Donald Trump

Donald Trump for Poet Laureate

The art of the heel

|

Back in July, when we all were younger and America had not yet lost its innocence, I wrote this:

"There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."

It's far from clear that [Donald] Trump literally means all the crazy things he says. Take his announcement that he won't just build a border wall but will make Mexico pay for it. I can't dismiss the possibility that Trump actually thinks he can do this. But it's easier to take it as an over-the-top bit of braggadocio that's meant more as poetry than policy. It's bad poetry, of course, but the world has always contained more bad verse than good.

It's time I issued a mea culpa. Not because Trump doubled down on that business about Mexico paying for the wall—like I said, it was always a possibility that he was serious—but because I underrated the quality of his art. Bad poetry, schmad poetry: This is an amazing show.

Trump has become a one-man burlesque of the entire political process. If Trey Parker and Matt Stone were to write a South Park where Eric Cartman runs for president, they wouldn't have to work hard on the script: They could have him do and say exactly the same things as Trump without changing a comma. A Trump presidency would be horrible for pretty much the same reasons a Cartman presidency would be horrible, but his campaign is a compelling cartoon for the same reasons a Cartman campaign would be a compelling cartoon. A thin-skinned insult comic is running for president by trolling people on Twitter, giving out a rival's private phone number, and bragging about the crony-capitalist corruption that helped make him rich, and he's being rewarded with soaring poll numbers. It's Bulworth rewritten by cynics.

Trump may not intend to be doing this, but in these death-of-the-author days I doubt that matters. Indeed, it might help. In other pop-weirdo campaigns, from Jello Biafra's to Kinky Friedman's, the candidate usually winks at the audience. But Trump believes his own act, and that's what makes him the perfect parody of every other power-hungry egomaniac in America. And I thought this was bad poetry? I would never cast a ballot for Trump, but I might vote for a candidate who pledges to make Trump our poet laureate.

NEXT: Non-Violent Drug Offenders Are "Peddlers of Death," Says Law Enforcement Group President

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “bragging about the crony-capitalist corruption that helped make him rich”

    Trump inherited his wealth, and had he just invested in an S&P 500 index fund he would be richer today than had he taken part in his crony-capitalist schemes.

    1. Trump inherited his wealth

      He inherited his wealth, but he’s been through the lose-it-and-regain-it cycle since then.

      1. Fair enough. Crony capitalism also probably helped him regain/not lose as much. The point is he is still a moron that random chance would have done better than his crony capitalism.

        Also, I can’t believe the author actually replied to one of my comments. 🙂

        1. ” I can’t believe the author actually replied to one of my comments.”

          It is the privilege of Primum Loqui

          You have spoken first, and are therefore superior to the rabble, and deserve a retort.

          1. Why, then, in your humble opinion, is the Fist of Etiquette so often ignored by the writers of articles here at Reason?

            (I must reject “Cocktail parties” as an answer unless there is referential evidence).

            /writing in levity yet interested in your response

            1. “Why, then, in your humble opinion, is the Fist of Etiquette so often ignored by the writers of articles here at Reason?”

              Why do you think FoE is *always first*?

              obviously, he’s one of the Koch brothers, and all the Reason writers are his puppet-servants, duh.

        2. That is not a good thing…

          1. I remember that little bitch!

    2. Dude has since filed bankruptcy more times than there are Chapters.

    3. My understanding is that he would be 100X richer if he had invested in the S&P.

      1. but would he have gotten to stiff as many contractors, investors and lenders and then call them stupid for believing him ? How many old ladies would he have gotten to evict to build limousine parking lots ?

  2. Our poet laureate should be Agile Cyborg.

    1. I didn’t even think it was a contest. AC is… special.

  3. There is only one candidate I can endorse enthusiastically — Pat Paulsen for President!

    1. What about Robert Paulson?

      1. I understand. In death, a member of Project Mayhem has a name.

      2. + 100 “His name is Robert Paulson”

        1. + 100 “His name is Robert Paulson” bitch tits

          1. +1000 “that hung enormous the way you’d think of God’s as big.”

    2. No, Nobody.

      Everybody says Nobody is better than their candidate, that Nobody can beat him. I agree with them all.

    3. He’d be better than most of the other current candidates in spite of (or perhaps because) he is no longer with us. I met Mr. Paulsen once in the late 80s at a wine-tasting event near Disneyland where he was promoting his wines. I said that with his picture on the label people might think he’s missing (you know, like they used to do with milk cartons). He forced a polite laugh.

  4. Donald Trump for Poet Laureate

    Agile Cyborg or go home.

  5. Well, I’m clearly not getting Jesse’s vote, since I’ve been expressly clear about making Agile Cyborg the USA’s Poet Laureate (unpaid, of course).

    Almanian for President – 2016
    I Probably Won’t Make It Any Worse

    But I will definitely declare Agile Cyborg to be our [unpaid] Poet Laureate.

    1. Donald Trump for U.S. ambassador to Mexico!

      1. Screw that – Trump to Russia! Imagine him and Putin hanging out, being all bros and wrestling tigers.

        1. The sad thing is I could see those two becoming BFFs.

        2. Trump and the Russian oligarchs seem to have the same nouveau-riche, hey-look-at-me bad taste, anyway.

          1. Russian mafioso walks into a jewelry store. He whips out the enormous billfold from his track suit and starts talking to the clerk.

            “I’m going to church on Sunday, so I want a cross. Solid gold, rubies on top, diamonds on the sides. Yes, exactly like the one over there, but without the gymnast!”

          2. Opulence. They has it.

          3. I was orginally going to say that Trump is like the American version of that stereotypical rich Russian oligarch in the DirecTV commercial from a few years ago, but I wasn’t sure if enough people would remember the commercial.

            1. It’s high time this country get a leader that properly reflects what it is: a massive, globe-spanning empire with delusions of its own superiority. And if he happens to bring his poor taste in interior design and tiny pet giraffe to the White House with him, even better.

            2. I will never forget those commercials. The miniature giraffe in those ads always brought a smile to my face.

  6. Trump may not intend to be doing this, but in these death-of-the-author days I doubt that matters.

    ::nods approvingly::

  7. If Trey Parker and Matt Stone were to write a South Park where Eric Cartman runs for president, they wouldn’t have to work hard on the script: They could have him do and say exactly the same things as Trump without changing a comma.

    That’s very true, except that that wouldn’t be funny because it would be predictable and obvious, so they’d have to throw some kind of twist in. Like the McCain/Obama episode where Obama wins the election is actually all about a heist.

    1. Like the McCain/Obama episode where Obama wins the election is actually all about a heist.

      The funny thing is, it really was all about a heist in real life too…

    2. Also, to my knowledge Trump does not have any disdain for hippies. Or, does he?

    3. Eric Cartman trying to sue Donald Trump for breaching copyright laws?

  8. Where do all the random yokels never seen before come from for some of the immigration articles? They were all over the chapman article earlier. I feel like we always get the same progressives every time for the most part but there always seems to be random new conservatives who come here whenever there’s a “bait” article.

    1. Facebook, probably.

      1. I don’t follow reason on Facebook do they make posts about chapman’s articles (asking since he doesn’t actually work for reason)? Are the comments on Facebook generally conservative? The part I find weird is that we only seem to get these brigades from one side I’ve never really seen it happen from progressives.

        1. Dunnno about Facebook but every HnR article gets linked on Teh Twitter.

        2. There’s probably some nativist-conservative forum out there where one of the members posts links to reason stories and gets all of the internet lawyers riled up to come over here and comment.

    2. Yeah, there were like 5 random people all making the same stupid argument about the “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” clause of the 14th Amendment.

      1. I just read the thread and 5 is a major underestimate.

      2. Stupid? If they were subject to the jurisdiction, then they would be deported. Duh! Deported for breaking the law that they’re not subjected to.

    3. I feel like we always get the same progressives every time for the most part but there always seems to be random new conservatives who come here whenever there’s a “bait” article.

      At least the resident proggy trolls use the same handle every time so you know you can just skip over their shit (unless you want some lulz). I suspect that the yokels who troll the immigration threads are probably the same few people and they just change handles a lot.

      Either they’re too stupid to remember their old handle from the last time, or they do it on purpose so you can’t readily identify them as a troll and ignore. IOW they’re either very stupid or very clever.

      …Something about a thin line between stupid and clever.

    4. Wow, what a deluge of derp.

      I particularly like the guy who thinks the US “cut ties” with the common law when it cut ties to the crown.

      1. It started from the first comment from a guy who doesn’t know what “birth tourism” or “non-resident” mean.

    5. Do you MISS the “…random yokels… (on) immigration articles”?

      Well, Hell’s Bells, lemme FILL IN for them!

      All we need to do is to build a hundreds-of-miles-long miles-high WALL made out of unobtanium, and THROW THE VERMIN OUT, and THEN we will all be safe and secure! AND we will all be able to ride our unicorns over the rainbow, to our good-jobs-for-good-Americans, where our jobs will be, to have sex with good-looking whores all day, while swimming in ice cream and the finest of liquors! AND I know how to make that them thar evil Me-hixicans PAY for it ALL!!!!

  9. Nonsense. Donald Trump is exactly the kind of small government Conservative the country needs to rein in an out of control state. He understands the limits that must be placed on power.

    1. It takes lots power to limit power. More power than the president currently has. So in order to limit power, he will need more power.

    2. That is why he named his fragrance EMPIRE, because nothing says small government like empire

  10. If Trey Parker and Matt Stone were to write a South Park where Eric Cartman runs for president

    I think I know what at least one episode of the next season of South Park will be about. Actually that will probably end up being a three parter, like their Black Friday trilogy, or The Coon trilogy.

  11. If Trey Parker and Matt Stone were to write a South Park where Eric Cartman runs for president

    I think I know what at least one episode of the next season of South Park will be about. Actually that will probably end up being a three parter, like their Black Friday trilogy, or The Coon trilogy.

    1. Fuck you skwirrlz.

      1. Don’t make them angry.

      2. Fuuuuck yooooou sqiiiiiirrrrrrrruuuuuuu! Fuck you dooooooorphin!

  12. A Trump presidency would be horrible for pretty much the same reasons a Cartman presidency would be horrible

    “Where’s your hall pass immigration pass, brah?”

  13. At least Trump would maybe close Gitmo down, if only to build a hotel there.

    1. I also heard that if elected Trump would bring back Firefly and deport Rosie O’Donnell.

      1. Well in that case I might have to rethink my opposition to Trump…

    2. If Trump vows to turn Gitmo into a American Macau, I’ll vote for him.

  14. This whole cult of personality thing never ends well, and by the looks of it that’s what both sides are going to present to the people. So no matter what, a cult of personality will be our next president. Looks like more fundamental change is coming, and it ain’t gonna be good.

    1. Just the normal death throes of a republic… or ?

      1. Pretty much.

    2. A cult of personality is our current president. The change already happened in 2008. I fully expect it to be the norm now. Bread and circuses, baby! People get way more excited and worked up over emotional, tangential issues than real-world, dry, technical ones? No shit!

      1. That’s what I meant when I said “more fundamental change.”

      2. Good thing that, with the possible exception of Trump, none of the current presidential candidates HAVE a personality.

        1. Maybe we should call it Cult of the Empty Suit, then. I’d join but I already belong to the Cult of the Vault.

      3. People get way more excited and worked up over emotional, tangential issues than real-world, dry, technical ones? No shit!

        In defense of people, since when has the gov. ever solved “real world” issues? they can’t even solve made up emotional ones, except in the fevered minds of partisan sycophants. At least modern populist rhetoric is so retarded it’s entertaining if you’ve huffed a bottle of spray paint before subjecting yourself to watching the news.

        1. Doing something is better than doing nothing!

          1. you mean huffing spray paint is better than not huffing spray paint?

        2. Except that “people” are allowing the politicians to distract them from their abysmal policy failures, corruption, cronies, waste, graft, and criminality by getting them to play the KULTUR WAR game. And anyone who does that is fucking stupid. Amazingly stupid.

          1. Reason has some well motivated soldiers in the culture wars, but since they’re always on the right side, they aren’t at all “fucking stupid”. Right?

        3. since when has the gov. ever solved “real world” issues?

          When the people dragged them along kicking and screaming?

    3. ” So no matter what, a cult of personality will be our next president. ”

      Good thing Hillary doesn’t have one. Phew!

  15. The daily H&R Trump-Dump has landed I see. Yawn.

    1. Oh look, another comment about how often H&R posts about Donald Trump. That’s original.

      1. Oh, look – another comment about someone commenting about something. That’s original.

        1. It’s comments about comments all the way down.

          1. Another comment using the ‘all the way down’ meme.

            You disgust me.

          2. You keep your comment about comments about comments about comments to yourself.

          3. Gee whiz. An “all the way down” comment. That’s real original.

            1. Good grief, a comment saying the same thing as a comment from a few minutes earlier. Now that’s original.

              1. Wow – dry-humored comments about other comments, with hackneyed memes. That’s original.

                1. I wish you all had but one mouth I could punch.

                2. Is this commentception?

                  1. What comment level are we at?

                    1. Comment level: Your Mom

                    2. My god…its full of comments…

            2. You know who else was real original?

              1. Hitler?

          4. Fuck… the only thing worse than squirrels is turtles.

      2. i dont have a comment

  16. Saw this on Powerline:

    But listen to Trump’s message. It’s not about limited government. It’s about his ability to get big things done ? to make “unbelievable deals” that will make America great again ? demonstrated by his personal fortune.

    …snip…

    The GOP presidential field is not oblivious to the rank-and-file’s concern over America’s diminished power and standing. Even Rand Paul has adjusted his foreign policy stance in response to the rise of ISIS, for example.

    But Trump wins the hearts of populists because he frames the problem in basic, elemental terms of winning and losing, connects it to illegal immigration (Mexico is winning), and casts himself (plausibly to many, given his personal success) as the ultimate winner.

    It’s a powerful message and one that, at least so far, has made him nearly immune to attack on other grounds, including important ideological ones like Tea Party values.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/a…..pulism.php

    1. You cannot win an argument with an idiot. And whether or not Trump is actually an idiot, he is using idiotic arguments.

      AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!

    2. “…Trump also favors vast eminent domain powers

      Color me surprised…

    3. ” the rank-and-file’s concern over America’s diminished power and standing.”

      I think its informative that the Yokeltarian view of Foreign Relations seems to be exactly as Zero-Sum as the average Progressive’s ideas about economic “Inequality”

      i.e. that another person’s gain is somehow a reflection of our own diminishment; The existence of a record # of billionaires in America is a sign of the pillage of the rightful endowment of the Poor; the growth of China, et al, is a reflection of our own post-cold-war Failure to Win the Future by…. enacting tariffs? restricting sharing of IP or banning the outsourcing labor to enable flexible low cost business development and innovation…

      neither understand the Win-Win of free-market exchange in a world where there’s a labor or asset-value arbitrage to be exploited.

      1. When you trade with Hitler, and sell him some gas chamber poison, is that win-win?

        Voluntary free-trade, even within the same society, is based on the cultural context of each party.

        This is really what boycotting is all about (like what MLK did), as well as economic sanctions with Iran over nukes.

        Refusing to do business with people because they haven’t met certain ethical litmus tests is a valid option.

        Free trade with slave nations is unethical. This is why leftists refuse to wear clothes made in 3rd world sweat shops. Free trade rewards sweat shops.

        Free trade between equally free civilizations makes sense. Free trade with slave states just imports the conditions of slavery.

        I bet you don’t object to voluntarily refusing business (freedom of association). You seem to think it somehow becomes immoral when its done by the collective. Aggregating interests doesn’t change them from good to bad, nor from bad to good. Free trade (as well as open borders), as a moral mandate is fundamentally a denial of freedom of association.

    4. But Trump wins the hearts of populists because he frames the problem in basic, elemental terms of winning and losing, connects it to illegal immigration (Mexico is winning), and casts himself (plausibly to many, given his personal success) as the ultimate winner.

      Donald Trump says stupid, narcissistic shit devoid of any policy merit and morons eat it up.

      Winning!

  17. The real question is if Reason will publish an article titled “Is Donald Trump a secret Libertarian” in which nobody will read before flaming each other in the comments section.

    1. “Is Donald Trump a secret stealth Libertarian”

    2. God, that would be awesome…

      *daydreams of the comments that would follow*

    3. It would have to be written by Dalmia.

    4. The Washington Times is already working that angle.

  18. How about “Donald of the House Trump, the First of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm”?

  19. I’ll publicly stake myself out as a Trump *supporter. Not that I’ll actually vote for him.

    But if we can’t have Biden, why not second “best”?

    Of course of Joe does ramp up his run – “a Trans Am in every garage and a grow room in every basement” then I may have to change my mind.

    *This is all because Almanian won’t give me a plum job in his future administration.

    1. You’re not asking hard enough, Lord!

      Not enough I making MY house the new white house, and selling the White House to Disney (or Trump) to make into an amusement park? Thus making Michigan a TOURIST MECCA with dollars for e’r’body??

      Already with the ingratitude….

      *walks off in a huff*

    1. I can’t believe that it’s not butter.

      1. That brand always bothered me. It makes no claim on what it is, only that we won’t believe it isn’t something else. It could be motor oil or walrus septum. And we really couldn’t get mad, because all they really said is that we would believe that it wasn’t actually something else.

        1. Try this one, weird trick to find out what the spread is made of!

          1. Ingredient # 7 will shock you!

        2. I think Vicar of Dibley has thoroughly explored this.

      2. I Can’t Believe it’s not Santorum!

    2. “Now technically that stain did appear to me. Also, I am familiar with carpentry, and I don’t know who my father is, so … am I the messiah? I don’t know. I could be. I’m not ruling it out.”

      1. “It’s a sign!”

        *picks up sandal*

        1. I just realized that Trump is very much like a weird combination of Frank and Charlie.

          1. And Warty’s like a real life Biggus Dickus.

        2. No! Follow the Gourd!

      2. Trump’s mother: “He’s not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!”

    3. I’m gonna call bullshit. Looks like someone drew that face on there to me.

      1. The doubter dies a million times.

        1. +1 Pascal’s Wager

    1. Classic mix-up, They probably just took the term “turn based combat” too literally.

  20. Donald Trump deserves high praise for resurrecting Bloom County. (Well, he had some help from Berke Breathed, but still.)

    1. So you’re saying Trump Breathed life back into “Bloom County”….

      *stares at CN*

    2. Agreed. Trump has already made America better.

    3. I was skeptical, but the 25 years off seems to have rekindled the goofy magic of Bloom County.

    4. I find it hilarious that the Bloom County facebook is filled with people talking about how Breathed is ‘filling the gap Jon Stewart left behind’.

  21. Trump is the greatest cartoon character enemy the liberals could ever hope for. He’s a gift.

    He’s all of their boogemen rolled up into one handy container for their smuglightened outrage to flail against.

    1. I’m not averse to the argument that he’s Hillary’s stooge.

    2. AND HE’S ‘UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE!!!!

        1. Jesus wanted to kick the brownies out of his country, too. Read your bible.

        2. Ha! This comment.

          @washingtonpost OMG. If he will be the next president, it will be a disaster for the US. Europe will laugh about that!

          Oh Noes! Europe will laugh at us! Because Le Pen hasn’t been successful at all! And Greece is totally not run by communists!

        3. Yeah – that girl holding the baby….those eyes….

          *shudder*

          1. “Donald! Take my baby! I birthed him for you!”

    3. That’s why I’m still wondering if his whole candidacy isn’t just some sort of false flag/ trolling operation by the Dems. I still think it’s a possibility.

  22. But Trump believes his own act…

    Unfortunately, I think most of them do.

  23. I tried posting this on a year old comments section. But my link fu six. It is NPR. Possibly an example of peak projection if that is a thing
    http://www.onthemedia.org/stor…..ald-trump/

    1. “adapted from an article in The Atlantic

      [back button]

    2. Comments section to the NPR piece was not what I would have expected.

      1. They really did do a bad job of concealing their left-wing bias. The use of Schindler’s List theme music really destroyed the pretense of objectivity. Well, that and the fact that the story was purely hypothetical.

    3. FTA:

      Some had just wanted to register a protest, not realizing that they would be swinging the election to an insecure, undisciplined narcissist unfit for public office.

      …but enough about Obama.

  24. But listen to Trump’s message. It’s not about limited government.

    Oh, piffle.

  25. I’m sorry – lost in all the angst and fear and loathing and wailing and gnashing of teeth….

    …excellent Alt Text, as usual, Jesse.

  26. The most dangerous thing about Trump is that he believes his own bullshit. He’s managed to build a fairly successful real estate empire despite four bankruptcies. He wrote a book about negotiation. He’s got an MBA from Wharton. His uncle was a professor at MIT. Therefore, he thinks, there’s something in his genes that qualifies him to lead under the fuhrerprinzip. Free trade advocates and socialists are stupid. Except for the use of the word fuhrerprinzip, which is somewhat unpopular nowadays, this is exactly how he promotes his candidacy.

    1. Anyone who sez differently is out pounding the pavement for a new job.

  27. I know he’s not Camacho(*), but The Donald has a history of trophy wives and girlfriends and he has been inducted into World Wrestling Entertainment’s Hall of Fame.

    Trump’s rhetoric is also similar to Camacho’s:

    Shit. I know shit’s bad right now, with all that starving bullshit, and the dust storms, and we are running out of french fries and burrito coverings. But I got a solution.

    (*) President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, porn star and five-time ultimate smackdown wrestling champion!

  28. I would never cast a ballot for Trump

    Never say never, Jesse.

  29. Trump could get Mexico to pay for the wall using a withholding tax on personal remittances to foreign countries.

    Oklahoma already has a 1% tax on this.

    If you’re legal and pay income taxes, you get it back when you file.

    Its easy to assume that Trump just says stuff and its “impossible.”

    I do think he just says stuff, but I think he knows he can have a staff of smart lawyers find ways to do these things.

    Nobody was laughing when Obama got the ACA penalties to become a tax or any of the other amazing backflips on that.

    Nobody was laughing when Obama packed the DC circuit court after Reid dropped the fillibuster.

    Trump could do the exact same thing and just pack the SCOTUS. (or merely threaten to do so, which worked for FDR)

    When the media whines, he’ll just point to FDR. FDR is friggin’ lefty hero…are they really going to drag FDR through the mud to slime the Teflon Trump?

  30. he is Dwayne Elizondo Herbert Mountain Dew Camacho.

    Stupid americans deserve this clown as president.

    He will be the Batista of our time and usher in the next castro. The same could be said for which ever POS becomes the next president. They are all the same, in on the scam, and are in collaboration. In a very sad way, the best thing for America is for that nasty bitch to win. At least the moron herd will not be able to blame capitalism.

    If you think your vote counts, you’re not very smart.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.