Walt Laws−MacDonald |Show Me The Money!
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 08:11
Donald Trump is a legend. Though he has lurked in the shadows of the “Business” section for most of our young lives, Trump has been steadily dialing up the “crazy” on his persona for the past few years — and it has been magnificent.
For the past two years, Trump has danced a beautiful waltz, nay, a moonwalk with politics. There is the Republican Party, and there is Donald Trump. No. That’s not right... There is Trump, and there is the Republican Party.
Trump’s role in this election ranged from interesting to downright ridiculous. Though he never officially entered the race, he outpolled the entire Republican field — including Romney — early in the race. On May 16, Trump announced he would not run for President. Then a week later, he said maybe he would, saying, “I can’t rule out anything out.”
Though Trump never did enter the race, he consistently took aim at Obama. The biggest proponent of the “Birther” movement, Trump announced at a press conference that he was very proud of himself for personally getting Obama to release his birth certificate.
Never one to let controversy die easily, Trump brought up the issue again in late October, announcing that he would donate $5 million in exchange for Obama’s academic records and passport applications. Obama’s only response was that Trump’s feud with him “dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya.”
And then there’s Twitter. Indeed, to talk about Donald Trump and not mention his Twitter account is akin to discussing “meh” and not mentioning Tufts — first my Blackberry, now my school? Strike two, New York Times.
The most recent chapter of this saga unfolded on election night, before nearly two million followers on the social networking site and countless more in the media coverage that followed. Trump unleashed a stream of pure gold for about half an hour — and then deleted some of the posts.
When NBC officially called the election, Trump tweeted “Well, back to the drawing board!” and then “He lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election. We should have a revolution in this country!” This one was a classic case of forgetting that most of the West Coast was not yet tallied — Obama would eventually win the popular vote by over 3 million votes — but the call for revolution was, of course, completely legitimate.
But it didn’t stop there. The next day Trump took aim at China, another favorite scapegoat, saying “Beijing had a bigger celebration than Chicago last night.” Trump has since tweeted, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese to make U.S. manufacturing non−competitive.” Direct. Effing. Quote.
In my opinion, Trump’s greatest attribute is his sheer brutality. In response to Anthony Baxter’s “You’ve Been Trumped” (2011), a documentary about Trump’s controversial golf resort in Aberdeen, Scotland, Trump tweeted “Your documentary died many deaths. You have, in my opinion, zero talent.” I mean seriously, I wonder what he says when he fires people...
So why do I care about Donald Trump? First off, the man is hilarious, even if it is in a ridiculous, “people shouldn’t be allowed to say these things” sort of way. Secondly — like it or not — Trump is one of the most prominent businessmen of our generation. Real estate, casinos, television, golf. You name it, he’s made money — and slapped his name on it.
Perhaps most importantly, people actually listen to him. Trump’s weekly television and radio appearances draw high ratings, and his seal of approval is a huge popularity boost.
And do I even need to mention the hair?
Yes. The hair.
Walt Laws-MacDonald is a sophomore majoring in quantitative economics. He can be reached at Walt.Laws_MacDonald@tufts.edu.