By James Hirsen
Copyright James Hirsen
Donald Trump recently became the twelfth Republican candidate to enter the 2016 presidential race.
The successful real estate developer and host of long-running television show “The Celebrity Apprentice” recently gave a speech in which he declared his candidacy for president. True to the mogul’s inimitable style, it quickly became the announcement heard ‘round the world.
Because he possesses heightened name recognition and communicates in a refreshingly direct manner, the business magnate appeared to receive a greater degree of news coverage than his rival colleagues in the GOP field. In attendance at the media event were reporters from Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, and Page Six, among others.
Trump’s initial platform contains several policy ideas that may potentially resonate with Republican primary voters, including an Affordable Care Act repeal and replacement, the prevention of a further forfeiture of U.S. jobs to China, and a tougher stance against ISIS.
Distinguishing himself from the political class, Trump said, “I’ve watched the politicians. I’ve dealt with them all my life. They will never make America great again.”
In another break from the ordinary, Trump made his opinion known on the establishment’s apparent nominee favorite, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, saying, “…it took him five days to answer the question on Iraq [whether he would have invaded as his brother, former president George W. Bush, had done]. He didn’t know.”
Trump also brought up the subject of Jeb’s support for Common Core national education standards. Seemingly directing his words toward the GOP base, Trump asked, “How the h*** can you vote for this guy?” Supplying the answer, he said with certainty, “You just can’t do it.”
Punctuating his presentation, Trump made the following self-assured statement: “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”
In likely anticipation of the left’s predictable attacks on those who are financially successful but who fail to be in liberal lockstep ideologically, Trump unapologetically told the television audience, “I’m really rich,” and subsequently disclosed a net worth of more than $8 billion.
Trump most likely expected that his announcement would bring routine scrutiny and was probably even sufficiently prepared to encounter the derision currently reserved for those who align themselves with the Republican Party. What he may not have fully anticipated, though, is the intensity with which Hollywood celebrities in particular took to the Internet with negative posts. Late-night hosts, too, resurrected stale jokes, and political pundits took turns at pouncing.
Outrageously, Hillary Clinton made an attempt to tie Trump’s speech to the recent tragedy in Charleston. During a discussion of the tragic mass shooting, the Democratic frontrunner for the presidential nomination accused Trump of saying “some very inflammatory things…”
However, some of the most unusual attacks actually came from unexpected sources, including the following:
-The National Review ran a piece that sunk to the level of juvenile name-calling.
-The New York Daily News sported a front-page headline and photo of Trump accompanied by words of mockery.
-Fox News’ Charles Krauthammer relegated Trump’s announcement to an act of “great showmanship.”
-Fellow Fox contributor George Will said prior to Trump’s announcement that he hoped the country would “be spared evermore this quadrennial charade of his.”
-Republican strategist Karl Rove used an uninventive derogatory phrase to malign Trump.
-Glenn Beck declared that Trump was “not a conservative” in an apparent effort to harm his image with right of center voters.
-The Wall Street Journal reported that some establishment GOP strategists are recommending Trump be kept out of candidate forums and debates.
The GOP establishment appears to be afraid of Trump’s candidacy, and it may have good reason to be so. Trump has the ability to file the proper documentation with the Federal Election Commission and will then likely qualify for the all-important first televised debates to be aired respectively on Fox News and CNN. Trump’s name recognition is likely to secure seats at the debates as well as at other forums.
Trump’s presence at the debates and his outspoken style has the potential to make his opponents look ill-equipped by comparison. In an appearance on CNN, rival GOP candidate Carly Fiorina wisely assessed Trump’s candidacy as one that “shouldn’t be underestimated.”
Trump’s anti-establishment approach may be especially appealing to those in the Republican base who are longing for someone to step up and offer leadership in the face of the tentativeness exhibited by a number of declared GOP candidates and establishment Republican politicians.
On the day after his announcement, the GOP presidential contender spoke in Manchester, New Hampshire and demonstrated his skillful use of language and keen understanding of media.
“Maybe I can’t get elected, maybe, they say, I’m not a nice enough guy,” Trump said. “I don’t think this election is about personality, we’ve had enough personality. We’ve had personality for so long. It’s about competence.”