While Donald Trump hasn’t officially announced that he’ll be running for the White House in 2012, he sure seems to be at least entertaining the idea. But, in classic political fashion and poise, he goes back and forth between insinuating his interest in office with one reporter, and then flat out denying his candidacy to another.
Upon first reading about Trump flirting with the idea of running, I (probably like many other Americans who are nostalgic for the days when there was at least some organisation in government) wanted to cry. I was having this awful time grappling with the perverse concept that rich, powerful people think they can do whatever they want and that no matter what it is, they’ll be better at it than anyone else.
But call me jaded and naïve. You see, I’m a firm believer that people who are best suited for political offices are those that care about their community and country, have a deep passion for serving the people’s shared interest, and are deeply experienced in public service. They are ivy-league educated lawyers. They are a secular, vibrant, and brilliant people with incredible ideas and motivation– these are the people I want to vote for.But at least in the past 10 years, it seems that’s a ridiculous fairy tale pipe-dream that’s as dead as my childhood schnauzer Scruffy. You don’t get into public office by being smart, talented, and progressive; you get into public office by being rich, pretty, or popular!
Is Sarah Palin a popular politician because of her elite academic accomplishments or her incredibly decorated career as the Governor of Alaska? Of course not! In fact, she didn’t even finish her job as Governor, because she didn’t have to: she received offers to make millions of dollars just to show up and talk in front of crowds of people and blabber on Fox News Channel.
Meanwhile, the women has let slip so many unintelligent blunders, there could be a Wikipedia encyclopedia entry for what by now should be a very long and exhausting list.
And how about in my home state where we just elected a billionaire businessman who prior to his bid for Governor, only made headlines because the private health care company he owned was fined more than $850 million in the largest settlement for Medicaid/Medicare fraud in the history of the US. Columbia/HCA, the company Florida Governor Rick Scott founded, eventually plead guilty to 14 felonies in connection to charges that the company swindled the government on exorbitant, phantom reimbursements for many years.
Now after only four months in office, Scott has introduced a bill that would require public employees and those on welfare to undergo random drug testing at their own expense. Well, that’s kind of weird Floridians collectively thought…until the media reported that another company Scott had founded in 2001 called Solantic derived a large portion of its revenue from drug testing.
But there’s no conflict of interest, Scott assured the media in response, because he had transferred the ownership of his shares in Solantic to his wife. In a completely unrelated set of 2007 events, Solantic settled several separate employment discrimination lawsuit brought on by a handful of plaintiffs for an undisclosed sum. I’m sure Scott would have a response for that too: “I plead the fifth”.
Rick Scott seems to be really good at lying, cheating, and stealing, and it’s built him a billion-dollar fortune. Hey, here in America you can do that so good for him! But is that who we want as the man in charge of running our state? Before today, I would say no, but I give up.
In fact, I say let’s all just give up and accept the fact that politicians aren’t in it for the passion of public service anymore. They are in it for power, privilege, and maybe if they’re lucky enough and play their cards right, will hopefully land a reality television series or a spot on Fox News.
And as for Mr. Trump: if you happen to come across this article, I want you to know I endorse your presidential bid for 2012. Why not? You’re bored, we’re gullible; go for it, brother. Now, does anyone have a home in Canada they want to trade for a few years? I’ve got a very tropical, lush 3/2 house near the water in beautiful Palm Beach County…