Pretend billionaire and megalomaniac, Donald Trump is making the media rounds to prop up his Apprentice spin-off program: The Republican Presidential Primary Debate, or Presidential Apprentice. The announcement last week of this momentous event has been met with near universal yawns. Already two candidates (Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul) have declined the invitation. The only candidate who has accepted to date is Newt Gingrich.
True to his character, Trump attacked Huntsman (who is in third place in New Hampshire polling) and Paul (who is in third place in Iowa polling) as joke candidates. If they were truly joke candidates, however, they would be headlining Trump’s circus. As it stands, only Gingrich is set to appear. That is most likely because the new front-runner is broke, has no staff, and desperately needs the free media that any public appearance provides.
Republican elders are dismissing Trump’s affair. George Will said that the candidates should be presidential and say that “we’re not going to be hijacked and participate in this.” Karl Rove said that it’s absurd for any candidate to participate in a debate moderated by someone who is planning to make an endorsement and has hinted at running as an Independent. He further noted that “It’s gonna be a giant ego trip.”
Should anyone else decide to join Trump and Gingrich, they should be prepared for what they might encounter in a Trump-moderated debate. So I have compiled some of the subjects that Trump has championed in order that the candidates can familiarize themselves with his platform. Studying these areas of interest will give the debaters a leg up on their campaign for Trump’s affection:
1) Obama’s Citizenship: This is without a doubt the cornerstone of Trump’s political agenda. He talks about it at every appearance – including this morning on MSNBC, where he told Chuck Todd that he is still interested in this even if others are not. He has yet to reveal the findings of the security team he sent to Hawaii to investigate the matter.
2) Obama’s Religion: Despite the fact that the President has repeatedly affirmed his devout Christianity, Trump suspects that he is secretly a Muslim and the proof may be on his birth certificate. Never mind that any religious designation on a birth certificate would be irrelevant. Obviously the baby Barack did not select his faith, but the adult has been clear and consistent.
3) Obama’s Authorship: Trump has embraced the WorldNetDaily crackpots who believe that Bill Ayers was the ghostwriter of Obama’s autobiography “Dreams From My Father.” The evidence of this fraud is the observation that both used certain phrases like going “against the current.” Well, that settles that. Trump also believes that Obama was born Barry Soetoro and later changed his name, despite the fact that his step-father Lolo Soetoro didn’t marry Obama’s mother until he was four years old.
4) Obama’s Academics: Trump is fond of questioning Obama’s academic credentials, insisting that he was too stupid to get into Harvard. He says he is investigating this (are they the same investigators he sent to Hawaii?). Of course it is documented that Obama had graduated from Columbia before getting a scholarship to Harvard where he became the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated magna cum laude.
5) Foreign Policy: Trump has advocated declaring a trade war with China. He also proposed addressing the deficit by stealing the oil from Libya and Iraq. This is the sort of bravado that Trump likes to display with his own business enterprises, which have resulted in four bankruptcies. In addition he has expressed support for an actual shooting war with both Iran and North Korea. However, with international relations between sovereign nations with standing armies, he may produce even worse outcomes than he has with his failing hotels and casinos.
6) Economic Policy: While he doesn’t have a 999 plan, Trump has proposed a tax increase that might inflame the sensitivities of Grover Norquist and the Tea Party:
“I would impose a one-time, 14.25% tax on individuals and trusts with a net worth over $10 million. For individuals, net worth would be calculated minus the value of their principal residence. That would raise $5.7 trillion in new revenue, which we would use to pay off the entire national debt. […] Some will say that my plan is unfair to the extremely wealthy. I say it is only reasonable to shift the burden to those most able to pay. The wealthy actually would not suffer severe repercussions.”
That actually sounds pretty good. Too bad he has disavowed that plan that appeared in his book, and now thinks he can appropriate billions of dollars from other countries to pay down our debt (he doesn’t say how).
This primer for the Trump debate should prepare the candidates to deal with the peculiar lunacy of the Trump vision for America. It would certainly be enlightening for voters to get a clearer perspective on these important matters.
However, there is a significant obstacle that might prevent this illuminating discourse from proceeding. It is highly probable that no one will show up but Gingrich. There really doesn’t seem to be much incentive to participate in a debate between Christmas and New Year’s Day that is hosted by charlatan whom polls show would harm the candidacies of anyone that he endorsed. With only three weeks to confirm, we’ll know pretty soon if there are others in the race who are as desperate as Newt. In a pinch Trump could always call Meatloaf or LaToya Jackson and see if they would be willing to sign on again.