Like a lot of people, I have been discussing the Donald Trump phenomenon with friends, relatives and colleagues. Here is a message about the Trump campaign recently sent to me by my old friend Ron S. I feel it adds more insight into the matter:
I agree that Trump initially entered the race on an ego trip. I don’t think there is anyone more surprised than Trump that he has lasted this long or done so well, even given his enormous ego. He is adding comedic interest to an otherwise dreary race. It’s almost as if Will Rogers or H. L. Mencken were running, not that Trump is in their class. Remember Pat Paulson, the comic who staged a mock campaign for president in 1968?
Perhaps we can call Trump a contemporary jester. The jester’s role was to speak the truth to the monarch. He was protected from reprisal, no matter how outrageous his pronouncements. As the sovereign’s impartial adviser, only the jester could be relied on to see through the fog of pretense.
The jester played an invaluable part in the administrative apparatus. But the jester as king would be a disaster. The monarch has to be a diplomat, so he needs to speak diplomatically.Â
Trump is fulfilling a valuable role in pointing out that the king has no clothes. He should be kept on as an adviser, or a regular op-ed columnist to maintain complete independence from the government. But he should not be president.
If he were elected, I bet he would get bored or frustrated with the job after a few months, and quit. That makes his choice of vice president crucial.