Why is an outrageous, self-promoting billionaire sucking the
oxygen out of the Republican Presidential primary?
the goal of both parties may be selling a path to greater income equity in
America through job creation (Republicans) or income redistribution (Democrats),
why is the one candidate who clearly has a corner on the market of money, could
self-finance his campaign, and needn’t raise a dime from anyone else getting
such traction? What is Trump’s card?
The answer may be rather simple.
Donald Trump is the anti-politician and right now, that
sells in America.
As the venues for news have expanded and contact with
politicos seems to be unavoidable; as all aspects of authority are breaking
down from the police, to the courts, to the doctors and surely the lawyers; as
Olympic decathletes become women and women demand more equity, and
appropriately get it, like ticker tape parades in NYC; as what used to be a
given is no longer; as everyone seems to be on camera all the time; we should
not be surprised that the candidate with the most resonance is the one least
like a traditional candidate. He has no humility. He has no reason to abide by
facts. He calls everyone names. He is promoted by the media as unelectable,
while his poll numbers seem to increase by the minute. The Donald is a
phenomenon and is not likely to be going away any time soon. But why?
America is fed up with the BS it has been fed by CNN, the
major networks and the Internet. Neither cat videos, nor lying Tour de
Franceurs are even remotely amusing any longer. America is hungry for truth in
leadership and even if The Donald does not speak the truth (e.g., about Mexico
sending criminals to America or John McCain not being a war hero), he makes it
sound like the truth. America is rallying to Trump’s new malarkey because it
sounds better than everyone else’s old malarkey.
I have no idea whether or not Trump has staying power or
will he finally insult everyone sufficiently enough to be driven off the stage
after the first debate having created an infinite number of new markets for his
businesses (his goal all along)? Or might The Donald really drive the rest of the Republican field
and even Hillary crazy? Or will he be the lightning rod that finally sets
someone else in the rest of the GOP field apart because he or she can define himself
or herself by taking on The Donald and winning? Or, worst case scenario for the
Republicans, will The Donald find he really likes all of this political
attention and despite not getting the GOP nod, run with his own money as an
independent a la Ross Perot? Stay tuned we will all see.
There is also a lesson here for MD Anderson. When The Ronald
is finally gone, his successor will need to define himself or herself not only
with his or her vision, but with the picture painted of being the non-Ronald as
much as The Donald is painting himself as the non-politician. Shared
governance, respect for faculty, a decrease in moral relativism and ethically
questionable activity, competent administrators, a reemphasis on traditional
academic values and the elimination of any hint of MD Anderson being a drug
company would go a long way to the success of The Ronald’s successor.
Like Trump going away, DePinho going away cannot happen fast
enough. The good news is that both will happen. The bad news is only what we
all have to endure before The Donald and The Ronald ride into the sunset
Despite only having arrogance as a common trait between
them, both the Donald and the Ronald need to exit stage left. But both have
done inestimable service to the institutions in which they spun their webs by
catching all kinds of flies in lies. They were creative by being destructive
which is no mean feat.
The Donald has so shaken up the GOP primary that we are sure
to get a lively debate among the 16 remaining people and the likelihood is that
the victor will have been battle-tested and ready to compete.
The Ronald has so destroyed most of the good that was MD
Anderson or at least what was left after his predecessor did his damage, that
the new President should have a wide open field upon which to make his or her
mark. Let’s hope that is correct and takes place before the Ronald makes
MD Anderson history.