So Donald Trump has announced his candidacy for president, which reminded me of a story.
A guy has a flat tire and, as it happened, it was right outside the grounds of a mental hospital. He was changing the tire, and enough things went wrong in the course of the operation that a small crowd gathered inside the fence in order to watch him and listen to him cuss. The crowning problem was that after he had the tire off he accidentally kicked the hubcap that had the loose lugnuts in it, and they all fell down the grate of a nearby culvert. Another round of cussing happened, and the motorist began to stomp off angrily toward town for some help. His cell phone had died, which was one of the earlier problems. One of the inmates yelled out after him, “Hey! Why don’t you just take one lug nut off each of the other tires, and drive it into town with three on each tire?” The motorist stopped, thought about it, and said, “That’s a good idea.” So he proceeded to do just that, and everything began to run smoothly after that point. When the tire was changed, he was about to get in the car, and so he looked around to thank the inmate. Finding him, he said, “Look, thanks a lot.” “No problem,” the man said. Hesitating, the motorist then said, “I don’t get it. That was pretty sharp. Why are you . . . no offense . . . but” “Oh,” the inmate said. “I’m in here for being crazy, not for being stupid.”
Which brings us to the moral of the story. Trump is enough of a conceited blowhard to be risible to lots of sharp people. The late night comedians will have a field day with jokes about the VP prospects of his hair piece. But he has billions of dollars, almost three million Twitter followers, time on his hands, and an ego to feed. He didn’t get where he is by being stupid. Neither did he get where he is by being strong in the self-awareness department, as I also grant. But as Instapundit noted, Ross Perot was an egotistical blowhard also, and that didn’t prevent him from putting Bill Clinton in the White House. Dismissing him as a clown candidate will be an easy mistake to make, and opportunities to do so will present themselves every day. Donald Trump will be the gift that keeps on giving.
He is not a serious candidate, but should be treated as one. Hard punches are called for, but we don’t want this to descend to the level of a junior high slap fight. Because it could.