15 Love not the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that's in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of thereof; but whoever does the will of God abides forever (1 Jn 2:15-17).
Thus far I've avoided saying anything about Donald Trump's presidential bid. Indeed, I've avoided reading about it. I have only a glancing awareness of it. A few quick observations:
i) Back in the olden days, movie theaters used to have double features, with an intermission. And before the first feature there was a news reel plus cartoons. The objective of all this was to sell popcorn and candy. These were literally popcorn movies.
We're in the popcorn phase of the presidential campaign, before it gears up in earnest. Trump is the cartoon. It's summer entertainment for restless pundits before things get serious. "News" filler. So they head for the concession stand.
ii) He got the same buzz during the last presidential election cycle. That fizzled.
iii) I'm guessing this is his last hurrah. He's already 69. Will he try it again in 4 years? Even if he does, interest will dwindle. If you run too many times, you become a running joke.
iv) Trump is the stereotypical New Yorker. The in-your-face demeanor. All elbows.
I'm not saying that's representative of New Yorkers. I'm not qualified to say. Everything I know about New York I learned from movies and TV dramas. But he certainly fits the stereotype.
v) Trump is a shameless self-promoter. There are two reasons for this. To begin with, he's monumentally egotistical. In addition, it's good for business. He's made "Trump" a brand name. Irving Berlin once said, "The toughest thing about success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success."
That's the challenge for overachievers like Trump. Running for president is just another way to make headlines. And for a businessman, there's a relationship between the headline and the bottom-line. As Neil Gaiman says, "Notoriety wasn't as good as fame, but was heaps better than obscurity."
vi) Another reason Trump is such a loudmouth is because there are lots of oversized personalities in New York. Lots of competition. You have to keep your elbows sharpened. Stainless steel elbows.
Indeed, by New York standards, Trump isn't that big. Compare him to Michael Bloomberg. In addition to being the three-term mayor of the Big Apple, Bloomberg's net worth is around $35 billion, give or take. According to Forbes, Trump is worth 4 billion. According to the Wall Street Journal, his assets tally at 1.5 billion. When you're smaller, you have to be louder to get attention.
vii) Trump is not only a rich man, but the son of a rich man. His father was nouveau riche, which makes the son old money. That gives him a fearless quality. Growing up, there was only one person in life he had to please: his dad. Due to his wealth, he's never been in a position to feel threatened by anyone else. So he's not afraid to speak his mind. His personal fortune insulates him from reprisal.
Fearlessness isn't the same thing as courage. You can be a fearless coward. Trump's fearlessness has never been put to the test.
viii) In addition, if you don't expect to win, that's liberating. If you don't expect to win, you are free to say whatever you think. That's something he and Huckabee share in common.
ix) Theoretically, a debate match-up between Hillary and Trump might be refreshing if he turned his bulldozer personality on her. But they have so much in common ideologically that he can't really take advantage of her views. A better debate match-up would be between Hillary and Fiorina. As another woman, she wouldn't be deferential to Hillary. She's far more accomplished than Hillary. And she's maintained her completive edge. (Mind you, I'm not recommending Fiorina.)
Hillary has a reputation for toughness, but she usually plays to a sympathetic, hand-picked audience.
x) Right now he's an annoying distraction. I hope he goes away–like last time.
For all his pampered existence, Trump is a pitfall man. Like other ambitious men who live for mundane glory, he kicks and claws his way to become king of the dunghill. But worldly rewards are ephemeral. It's a short reign, like all who came before you, and all who come after you're gone.