vent, every yahoo in a pick-up truck who thinks this country went downhill when Nixon resigned and John Wayne died cheers your every utterance. You’re their hero. You freakin’ won the New Hampshire primary!
But here’s the thing.
You don’t want to be president.
Sure you want to run for president. The adoration is a head trip. You love seeing your name on the front page of every newspaper every single day. You get to fly in to some yahoo airport on a plane with your name on it, and make some speech in which you say whatever the hell you want that day and it gets broadcast live on CNN and Fox and even C-SPAN.
Being president would be like being Obama. People hit you every single day. There’s all that crap the president does like appoint the head of some education commission and get briefings on whether the corn crop is good and the situation in Uganda and all kinds of other stuff that interests you not the least.
And while you’re certainly better than any of those other yokels like Lincoln or Jefferson or FDR, the collective weight of their history is oppressive. It’s not as much fun as appearing at a wrestling show or a cameo appearance in some bad comedy.
Now, however, you’re stuck. One of two bad things is likely to happen. One, you’re going to be the Republican nominee for president, and someone who’s figured you out – say, Hillary Clinton – will make you a laughing stock for the history books.
Or two, the multiple lightning strikes that have gotten you this far get you all the way. And then you’ll have a job in which you aren’t the boss – you work for the 323 million people of the United States. And they’re not particularly benevolent employers. They get agitated fast if the unemployment rate rises or some wayward American runs afoul of the other forces that exist in the world.
How to extricate yourself from this and go back to being just a celebrity. That’s a big problem right now. But there are lots of people, including the leadership of the Republican Party, who’d love to help you.
You’re Donald Trump. You’re 69 years old and you don’t want to turn 70 shuffling paper in a boring oval office that’s doesn’t have a single nymph on the wall.
(with homage to Jimmy Cannon)