It’s the first week of a new year, and after all the fireworks have died down, and the party hats and horns and noisemakers are shelved for another season, it’s time to take stock of where we’ve landed now that we’ve got both feet firmly back on the ground. Before we’ve even taken a deep inhale, one thing is clear. The Presidential Election 2016 has officially begun.
On Tuesday, Donald Trump began running his first television advertisements in Iowa and New Hampshire—early voting states that always get more than their share of publicity. The primary in New Hampshire dates back to 1952 while the caucus in Iowa started in 1972, and both have been major testing grounds for candidates for the Republican and Democratic nominations.
As for Trump, he announced several days ago that he’ll be spending $2 million per week of his own money to market his candidacy, and, from the looks of his first ad, the months ahead are going to be a messy time.
The ad opens with head shots of Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama which fade into pics of Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the San Bernardino assassins.
“The politicians can pretend it’s something else. But Donald Trump calls it radical Islamic terrorism,” a narrator says. “That’s why he’s calling for a temporary shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until we can figure out what’s going on.”
Hmm…what’s going on? What’s going on Donald is that you are alienating an entire nation of American Muslims, most of whom are caught between a rock and a hard place as they try to endure the pathetic antics of the radical few.
TEMPORARY BAN ON MUSLIMS ENTERING THE U.S. – TRUMP- reads a banner over images of men in ski masks. He promises to “quickly cut the head off ISIS and take their oil”—as if ISIS owned any oil.
As footage shows graining black-and-white footage of dark clothed men running down a hill and presumable across a boarder, the narrator says, “And he’ll stop illegal immigration by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for.” Never mind that the footage was later exposed to be Moroccans running across the border into the enclave at Melilla, Spain.
The point here is that Donald Trump, who is currently leading the crop of Republican candidates, is openly deceiving potential voters through hyperbole and unrelated video. Thankfully, he did not bring the LGBT community into the ad, for Trump is quite outspoken on his opposition to gay marriage.
At one point, he compared his opposition to the legalization of same-sex marriage to his reluctance to use a new kind of putter. ‘It’s like in golf,’ he said. ‘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,’ said Trump. ‘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.’” [New York Times, 5/2/2011 ]
With the Iowa cause less than a month away, and the New Hampshire primary a few days later, last Monday night over 8,000 people waited in line in Lowell, Massachusetts, in freezing, windy conditions to get into the Paul E. Tsongas Center, an arena filled to capacity. There can be little doubt that these people and thousands more like them would eagerly do the same to vote for this man who was delivering “comments” rather than a speech in an arena named for a brilliant late Senator who must have been turning in his grave at lines like “I know exactly how to build a wall. I know the footings. I know exactly how deep they have to go. I know everything.”
It was the genius Albert Einstein who ironically said, “I don’t know everything.” Einstein gave us the Theory of Relativity on which much in physics is based, yet few can understand. Trump has given us nothing, yet everyone who drools at his feet seems to understand him completely.
Yes, it’s the first week of the new year; and already I’m confused. There’s 306 days until the Election. We’ll keep you posted.