The true loss for Trump: status among the famous
Donald Trump ran for president on a platform of lies.
From small fibs to toxic whoppers the size of Macedonia, he spent the better part of 18 months giving the truth a wedgie. He put reality in a headlock. On Tuesday, as the U.S. election comes to a merciful end, Trump could hold up a picture of a triangle, call it a circle and his supporters would chant, “Yeah, a circle! Lock her up!”
Win or lose, this is Trump’s legacy: he stumbled into politics, a field not exactly marked by lush honesty, and carpetbombed every fact in sight. He hijacked the party of Abraham Lincoln and animated it with the instincts of a shameless asbestos salesman. He made Lance Armstrong, Stephen Glass, James Frey and Ryan Lochte look like clergy by comparison.
Or as Barack Obama put it on Sunday, referring to the way Trump blatantly invented a tale about how the U.S. president “screamed” at a protester when he was defending the man: “He thought it was OK to just lie. Wasn’t even trying to be sneaky about it. That says something about how unacceptable behaviour has become normal . . . (Trump) said the exact opposite of what happened.”
This is Trump’s modus operandi and raison d’être, all rolled into a Jolly Rancher farce starring a racist Pinocchio.
If it emerges that Trump is worth only 500 bucks or that he once sexually assaulted the Statue of Liberty or that his name is Dave, nobody would gasp with horror.
Not now. Not after this election cycle exposed the bottomless depths of his unacceptable behaviour.
If he loses on Tuesday, it’s tempting to believe Trump will melt into a pool of introspection and audit his profound shortcomings as a human. But this too is a lie. Sociopaths don’t have the capacity for remorse. The truth is, Trump never really wanted to be president. That’s not a great life for anyone with the attention span of a newborn.
You can’t succeed as commander-inchief when you have the self-control of a bonobo chimp in heat. You can’t plot multilateral agreements or chart domestic policy when you’re too busy slurring enemies on Twitter.
Trump just wanted the ego hit in knowing he could be president.
For a man obsessed with status, this was always the secret prize.
But what Trump will regret is that he is now a pariah among the famous. He’s a joke to the rich.
He is radioactive to the celebrities who turned out in glittering droves to support Hillary Clinton: from LeBron James to Katy Perry, Lady Gaga to Shonda Rhimes, Steven Spielberg to Robert De Niro, George and Amal Clooney to Jay Z and Beyoncé, Ellen DeGeneres to Amy Schumer. The list is endless and it touches every demographic.
On Monday night, Bruce Springsteen serenaded Clinton fans in Philadelphia. “Born in the U.S.A.” is now an anti-Trump anthem and you just know irony must be killing him.
By contrast, who stumped for Trump? Chachi? Ted Nugent?
Contrary to the biggest lie Trump tried to pass off — that he’s a champion for the working class — he’s never cared about “everyday” Americans. Most of his diehard supporters wouldn’t even get interviews for entry-level jobs at his company.
Trump cares about poor people in the same way he cares about book learning.
But what he’s always cared about — and why running for public office was such a colossal personal mistake — was the belief he was part of the very cultural elite his followers disdain. That he was a TV star, a successful tycoon without peer, a one-man brand powerhouse, all of which is now demonstrably untrue.
Does Trump really care about moving into the White House? No.
And that’s why he was always disproportionately unhinged by the Saturday Night Live sketches, by the dazzling concerts for Clinton, by the mockery from late-night comedians, by the dismissive jabs in lifestyle and fashion magazines, by the now consensus in Hollywood that he is an evil narcissist with an insatiable need for attention.
Coming from Hollywood, that’s saying something.
If his voters, many of whom have legitimate economic anxieties, believe Trump will remain as their de facto voice in the event of a Clinton victory, they are even more delusional than previously imagined. Trump spent zero days in politics before his candidacy and he’ll spend zero days after the dust settles. Screw the voters. Screw America. Now it’s time for his Mission Impossible sequel: Make Trump Great Again. firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald Trump is radioactive to the celebrities who turned out in glittering droves to support Hillary Clinton, including Beyoncé.