One of my reporters suggested the current crop of presidential candidates, particularly Donald Trump would make a great Saturday Night Live skit.
He then proceeded to suggest who should play each candidate. I don't remember any of them, because, frankly, I haven't paid attention to SNL since the Mike Myers/Dana Carvey era.
That said, he's half wrong.
Donald Trump is a walking SNL skit.
As a conservative/libertarian, I like some of what he has to say on issues such as border security and the economy. But as I observed about Ron Paul a few years ago. I wish someone _sane_ were saying them. Consider some of these quotes:
“My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.”
“I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”
“I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful.”
I don't even ...
“I think apologizing’s a great thing, but you have to be wrong. I will absolutely apologize, sometime in the hopefully distant future, if I’m ever wrong.”
“It’s like in golf. A lot of people — I don’t want this to sound trivial — but a lot of people are switching to these really long putters, very unattractive. It’s weird. You see these great players with these really long putters, because they can’t sink three-footers anymore. And, I hate it. I am a traditionalist. I have so many fabulous friends who happen to be gay, but I am a traditionalist.”
Um, I don't think gay people are golf clubs ...
The reality is, there's nothing funny about Donald J. Trump.
So far his campaign has been wholly devoid of substance. "We're going to make things better again, it'll be great, the waters will recede and the temperature will fall, hope and change ..."
I think I've seen this movie before and I didn't like how it ended last time.
What concerns me, is not so much his appeal, I get that, but his authoritarian streak.
To be fair, there's strains of this on both sides of the campaign, but we're speaking of Trump here.
This country, left and right, is angry. Trump is playing into this anger.
What's worse, is angry Americans are dangerous. Ask Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan — oh right, you can't, we utterly destroyed them.
Americans also love a strong leader — which is part of why President Obama has been losing support almost from the beginning of his presidency.
My concern is where Trump will lead us. It's no secret I don't like the places this country has gone under the current administration, however I'm not sanguine that Trump will take us any place better.
Friend of mine, Tom Kratman, wrote a book called "Caliphate," in which a nuclear attack on this nation by Islamic terrorists brought forth a populist president who turned America into an imperial police state — and I fear we are one attack away from something similar.
I am, I admit, just as done as most of the country with the political theorists both parties have put up the last few cycles. They don't seem to have any concept of what actually works in reality, so I get the Donald's appeal — he's a pragmatist and a man of action — something our current president manifestly is not.
But where he will take this nation is no better than where I fear his likely opponents will (Yeah, at this point I think he'll get the nomination, but his likely opponents Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are just as authoritarian in their own ways.) and I'm just not sure what I will do.
Like many conservatives, the last few cycles, I've bitten the bullet and voted for the Republican candidate, no matter how bad he was (John McCain? Really?) but I'm not certain I can do that this time.
I won't know, until closer, what I'm going to do. I live in Kansas, so a protest vote for a third party candidate is unlikely to affect the outcome, and I will vote, as is my duty. But I'm not sure I can vote for the walking SNL skit.
All IMHO, of course.
— Patrick Richardson is the managing editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @PittEditor.