The 2011 version of P.T. Barnum, Donald Trump has become the nation’s–to use President Obama’s words–“carnival barker.” P.T. Barnum (photo, top right), you’ll remember, was the shameless 19th century promoter of many things odd and spectacular. Many of his claims and circus curiosities were untrue but people paid to see them, hence his oft-quoted theory: “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Trump (photo, bottom left), always the bloviating showman, is using the coming presidential election as his new soapbox, choosing the “birther” issue to get tons of media coverage. His insistence that Mr. Obama prove (again) his U.S. birth inevitably worked; the president released a “long form” version of his birth certificate in an attempt to end the “distraction” this long, silly discussion has created.
But many say the issue for birthers is not really Barack Obama’s birthplace. Some believe it’s racism, pure and simple. The birthers won’t say it out loud or on camera, but it pains them to see a left-leaning, personally popular black man in the White House.
I, for one, don’t believe that Donald Trump is a racist. In fact, I don’t think he really believed that Obama may not have been born here. Trump lives to promote Trump and uses plenty of exaggerations and untruths to do so. He claims his TV show is NBC’s top-rated program; it’s not–it’s “The Office.” A few years ago he said he was worth $3.6 billion; his bank said he was worth $688 million. He says he’s a Republican, yet he’s given more money to Democratic candidates than to Republicans. Yes, like P.T. Barnum before him, Donald Trump promotes Donald Trump very well. I predict he’s not serious about running for president…I believe he’s using this moment to get headlines. Next to money, it’s what The Donald craves most. Your thoughts?