At a pro-immigration rally in Beverly Hills last February Perez Hilton announced that “Trump is the new Kardashian.” Insofar as the Kardashians ever existed as anything beyond a national enigma whose reputation as a shiny object we could never turly understand was concerned Hilton is correct in his comparison. Where Hilton is wrong however is in the scope of the infection. The Kardashians, like the cast of Jersey Shore before them were eye candy with a strange worldview. They weren’t complex, difficult to understand, and they certainly didn’t even really piss anyone off. They were far too simple for that. So, is Donald Trump the newest Kardashian fad in America? It’s possible.
The difference between Donald Trump and a Kardashian is that as crazy as Kim gets she’ll never have access to our country’s nuclear codes. Most sane Americans regard that as a good thing (she’d likely post them on Instagram.) We don’t have the same reaction with Mr. Trump however. For whatever reason (brainwashing comes to mind) 35-40% of Americans sleep just fine knowing that whilst in the middle of one of his famous Twitter rants Trump might very well use our country’s nuclear arsenal to take out his online adversary without thinking twice about the consequences. This is the danger with a Kardashian Presidency. People don’t follow Donald Trump on Twitter because he’s POTUS they follow him despite the fact he’s POTUS. If anything being President is getting in the way of the fights Trump would rather be having like a battle over why his reality show is failing.
The problem of course is that we, as a nation are now the reality show. The things Trump does are designed to bring attention (good or bad) to how he is impacting America not on how America is functioning as a democratic nation. The United States is a global superpower not a horseman or cannon in a casual game of Risk. Yet, Mr. Trump still treats the country and his job as Commander-in-Chief as if he were at the helm of a board game. Perhaps Mr. Trump should talk to the Kardashians about how to best create his own mobile app or game about how tough it is to be POTUS. There are some people in America who’ve played the real life version of that game and they would probably score very well in the game (though not by Trump’s standards.) In fact, since Trump seems to have little else to do other than fire baseless salvos at his predecessor it would be the very least he could do to hand former President Barack Obama a game he was actually good at (you know, being Presidential.)
It’s easy to joke about the problems, both real and imagined, that Mr. Trump has created for himself. There will come a time however, likely in the not so distant future when real leadership will be required. It may come in the form of something like a health care bill; a bill that will likely cause as many as fifteen million Americans to lose their insurance. But, as Trump’s budget director said “the goal isn’t insurance.” Ah yes, the key is to remake the health care system in a conservative image. What does that look like? Well, block-granting Medicaid for starters. Eliminating as many entitlements as humanly possible is the reason Paul Ryan gets up in the morning. Forcing poor people to go without services enjoyed by the masses is another goal. Handing out huge tax cuts to rich billionaires is practically conservative doctrine at this point. So, Trump really should be quite busy at the moment. But, he’s not. In fact, as of this writing Donald Trump is at Mar-a-lago in Florida. The Western White House as he calls it because Mr. Trump never learned directions and has never had to stare at a compass let alone figure out what it does or what it means.
Some have suggested that Mr. Trump lives in a fantasy world, but that is unfair to those who actually do live in fantasy worlds as a fantasy world has things like rules which must be obeyed. Trump does not live by any rules. In fact, the Government’s office of ethics has been trying to explain to Trump the importance of playing by the rules, but Trump will have none of it. Special rules for special people. That ought to be the conservative mantra. As it applies to his fellow conservatives so the mantra applies to Trump. He is special all right. He’s a Kardashian who’s pretending to be President and it’s fun now since he hasn’t had an opportunity to do much of consequence aside from pissing off all our friends and allies around the world. The pain will set in when there is an international crisis of some kind. It is then that we will have to reassess whether we are actually up to the task of carrying on with the reality show President or whether – like most of the Kardashians themselves – he is simply too painful to watch and needs to be switched off for say three and a half years.