By Doug Patton
I remember when Ross Perot announced his intention to run for President of the United States. All many people knew about him was that he was a diminutive, self-made billionaire from Texas who had fought for American POWs who had been left in North Vietnamese prison camps.
Before it was all over, the man revealed himself to be a paranoid eccentric who imagined elaborate government plots against him and his family. But in the beginning, he seemed like a patriot and a maverick and a viable alternative to incumbent President George H.W. Bush. Between the two of them, Bush and Perot handed the presidency to Bill Clinton in 1992.
Fast-forward twenty years and another billionaire businessman is making a lot of noise about running for president. That candidate, of course, is Donald Trump. Flamboyant, egotistical, and completely full of himself, The Donald, as he has come to be known over the decades he has been in the public eye, is capturing the fascination of enough voters to send the chattering classes into an utter panic.
Entrenched government types and media pundits alike are at a complete loss to explain the phenomenon of Donald Trump as a potential presidential candidate. Safe within their cocoon in the Washington Beltway, they view the world through rose colored glasses. They live in a universe where no one ever has to pay for the things our government gives away — and when they are challenged on this ridiculous presumption, they simply repeat the same tired mantra liberals have been parroting for the last 100 years: "Tax the rich!" As a result, they are reduced to trying to marginalize someone like Trump, just as they did last year with U.S. Senate candidates Sharron Angle (Nevada) and Christine O'Donnell (Delaware).
Of course, we expect such attitudes from Democrats and their lackeys in the so-called mainstream media, from whom no reasonable person expects anything close to fairness. Obama political hatchet man and mouthpiece David Plouffe recently scoffed at the idea of a Trump candidacy, saying that the American people would never "hire" this man to be their president.
Unfortunately, too many of the elitists mocking the idea are working on the Fox News Channel. Nationally syndicated columnist and Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer, for whom I used to have great respect, panned O'Donnell last fall as if she were a moron, rather than a serious candidate for the U.S. Senate, preferring instead liberal RINO Mike Castle, whose election would have created no change in the Washington status quo. Krauthammer recently called Trump "the Al Sharpton of the Republican Party," a reference to the ecclesiastical charlatan who has, over the past decade, displaced Jesse Jackson as the Elmer Gantry of the Black community.
Arrogant former George W. Bush strategy guru Karl Rove, also a Fox News commentator, also berated Christine O'Donnell during last year's Delaware senate race. Rove calls Trump "a joke candidate."
With statements like "I'm a great businessman" and "My message is better than anyone else's," there is no question that the man has an enormous amount of confidence in himself. Maybe that's what people appreciate about him. I do know that Charles Krauthammer, Karl Rove and the rest of Trump's detractors are dead wrong when they announce so smugly that he has made the so-called "birther" issue the centerpiece of his potential campaign. He has attracted a lot of attention with that issue, and there most certainly are those for whom that issue defines their view of Barack Obama; but Trump is also talking about the issues a vast majority of the electorate — especially Republicans — care about: China, the Middle East, OPEC and the U.S. economy.
As I have expressed before, my two favorite candidates are still Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee. I don't know if Donald Trump would be a good president. I don't know if he can beat Barack Obama. I don't know if he can win the Republican nomination if he runs. I don't know that I will support him. What I do know is that there is no one else out there who is attracting the fascination of the American people the way this man is. And I know that I would vote for Donald
Trump and sleep like a baby that night as an alternative to Barack Obama.
© 2011 by Doug Patton
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns of sage political analysis are published the world over by legions of discerning bloggers, courageous webmasters and open-minded newspaper editors.