Politics & Policy

Witless Ape Rides Escalator

(Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty)
Donald Trump is in the race.

Donald Trump may be the man America needs. Having been through four bankruptcies, the ridiculous buffoon with the worst taste since Caligula is uniquely positioned to lead the most indebted organization in the history of the human race.

The Trump conglomerate is the Argentina of limited-liability companies, having been in bankruptcy as recently as 2009. To be sure, a lot of companies went bankrupt around then. The Trump gang went bankrupt in 2004, too, and in 2001. Before that, Trump was in bankruptcy court back in 1991 when his Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City — the nation’s first casino-cum-strip-club, an aesthetic crime against humanity that is tacky by the standards of Atlantic City — turned out to be such a loser that Trump could not make his debt payments.

The closing of that casino has been announced at least twice — it was supposed to shut its doors in December, but it limps on.

RELATED: Donald Trump, America’s Icon of Accountability

Donald Trump, being Donald Trump, announced his candidacy at Trump Tower, making a weird grand entrance via escalator — going down, of course, the symbolism of which is lost on that witless ape. But who could witness that scene — the self-made man who started with nothing but a modest portfolio of 27,000 New York City properties acquired by his millionaire slumlord father, barely out of his latest bankruptcy and possibly headed for another one as the casino/jiggle-joint bearing his name sinks into the filthy mire of the one U.S. city that makes Las Vegas look respectable, a reality-television grotesque with his plastic-surgery-disaster wife, grunting like a baboon about our country’s “brand” and his own vast wealth — and not see the peerless sign of our times?

On the substance, Trump is — how to put it gently? Oh, why bother! — an ass.

On the substance, Trump is — how to put it gently? Oh, why bother! — an ass. Not just an ass, but an ass of exceptionally intense asininity. China? “China’s leaders are like Tom Brady, and the U.S. is like a high-school football team,” Trump says. And so, we should do what?

“ . . . ”

Trump’s is a fill-in-the-blanks agenda: He claims to have a plan for defeating ISIS, but he cannot say what it is for reasons of operational security for the mission that exists only in his mind. He assures us the plan is “foolproof,” but whoever coined that word had never met a fool like Donald Trump. Immigration? Build a wall and force the Mexicans to pay for it.

How to do that?

“ . . . ”

The one thing worse than Trump’s vague horsepucky is his specific horsepucky, i.e., his 1999 plan to impose a one-time tax — everybody knows how good Washington is about “one time” uses of power — on the wealth of all high-net-worth individuals and institutions. A 14.25 percent tax, he calculated, would retire the national debt. And what about institutions that don’t have 14.25 percent of their net worth in ready cash — to take a totally random example, let’s say a poorly run real-estate concern with a lot of illiquid assets and unmanageable debt payments eating up all its ready cash?

“ . . . ”

Trump says that he cannot discuss the details of his agenda because of — his word — “enemies.” Who are these enemies?

“ . . . ”

Perspective? Trump predicted that we may be heading toward a stock-market crash worse than the one in 1929, but: “I remain extremely optimistic about Atlantic City.”

We’ve been to this corner of Crazytown before. If we’re going to have a billionaire dope running for the presidency, I prefer Ross Perot and his cracked tales of Vietnamese hit squads dispatched to take him out while Lee Atwater plotted to crash his daughter’s wedding with phonied-up lesbian sex pictures.

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I have a theory about Trump and his delusions, based, I’ll admit, on pure superstition. There’s an ancient belief, one that persists into our own time, that our names exert occult influence on our lives. And Trump’s name, while potentially comical — “Don-John” — doesn’t offer much in the way of scrying. But his father’s middle name was — true fact — Christ. Fred Christ. Obama’s arrival was announced by a man called Emanuel, but The Donald was brought into this world by Christ himself — Fred Christ. How could a man like that not have a messiah complex?

Of course, when Trump sings “How Great Thou Art,” he sings it in a mirror.

The problem with messiah complexes is that there’s no way to know whether you are going to rise on the third day unless somebody crucifies you. Trump has announced, and I say we get started on that.

Kevin D. Williamson is National Review’s roving correspondent.


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