Another guy you've heard of is officially running for president: television star, real estate dude, and notoriously touchy rich guy (claiming a net worth of over $8 billion, he doesn't need your money or Wall Street's!) Donald Trump.
Here are some of the things he said today as summed up in The Hill. You know, it sounds like this whole Trump-for-prez thing is gonna be great!
"I am officially running for president of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again," Trump said in remarks at New York City's Trump Tower….."Our country needs a truly great leader, and we need a truly great leader now," Trump said. "We need somebody who can take the brand of the United States and make it great again."
Contentwise, he seems worried about China and trade deals, deals with Iran, and hypes his supposed ability to create jobs and crush ISIS, who are daring to compete with him in the operation of hotels. (Really.) He also is mad as hell that "The U.S. has become the dumping ground for everybody else's problems." How does he feel about immigrants? "They're sending people who have lots of problems," he said. "They bring in drugs, they bring in crime, they're rapists. I assume some are good people…..It's got to stop, and it's got to stop fast."
UPDATE: And here is a full text transcript of his presidential announcement this morning.
Trump is running as Trump! He "has suggested he would run a campaign focused on his record as a celebrity property developer…"
He's the 12th officially official GOP contender, though many more are likely to come. Vox tried to make sense of his politics, noting that he used to be a big Democratic donor (pinning a wealthy businessman's politics to his political giving doesn't reliably wash—people whose necks are that high above the crowd have reason to try to keep every politician happy), is against trade deals, for huge tariffs against both China and American companies manufacturing overseas, against immigration from Mexico but for it from Europe, seems to think using the phrase ISIL to refer to the Sunni jihadist mob in the Middle East is a terrible thing, is against renewable energy and for stealing oil from overseas folk, wants to maintain Social Security and Medicare as is, and despite previous stances for universal health care and the right to abortion, is now against Obamacare and abortion.
Trump has dabbled around politics for many many years in the manner of a grumpy dad bitching about TV news over dinner, always guided by choler, and a general sense that we as a nation aren't treated as greatly as we should be given how greatly great we are. (I suspect this mirrors feelings inside Mr. Trump about himself.)
James W. Antle III at Daily Caller has an interesting account of Trump's last big political move, dabbling with the Reform Party in the 2000 presidential race, supported by Jesse Ventura (then governor of Minnesota), dueling with Pat Buchanan, calling the rest of the Republican Party "too crazy right," and advocating a one-time 14 percent tax on the very wealthy. Here is a summation of Trump's political views then, from his 2000 book associated with that failed Reform run, The America We Deserve.
While seeking coherence in the political mind of such a man is a mug's game, I think it's fair to say a certain unbridled American id is at play in Trump. He is, as Jesse Walker quoted George Hunka in an old Reason article on the early days of Trump's TV show The Apprentice, an "arbitrary, capricious figure (I'd call him mercurial, but this would insult Mercury)." But a sort of middle-American arrogant bluster is a common thread. Hence, see this fun game from Reason editor-in-chief Matt Welch's old Fox Business program The Independents: Trump or Ted Nugent?
Welcome to the race, Mr. Trump. May the greatest man win.