Commentary: That’s Entertainment, Trump-style
By John Krull
INDIANAPOLIS – So, he was just goofing around.
President Donald Trump’s apologists say the commander-in-chief wasn’t being serious when he said he wanted the Nov. 3 presidential election to be postponed. No, the leader of the free world was trying to josh the mainstream media and fire up his base.
It’s good to know that – during a pandemic that has claimed the lives of nearly 160,000 Americans, tossed millions of others out of work, and caused the biggest crater in the U.S. economy in history – the president has time to pull pranks.
Doubtless, the folks who were on their way to the cemetery to bury loved ones or who were about to become homeless just split their guts laughing over that presidential practical joke.
That’s the great thing about having someone in the Oval Office whose primary training for leadership was starring in a reality TV show in which he pretended to fire people. He knows that bad news can be material for entertainment.
And a disaster?
Oh, a disaster can make for great comedy.
That’s the genius of this president. He never misreads his audience or the moment.
Less stable geniuses might think that action was called for at this time.
After all, millions of Americans are about to lose their unemployment benefits – the only thing keeping them afloat – and all attempts to extend help to those desperate souls have stalled in Congress, largely because the president’s fellow Republicans in the Senate are fighting amongst themselves. About a thousand of our citizens die every day from COVID-19 and the infection rates are soaring in nearly two-thirds of the states.
Polls show that nearly 80 percent of Americans are convinced the country is out of control.
Other presidents might be working, night and day, to get checks to their fellow citizens who are about to lose their homes. Those other presidents, Republican and Democrat, would see the coronavirus pandemic as a threat to national security and throw everything they and the nation had at containing its spread. They would be summoning us to meet history’s challenge, saying things like “we have nothing to fear but fear itself” or “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
Fortunately, we now have a president who doesn’t go in for that sort of foolishness.
His keenly honed leadership skills tell him that being president isn’t about actually doing things and making life better for as many Americans as possible.
No, it’s about putting on a good show.
It’s about getting great ratings.
This president knows that most true Americans would much rather see him rile up CNN than put food in their children’s bellies. They would prefer to see him stick it to The Washington Post than save their parents’ or their grandparents’ lives.
And they definitely want a good belly laugh more than they do a good job and a decent life.
That’s what this president understands in a way that no other president ever has.
He grasps what made the Three Stooges such big stars. They knew that the more pratfalls, the more calamity and mayhem, the better the show. The trick was in pretending to be in control while in reality serving as agents of disaster.
If Moe, Curly and Larry were still alive, doubtless they’d be members of the Trump cabinet.
As it is, their memories serve as an inspiration for all who serve this president now.
President John F. Kennedy was so, so wrong when he tried to summon Americans to meet common challenges by asserting, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”
President Trump realizes that JFK wasn’t even close to asking the right question.
“Are we not entertained?”
FOOTNOTE: John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism and publisher of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.
This article was posted by the City-County Observer without bias, opinion, or editing.