To borrow from the movie "The Dark Knight," Donald Trump may not be the candidate we need right now, but perhaps he's the candidate America deserves.
Pundit after pundit keeps saying that Donald Trump just said or did something that has to tank his candidacy, but none of it seems to affect him in the polls. These things just bounce off of him somehow, like he's -- oh, I don't know, Batman. But have we stopped for just one second to consider that maybe he is Batman? Because if he's not Batman yet, he's definitely Bruce Wayne.
He's a billionaire who flies around in a private jet. He has his own helicopter. Before he entered the race he was just a super-rich playboy, adrift in the world, misunderstood, and without a higher purpose. Then the 2016 presidential campaign came along. And he found his chance to become Batman -- defending the common citizen from the evil forces really running things, and doing so in dramatic, showy ways.
As much as I have mocked the idea, and tweeted jokes about it, in a weird way that I am reluctant to admit (which is why this sentence is going on for so long) the idea of a Donald Trump presidency is starting to grow on me. Like fungus maybe, but growing nonetheless.
Because he is doing one thing very effectively that could truly help our country. He's cutting through the bullshit. And that is why these controversies bounce off of him. Because he is fearlessly speaking truth to power -- which nobody seems to do in this country anymore -- except maybe privately to campaign donors, like Mitt Romney did with his candid and campaign-ruining 47 percent remark.
Our politicians trade the best interests of our nation to people with money, for the promise of another ineffective, ego-based term. The populace is lulled into a passive acceptance of all of this by our lazy, repetitive, hook-driven news that isn't news at all, but scripted cage matches between mostly guys in neckties. None of which challenge the status quo. We don't even notice it anymore. But we are under its spell. And we have been needing someone to come and snap us out of it. To break down the walls of this facade we all play in, that continues to give us the same disappointing results over and over again. (The very definition of insanity.)
And then along comes Trump -- the man who pledges to build the biggest wall outside of China - tearing down the walls of our entrenched political system. Not only does he stand onstage with nine other presidential candidates and say that the system is rigged and they can all be bought -- he says he has bought them all already, with campaign donations. He said he got Hillary to come to his wedding simply because he donated, making her seem like some sort of for-hire-traveling-birthday-party-clown, rather than a candidate of the people.
In response to questions from Fox News hosts that sounded like character assassination, he said perhaps the most important thing we needed to hear in our country right now. That we're too politically correct, and it's getting in the way of solving our problems. And Donald Trump is a man who has never been politically correct.
He has made a career out of calling people names. I have too. Trump and I are both TV hosts. I host a game show where I test people's brains, and when they fail I make fun of them on national television. I know firsthand how effective insulting someone can be at making your point. And when the insult is funny, and the audience laughs, it's an audible decision from the court of public opinion that you are right, and the person being insulted is wrong. And Trump is pretty good at making his insults funny.
As a comedian you learn early on that this is the best way to neutralize hecklers -- which Trump has no shortage of. When you are concerned with not offending anyone, you end up talking around the real issues, and you get far away from speaking the truth. All good comedians, and Donald Trump, understand that this is a waste of precious time. Time we don't have, as he puts it, while we are losing to China, illegal immigrants are pouring over the border, we can't stop ISIS, and are making weak nuclear agreements. He is right about that. And while it's nice to speak politely about sensitive matters, given the choice between tone and substance, substance should always win.
Which brings us back to Batman. The citizens of Gotham were beaten down, cowed, before Batman showed up. Before Trump announced his White House hopes, Americans were already worn out by the deja vu of the two expected frontrunners, the dynasts Jeb Bush (repeating the sloppy demagoguery that his brother used to launch us into misguided wars) and Hillary Clinton (repeating the aversion to honesty that her husband displayed, nearly bringing down his presidency and polarizing our country.) And then Batman arrived, in his Bat-copter, and called out City Hall on it's corruption and bullshit. Earning the adoration of the crowd, and leaving the other candidates staring up at the sky, channeling Nicholson's Joker, wondering "where does he get those wonderful toys?"
This is also why Trump may just be the candidate that America deserves. Because the adjectives used to describe him are the same ones the world sometimes uses to describe America. Brash, arrogant, cocky, too sure of ourselves, stomping around the world while preaching noble ideals.
He would be a president that reflects to us more accurately how we are seen, so we can't miss it this time under the guise of politeness and deftly written speeches. He'd be President Batman. One who doesn't pussyfoot around the details, but simply beats up the bad guys. And like most Americans, he's not a party loyalist. He's pro-life but used to be pro-choice; He's a rich man but not averse to the rich paying higher taxes; He doesn't like the Iran deal but he'd enforce it. This is what having a practical businessman, not a politician, in The White House would mean. Politicians tell us what we want to hear and then do something shady instead -- more super-villain than hero.
Now, unless he shows some miraculous maturity growth-spurt, and soon, he's also too reactive and infantile to ever be a good president. Because at the end of our performances, comedians don't have to decide how to run the economy, and the only button we have our finger on is a video game controller. Not so for presidents. A president who shoots his mouth off first and asks questions later might say the wrong thing to the wrong world leader and land us in World War III. A Trump presidency would be an enormous gamble, turning America into a casino. Something Trump knows a bit about. (From his successful ones, and from the ones that went bankrupt.) Seems it would be about a 50-50 shot between prosperity and utter disaster. Less, actually, because in a casino the only one that always wins is the house. And Trump would be living in it.
Batman is a crusader for justice. But most of the time Trump is just Bruce Wayne - a man much more interested in playing with his toys and putting his name on everything.